Special Issue "Nutrition within and beyond Corona Virus"

A special issue of Nutrients (ISSN 2072-6643). This special issue belongs to the section "Nutrition and Public Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2023 | Viewed by 497749

Image courtesy of Jillian Whelan

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Gregorio Paolo Milani
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Paediatric Emergency Department, Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Milan, Italy
Interests: pediatric nutrition;acute disease and metabolism;electrolytes;acid-base balance;pediatric emergency care
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The unexpected and astonishing COVID-19 pandemic that the world has been facing since the end of December 2019 represents an extreme outcome of globalization, which has expanded exponentially in recent decades. In spite of the enormous gathering of scientific data, interpersonal distancing (in various forms and expressions) still represents the most effective and affordable measure for people to adopt. Within this context, nutrition is being affected at all stages of the food chain worldwide. The value of single nutrients in combating viral infections, food safety, changes in the food chain (from the field to the industry and distribution), and the related socioeconomical consequences, as well as new emerging scenarios will be detailed in this issue dedicated to “Nutrition within and beyond coronavirus”. We invite researchers to contribute relevant original manuscripts that increase the knowledge of our audience and pave the way to future research in this field.

Prof. Dr. Carlo Agostoni
Dr. Gregorio Paolo Milani
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Pandemia
  • Nutrition
  • Diet
  • Food
  • Dietary Supplements

Published Papers (63 papers)

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Article
Ongoing Treatment with a Spore-Based Probiotic Containing Five Strains of Bacillus Improves Outcomes of Mild COVID-19
Nutrients 2023, 15(3), 488; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu15030488 - 17 Jan 2023
Viewed by 847
Abstract
Spore-based Bacillus probiotic treatment improves intestinal health. The intestinal microbiota influences both the innate and adaptive immune responses. As such, the influence of ongoing spore-based probiotic treatment (five probiotic strains of Bacillus) on the clinical outcomes of mild COVID-19 was evaluated in [...] Read more.
Spore-based Bacillus probiotic treatment improves intestinal health. The intestinal microbiota influences both the innate and adaptive immune responses. As such, the influence of ongoing spore-based probiotic treatment (five probiotic strains of Bacillus) on the clinical outcomes of mild COVID-19 was evaluated in this retrospective, observational study. Demographics, medical history, probiotic use, and COVID-19 symptom information were collected. The study included 120 patients with a PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection and mild COVID-19 symptoms. The probiotic group (n = 60) comprised patients with ongoing probiotic treatment (≥1 month); the control group comprised patients not taking probiotics (n = 60). The primary outcome was time to symptom resolution; secondary outcomes included time to fever resolution and presence of digestive symptoms. The probiotic group had a significantly shorter time to symptom resolution (mean (95% confidence interval) days: control group, 8.48 (6.56, 10.05); probiotic group, 6.63 (5.56; 6.63); p = 0.003) and resolution of fever (control group, 2.67 (1.58, 3.61); probiotic group, 1.48 (1.21, 2.03); p < 0.001). More patients in the probiotic group (n = 53) than in the control group (n = 34) did not have digestive symptoms (p < 0.001). Among adults with mild COVID-19, participants receiving ongoing probiotic treatment had a shorter clinical course, and fewer had digestive symptoms compared with those not taking probiotics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition within and beyond Corona Virus)
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Article
Susceptibility to COVID-19 Nutrition Misinformation and Eating Behavior Change during Lockdowns: An International Web-Based Survey
Nutrients 2023, 15(2), 451; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu15020451 - 14 Jan 2023
Viewed by 2043
Abstract
To understand the susceptibility to nutrition-health misinformation related to preventing, treating, or mitigating the risk of COVID-19 during the initial lockdowns around the world, the present international web-based survey study (15 April–15 May 2020) gauged participants’ (n = 3707) level of nutrition-health [...] Read more.
