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Strengthening the Immune System and Reducing Inflammation and Oxidative Stress through Diet and Nutrition: Considerations during the COVID-19 Crisis

1
Nutrition and Health Research Group, Population Health Department, Luxembourg Institute of Health, 1A-B, rue Thomas Edison, L-1445 Strassen, Luxembourg
2
Laboratory of Pharmacokinetics and Metabolomic Analysis, Institute of Translational Medicine and Biotechnology. I.M. Sechenov First Moscow Medical University, Trubetskay Str. 8, 119991 Moscow, Russia
3
Independent Researcher, Val de Marne, 94999 Paris, France
4
Department of Food Science and Nutrition, California Polytechnic State University, 1 Grand Avenue, San Luis Obispo, CA 93407, USA
5
Center for Health Research, California Polytechnic State University, 1 Grand Avenue, San Luis Obispo, CA 93407, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors have equal contribution and should be considered as co-first authors.
Nutrients 2020, 12(6), 1562; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061562
Received: 8 May 2020 / Revised: 21 May 2020 / Accepted: 25 May 2020 / Published: 27 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Nutrition and Public Health)
The coronavirus-disease 2019 (COVID-19) was announced as a global pandemic by the World Health Organization. Challenges arise concerning how to optimally support the immune system in the general population, especially under self-confinement. An optimal immune response depends on an adequate diet and nutrition in order to keep infection at bay. For example, sufficient protein intake is crucial for optimal antibody production. Low micronutrient status, such as of vitamin A or zinc, has been associated with increased infection risk. Frequently, poor nutrient status is associated with inflammation and oxidative stress, which in turn can impact the immune system. Dietary constituents with especially high anti-inflammatory and antioxidant capacity include vitamin C, vitamin E, and phytochemicals such as carotenoids and polyphenols. Several of these can interact with transcription factors such as NF-kB and Nrf-2, related to anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, respectively. Vitamin D in particular may perturb viral cellular infection via interacting with cell entry receptors (angiotensin converting enzyme 2), ACE2. Dietary fiber, fermented by the gut microbiota into short-chain fatty acids, has also been shown to produce anti-inflammatory effects. In this review, we highlight the importance of an optimal status of relevant nutrients to effectively reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, thereby strengthening the immune system during the COVID-19 crisis. View Full-Text
Keywords: macronutrients; trace elements; nutrient; protein intake; innate immune system; cytokines; reactive oxygen species; transcription factors; nuclear factors; infection; coronavirus macronutrients; trace elements; nutrient; protein intake; innate immune system; cytokines; reactive oxygen species; transcription factors; nuclear factors; infection; coronavirus
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Iddir, M.; Brito, A.; Dingeo, G.; Fernandez Del Campo, S.S.; Samouda, H.; La Frano, M.R.; Bohn, T. Strengthening the Immune System and Reducing Inflammation and Oxidative Stress through Diet and Nutrition: Considerations during the COVID-19 Crisis. Nutrients 2020, 12, 1562.

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