Immune-Boosting Functional Foods: A Potential Remedy for Chinese Consumers Living Under Polluted Air

Lei Cong, Miranda Mirosa, William Kaye-Blake, Phil Bremer


The deterioration of air quality in China has resulted in many people looking for remedies to counteract the impact that air pollution is perceived to be having on their health. As the importance of diet on immune health is becoming increasingly well recognised, a narrative literature review was undertaken to elucidate Chinese consumers’ acceptance of functional food products designed to help the immune system recover from pollution-driven impact and to assess their market potential. Consumers’ attitude towards immune-boosting functional foods were mainly positive, with scientific validation being important in determining the credibility of a product. This was despite the fact that the effectiveness of the functional food products currently in the market that purported to be remedies for pollution-driven impacts on the lung did not appear to be supported by scientific evidence. Numerous studies have reported functional foods could provide a wide range of benefits to immune health, including helping pollution-driven immune issues. This review highlights the market demand for effective and scientifically-proven functional food products that help Chinese consumers’ immune system recover from the impact of air pollution.

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Business and Management Studies     ISSN 2374-5916 (Print)     ISSN 2374-5924 (Online)

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