To understand the susceptibility to nutrition-health misinformation related to preventing, treating, or mitigating the risk of COVID-19 during the initial lockdowns around the world, the present international web-based survey study (15 April–15 May 2020) gauged participants’ (n = 3707) level of nutrition-health misinformation discernment by presenting them with 25 statements (including unfounded or unproven claims circulated at the time), alongside the influence of information sources of varying quality on the frequency of changes in their eating behavior and the extent of misinformation held, depending on the source used for such changes. Results revealed widespread misinformation about food, eating, and health practices related to COVID-19, with the 25 statements put to participants receiving up to 43% misinformed answers (e.g., ‘It is safe to eat fruits and vegetables that have been washed with soap or diluted bleach’). Whereas higher quality information sources (nutrition scientists, nutrition professionals) had the biggest influence on eating behavior change, we found greater misinformation susceptibility when relying on poor quality sources for changing diet. Appropriate discernment of misinformation was weakest amongst participants who more frequently changed their eating behavior because of information from poor quality sources, suggesting disparities in the health risks/safety of the changes performed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition within and beyond Corona Virus)
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Article
Association of Serum Zinc and Inflammatory Markers with the Severity of COVID-19 Infection in Adult Patients
Nutrients 2023, 15(2), 340; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu15020340 - 10 Jan 2023
Viewed by 945
Abstract
COVID-19 infection can spread in the host body without any adequate immune response. Zinc is an essential trace element with strong immunoregulatory and antiviral properties and its deficiency might lead to inflammation and oxidative stress. The aim of the current study was to [...] Read more.
COVID-19 infection can spread in the host body without any adequate immune response. Zinc is an essential trace element with strong immunoregulatory and antiviral properties and its deficiency might lead to inflammation and oxidative stress. The aim of the current study was to determine the association of serum zinc and inflammatory markers with the severity of COVID-19 infection. This was a prospective observational study in which 123 COVID-19-positive adult patients and 48 controls were recruited. The initial comparative analysis was conducted between COVID-19 patients and controls. COVID-19-positive patients were further divided into three different groups (mild, moderate, and severe) based on the severity of COVID-19 infection. COVID-19 patients showed significantly lower serum zinc levels (8.8 ± 2.3 µmol/L) compared to healthy controls (11.9 ± 1.8 µmol/L). There was a negative correlation between serum zinc levels and the severity of COVID-19 infection (r = −0.584, p < 0.0001) and this effect was independent of age (r = −0.361, p < 0.0001). Furthermore, inflammatory markers showed a positive correlation with the severity of COVID-19 infection and a negative correlation with the levels of serum zinc. The study demonstrated an association between COVID-19 infection with low serum zinc levels and elevated inflammatory markers. Further studies to assess the significance of this observation are needed, which may justify zinc supplementation to mitigate the severity of COVID-19 infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition within and beyond Corona Virus)
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Article
Determinants of Changes in the Diet Quality of Japanese Adults during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic
Nutrients 2023, 15(1), 131; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu15010131 - 27 Dec 2022
Viewed by 992
Abstract
This study evaluated changes in diet quality during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and its association with variations in attitudes or behavior, as well as health status changes. Participants were Japanese adults aged 20–69 years who resided in 13 prefectures where specific [...] Read more.
This study evaluated changes in diet quality during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and its association with variations in attitudes or behavior, as well as health status changes. Participants were Japanese adults aged 20–69 years who resided in 13 prefectures where specific cautions were announced to prevent the spread of the virus. An online survey was conducted in September 2021, and participants were those who shopped for food or prepared meals more than twice a week during the survey. Overall, 2101 participants were analyzed. An improved or worsened diet quality was determined based on changes in food consumption patterns, and participants were categorized into three groups (improved diet quality (IDQ), worsened diet quality (WDQ), and others). The IDQ group participants (10.2%) improved their dietary consciousness during COVID-19, cooked almost everything from ingredients, and increased their balanced meal eating frequency. However, the WDQ participants (11.1%) had worsened dietary consciousness and increased consumption of takeaway meals and alcohol but decreased balanced meal consumption. Cooking frequency changes were not independent determinants of variations in diet quality. Our results show that the diet quality changes during COVID-19 were possibly caused by changes in dietary consciousness or different levels of meal preparation practices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition within and beyond Corona Virus)
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Article
Social Capital Promotes a Healthier Diet among Young Adults by Reducing Psychological Distress
Nutrients 2022, 14(23), 5187; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14235187 - 06 Dec 2022
Viewed by 826
Abstract
Studies have revealed the links between social capital and diet. However, the mediating role of psychological distress in this relationship has been understudied. This study aims to identify direct and indirect relationships between social capital and adherence to the Mediterranean diet among Lithuanian [...] Read more.
