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Your Healthy Family: Boost immune system with nutrition

Posted at 2:37 PM, Dec 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-22 16:37:36-05

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS — The holidays are always a stressful time and it's important to remember that nutrition plays a critical role in staying healthy and having a strong immune system.

Erin Ziegler is not only navigating daily life with two young children, but also helps care for her mother. "Sometimes as a parent, you lose sight of yourself and taking care of yourself. I can't take care of my family and my children if I'm not healthy."

In an effort to stay healthy, Erin changed her diet to better support her immune system, something experts say is particularly important when dealing with stress.

Barbara Marriage, PhD, RD with Abbott says, "Any stress, and especially chronic stress, has a real impact on our immune system."

With seventy percent of our immune systems in our digestive tract, nutrition is one of the best ways to give our bodies support. That's why nutrients like vitamins C, E and B-12 help protect immune cells and prebiotics to fuel healthy gut bacteria are so important.

Barbara says, "Ideally, we would like people to get all of those things from their diet. We all know that that usually doesn't happen, especially during times of stress."

Scientists at Abbott created a product that combined key nutrients to support the immune system with the hydrating benefits of pedialyte in a new formula.

Barbara adds, "When you look at what some of these nutrients do, for example, both B12 and zinc help activate immune cells so you produce more."

For Erin, it's an easy way to get nutrients to support immune health and stay hydrated as she takes care of herself and those she loves.

Staying well-hydrated, or making sure to re-hydrate after illness, is important to avoid the effects of dehydration. Yet experts say about four out of five adults and more than half of children don't drink the recommended amount of fluid each day.

Because supporting the immune system is top of mind for many people, Abbott is launching a new Pedialyte formulation specifically designed with key nutrients to support immune health. Pedialyte with Immune Support was developed for consumers looking for key immune-supporting nutrients in their hydration solution.

In addition to an optimal balance of electrolytes and glucose found in Abbott’s Pedialyte rehydration products, Pedialyte with Immune Support includes prebiotics, vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin E, and zinc, which are nutrients specifically chosen because of their role in supporting the immune system.

More than 50 years ago, when Pedialyte's original formulations were created, the products were designed to help sick children recover from dehydration symptoms by delivering much-needed fluid and electrolytes to support recovery. But with a focus on rapidly growing hydration needs among consumers, including adults, Abbott leveraged its expertise in science-led nutrition innovation to expand its suite of products to address the evolving needs.

"At Abbott, everything we do is driven by consumers and their healthcare needs," said Daniel Salvadori, executive vice president of Abbott's nutrition business. "Understanding consumers' concerns this year, our team of nutrition scientists developed an advanced hydration formula with key nutrients designed to support the immune system, helping us show up for people when it matters most and provide the reliability they've counted on for so long."

Hydration is an often-overlooked element of overall health and can help during recovery from illnesses. Pedialyte with Immune Support is one of four new Pedialyte products designed to meet a variety of hydration needs and is easily found in the pharmacy department in retail locations or online.

"Making changes to our diets is a good way to get nutrients that support the immune system because about 70 percent of our immune system is in the digestive tract, making nutrition a critical aspect of immune health," said Barbara Marriage, nutrition science lead for pediatric nutrition at Abbott. "Drinking Pedialyte with Immune Support can help people recover from illness, helping to prevent dehydration while also adding immune-supporting nutrients to the diet."

Pedialyte's new formulas include:

Pedialyte with Immune Support, available in mixed berry and fruit punch, is a unique formulation with four key nutrients to support the immune system, including zinc, and vitamins B12, C and E.

Pedialyte Sport, available in new fruit punch and lemon-lime flavors, has three times the electrolytes and one-fourth the sugar of leading sports drinks with five electrolytes, including sodium, potassium, magnesium, chloride, and phosphate, designed for everyday and elite athletes participating in rigorous training and exercise programs.

Pedialyte Organic, available in crisp lemon berry and grape, is designed to prevent mild to moderate dehydration, is USDA-certified organic with no artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners and includes zinc for immune support.

Pedialyte Electrolyte Water with Zero Sugar, an electrolyte water drink available in berry frost and fruit punch, contains 50% more electrolytes than leading sports drinks and electrolyte waters, zinc for immune support and three key electrolytes: sodium, chloride and potassium—all without sugar, artificial flavors or colors.