CHAPEL HILL, North Carolina-A group of university researchers are reporting that poor nutrition had help viruses mutate into more dangerous forms.
Selenium, which is found in meat and grains, helps the body fight infections. Deficiencies of the anti-oxidant enzyme in mice let the influenza virus mutate into more virulent forms. Groups of mice with normal and selenium-deficient diets were exposed to Influenza A Bangkok, with is a mild strain of the human flu virus. The malnourished mice were not only sicker, but the virus also mutated within their systems.
Most people in developed areas do not require selenium supplements to their diet. Researchers argued the study's findings are even more reason to help feed the third world.