Studies have revealed the links between social capital and diet. However, the mediating role of psychological distress in this relationship has been understudied. This study aims to identify direct and indirect relationships between social capital and adherence to the Mediterranean diet among Lithuanian young adults and identify the mediating role of psychological distress in this relationship. Data were collected from 1336 young adults, aged 18–36 years; 40.5% were males. MEDAS was used to measure adherence to a healthy diet. Social capital was measured by eight separate items in terms of family support, social support, social cohesion, social trust, communication, collaboration, participation, and distant communication. Kessler’s six-item scale was used to assess psychological distress. Higher family support (β = 0.105), higher social participation (β = 0.294), and lower psychological distress (β = 0.073) directly predicted higher adherence to the Mediterranean diet. Social capital was indirectly related to adherence to the Mediterranean diet, with standardized effect sizes of 0.02–0.04, indicating small effect sizes. Thus, psychological distress mediates the relationship between social capital and a healthy diet. Given that social capital is related to psychological health and both directly and indirectly predicts healthy behavior in young adults, further longitudinal and experimental research is required to measure the effects of the intervention on incorporating, facilitating, encouraging, and implementing measures to strengthen the social connection between people and groups of people within the community, neighborhood, and organizations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition within and beyond Corona Virus)
Article
Daily Habits of Brazilians at Different Moments of the COVID-19 Pandemic
Nutrients 2022, 14(23), 5136; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14235136 - 02 Dec 2022
Viewed by 829
Abstract
Background: The COVID 19 pandemic impacted the health and well-being of different populations around the world. The aim of this study is to investigate the changes in the daily habits of Brazilians before and during two moments of the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: A [...] Read more.
Background: The COVID 19 pandemic impacted the health and well-being of different populations around the world. The aim of this study is to investigate the changes in the daily habits of Brazilians before and during two moments of the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: A longitudinal study in which an online questionnaire (sleeping time, alcohol consumption, smoking, use of screen devices, physical activity, and dietary patterns) was applied at three moments. Results: The frequency of alcohol consumption, smoking, and sleep hours did not change significantly at different times. For the number of alcoholic beverages, there was a reduction in consumption from T0 to T1 and an increase from T1 to T2. There was a significant increase in hours of screen device use from T0 to T1, remaining high at T2. Finally, the level of physical activity in minutes reduced from T0 to T1, returning to base levels at T2. As for eating habits, there was an increase in the frequency of consumption of instant meals, fast food, and sweets at the first moment, with a significant reduction at the second moment. The consumption of legumes, milk and dairy products, bakery products, and meats was higher at T2. Conclusions: Some habits returned to or approached T0 levels. However, other habits remained unchanged, such as screen time and frequency of consumption of some food groups, throughout the last evaluation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition within and beyond Corona Virus)
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Article
A Snapshot of the Experience of Dietitians during the COVID-19 Crisis in Five Arab Countries: Findings from a Regional Cross-Sectional Study
Nutrients 2022, 14(22), 4904; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14224904 - 19 Nov 2022
Viewed by 755
Abstract
COVID-19’s intimidating spread has challenged the resilience of the global health systems, causing shifts in the practices of healthcare workers, including dietitians. The current study aimed to assess the change in dietitians’ practices and duties in hospitals/clinics after the commencement of COVID-19 pandemic. [...] Read more.
COVID-19’s intimidating spread has challenged the resilience of the global health systems, causing shifts in the practices of healthcare workers, including dietitians. The current study aimed to assess the change in dietitians’ practices and duties in hospitals/clinics after the commencement of COVID-19 pandemic. This cross-sectional study was conducted in five Arab countries between November 2020 and January 2021. A convenient sample of 903 dietitians filled an online self-administered questionnaire to meet the study aims. Nearly 40.0% of the dietitians experienced a change in their workload and caseload during the pandemic. Besides, 18.7% of the dietitians had been assigned additional tasks in their facilities. Nearly half the dietitians (46.9%) had started giving remote nutrition consultations, associated with a 21% drop in the number of dietitians offering in-person consultations (p = 0.001). Approximately 58.9% of the dietitians provided nutrition care to COVID-19 patients, with 48.4% having access to personal protective equipment. Moreover, 17.0% of dietitians supported COVID-19 patients with enteral and parenteral nutrition. In addition, 45.0% of dietitians reported that managing COVID-19 was challenging given that it was a newly discovered condition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition within and beyond Corona Virus)
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Article
Factors Associated with Dietary Restriction and Emotional and Uncontrolled Eating in Adults from Spanish-Speaking Countries during the COVID-19 Confinement: Results of the CoV-Eat Project
Nutrients 2022, 14(22), 4866; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14224866 - 17 Nov 2022
Viewed by 802
Abstract
The first COVID-19 confinement has led to changes in the population’s behaviour. However, little has been analysed about the changes in eating behaviour beyond the decrease in adherence to healthy dietary patterns. The aim of the CoV-Eat project was to identify factors related [...] Read more.
The first COVID-19 confinement has led to changes in the population’s behaviour. However, little has been analysed about the changes in eating behaviour beyond the decrease in adherence to healthy dietary patterns. The aim of the CoV-Eat project was to identify factors related to each of the following eating behaviours (EB): cognitive restraints (CR), uncontrolled eating (UE), and emotional eating (EE) in adults from Spanish-speaking countries. Participants completed an anonymous online survey. EB was assessed using the Three-Factor Eating Questionnaire and the scores were classified into tertiles. Socio-demographic characteristics and lifestyle habits including physical activity, sleep quality, screen use, smoking consumption, and relationship with food were also collected. A total of 9849 participants from 21 countries were included in this study. The median of CR, UE, and EE behaviours was 15, 24, and 9, respectively. We observed that higher age, days of confinement, number of times leaving home in the last week, changes in sleep quality, and their relationship with food were negatively associated with CR, EE, and UE, while being a man was positively associated with an increased in all these EBs. A higher household income was negatively associated with a higher score of CR, and a higher education level (>primary) was positively associated with a medium score of EE. Lower physical activity was a factor negatively associated with a medium score of EE and UE. Higher screen use showed the same negative association for a medium score of EE and UE and a high score of CR. In addition, higher tobacco consumption was found to be a protective factor against having a medium or high score of CR and EE. In conclusion, some sociodemographic characteristics and lifestyle changes may be important factors for EB and should be considered in emergency situations such as confinement to prevent risky eating behaviour. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition within and beyond Corona Virus)
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Article
A Year in the Life of U.S. Frontline Health Care Workers: Impact of COVID-19 on Weight Change, Physical Activity, Lifestyle Habits, and Psychological Factors
Nutrients 2022, 14(22), 4865; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14224865 - 17 Nov 2022
Viewed by 654
Abstract
Healthcare workers (HCWs) experienced significantly higher burdens and life demands due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This study sought to assess the longitudinal effects among HCWs throughout the pandemic. Qualtrics surveys collected self-reported data on weight changes, eating patterns, physical activity (PA), and psychological [...] Read more.
Healthcare workers (HCWs) experienced significantly higher burdens and life demands due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This study sought to assess the longitudinal effects among HCWs throughout the pandemic. Qualtrics surveys collected self-reported data on weight changes, eating patterns, physical activity (PA), and psychological factors with data organized by timepoints prior to the pandemic (PP0—prior to March 2020), baseline (M0—January 2021), month 6 (M6—July 2021), and month 12 (M12—January 2022). Eating patterns were negatively impacted at the M0, with reported increases in snacking/grazing (69.7%), fast food/take-out consumption (57.8%), and alcohol (48.8%). However, by M6 and M12 there were no statistically significant differences in eating patterns, suggesting that eating patterns normalized over time. Mean weight increased from PP0 to M0 by 2.99 pounds (p < 0.001, n = 226) and from PP0 to M6 by 2.12 pounds (p < 0.027, n = 146), though the difference in mean weight from PP0 to M12 was not statistically significant (n = 122). PA counts decreased from 8.00 sessions per week PP0 to 6.80 by M0 (p = 0.005) before jumping to 12.00 at M6 (p < 0.001) and 10.67 at M12 (p < 0.001). Psychological factors comparing M0 to M12 found statistically significant differences for depression (p-value = 0.018) and anxiety (p-value = 0.001), meaning depression and anxiety were initially increased but improved by M12. Additionally, higher scores on depression and insomnia scales were associated with lower PA levels. These overall results imply that the COVID-19 pandemic had immediate effects on the eating patterns, weight changes, PA, and psychological factors of HCWs; however, routines and lifestyle habits appeared to have normalized one year later. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition within and beyond Corona Virus)
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Article
Are Foods from the COVID-19 Pandemic Lockdown Low in Nutrients? An Analysis of Chinese Psychological Distress Effects
Nutrients 2022, 14(21), 4702; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14214702 - 07 Nov 2022
Viewed by 633
Abstract
Background: The city-wide COVID-19 lockdown has resulted in psychological anguish, which may have an impact on dietary consumption. This study’s dual goals are to show how Chinese food consumption was altered before and after the lockdown, and to examine the nutrient density for [...] Read more.
Background: The city-wide COVID-19 lockdown has resulted in psychological anguish, which may have an impact on dietary consumption. This study’s dual goals are to show how Chinese food consumption was altered before and after the lockdown, and to examine the nutrient density for the psychologically affected group. Methods: A cross-sectional study involving 652 people from Mainland China, Taiwan, and Macao was conducted with the aid of a web-based questionnaire. Sociodemographic characteristics, related environmental factors, nutrient consumption, food recommendations, and psychological distress were all measured. 516 trustworthy data revealed that two nutrient-poor foods were consumed less frequently during the lockdown than they were before to the COVID-19 outbreak (i.e., salty snacks and alcoholic beverages). People who endured high levels of psychological distress in particular tended to consume more. Particularly, those who experienced high levels of psychological distress had a tendency to consume far more alcohol than people who only experienced low levels of stress. Comparing the time before the COVID-19 to the present, there has statistically been an increase in the frequency of family members recommending diets. According to research, by food advice, individuals who experience psychological distress should consume more nutrient-dense foods (78.7%) than nutrient-poor ones (61.9%). Thus, food advice plays a role in mediating the relationship between psychological distress and dietary decisions for nutrient-rich (b = 0.186, p < 0.001) or nutrient-poor (b = 0.187, p < 0.001) food groups. This study provides insights for lowering psychological distress through dietary consumption, where the exact mechanisms underlying these connections have not been thoroughly elucidated. It encourages nutrition research by recommending practical nutrition education from family and environmental activities. Chronic psychological anguish may have a crucial relationship to secure access to food and a balanced diet. Along with nutrition instruction, it is critical to develop skills in interventions such as food procurement and culinary knowledge. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition within and beyond Corona Virus)
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Article
Factors Associated with Significant Weight Loss in Hospitalised Patients with COVID-19: A Retrospective Cohort Study in a Large Teaching Hospital
Nutrients 2022, 14(19), 4195; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14194195 - 08 Oct 2022
Viewed by 1069
Abstract
SARS-CoV-2 infection (COVID-19) is associated with malnutrition risk in hospitalised individuals. COVID-19 and malnutrition studies in large European cohorts are limited, and post-discharge dietary characteristics are understudied. This study aimed to assess the rates of and risk factors for ≥10% weight loss in [...] Read more.
SARS-CoV-2 infection (COVID-19) is associated with malnutrition risk in hospitalised individuals. COVID-19 and malnutrition studies in large European cohorts are limited, and post-discharge dietary characteristics are understudied. This study aimed to assess the rates of and risk factors for ≥10% weight loss in inpatients with COVID-19, and the need for post-discharge dietetic support and the General Practitioner (GP) prescription of oral nutritional supplements, during the first COVID-19 wave in a large teaching hospital in the UK. Hospitalised adult patients admitted between March and June 2020 with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis were included in this retrospective cohort study. Demographic, anthropometric, clinical, biochemical, and nutritional parameters associated with ≥10% weight loss and post-discharge characteristics were described. Logistic regression models were used to identify risk factors for ≥10% weight loss and post-discharge requirements for ongoing dietetic input and oral nutritional supplement prescription. From the total 288 patients analysed (40% females, 72 years median age), 19% lost ≥ 10% of their admission weight. The length of hospital stay was a significant risk factor for ≥10% weight loss in multivariable analysis (OR 1.22; 95% CI 1.08–1.38; p = 0.001). In addition, ≥10% weight loss was positively associated with higher admission weight and malnutrition screening scores, dysphagia, ICU admission, and artificial nutrition needs. The need for more than one dietetic input after discharge was associated with older age and ≥10% weight loss during admission. A large proportion of patients admitted to the hospital with COVID-19 experienced significant weight loss during admission. Longer hospital stay is a risk factor for ≥10% weight loss, independent of disease severity, reinforcing the importance of repeated malnutrition screening and timely referral to dietetics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition within and beyond Corona Virus)
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Article
Lipid Raft Integrity and Cellular Cholesterol Homeostasis Are Critical for SARS-CoV-2 Entry into Cells
Nutrients 2022, 14(16), 3417; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14163417 - 19 Aug 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1370
Abstract
Lipid rafts in cell plasma membranes play a critical role in the life cycle of many viruses. However, the involvement of membrane cholesterol-rich lipid rafts in the entry of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) into target cells is not well known. [...] Read more.
Lipid rafts in cell plasma membranes play a critical role in the life cycle of many viruses. However, the involvement of membrane cholesterol-rich lipid rafts in the entry of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) into target cells is not well known. In this study, we investigated whether the presence of cholesterol-rich microdomains is required for the entry of SARS-CoV-2 into host cells. Our results show that depletion of cholesterol in the rafts by methyl-beta-cyclodextrin (MβCD) treatment impaired the expression of the cell surface receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), resulting in a significant increase in SARS-CoV-2 entry into cells. The effects exerted by MβCD could be substantially reversed by exogenous cholesterol replenishment. In contrast, disturbance of intracellular cholesterol homeostasis by statins or siRNA knockdown of key genes involved in the cholesterol biosynthesis and transport pathways reduced SARS-CoV-2 entry into cells. Our study also reveals that SREBP2-mediated cholesterol biosynthesis is involved in the process of SARS-CoV-2 entry in target cells. These results suggest that the host membrane cholesterol-enriched lipid rafts and cellular cholesterol homeostasis are essential for SARS-CoV-2 entry into cells. Pharmacological manipulation of intracellular cholesterol might provide new therapeutic strategies to alleviate SARS-CoV-2 entry into cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition within and beyond Corona Virus)
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The Influence of Food Environments on Food Security Resilience during the COVID-19 Pandemic: An Examination of Urban and Rural Difference in Kenya
Nutrients 2022, 14(14), 2939; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14142939 - 18 Jul 2022
Viewed by 962
Abstract
Hunger and food insecurity has worsened due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The types of food environments (e.g., natural/built) that people can access may improve household resilience to food-system shocks. This paper examines (1) urban and rural differences in the perceived influence of the [...] Read more.
Hunger and food insecurity has worsened due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The types of food environments (e.g., natural/built) that people can access may improve household resilience to food-system shocks. This paper examines (1) urban and rural differences in the perceived influence of the COVID-19 pandemic on agricultural, livelihoods, food environment attributes, diets; and (2) whether access to different food environments was associated with food security. A two-part telephonic survey (COVID-19 Surveillance Community Action Network Food Systems Tool and Household Food Insecurity Access Scale) was conducted in Western Kenya (n = 173) and an informal settlement in Nairobi (n = 144) in January/February 2021. Limitations on the acquisition of farm inputs and movement restrictions had an adverse impact on agriculture and food sales. Urban residents reported a more significant impact on livelihoods (97% vs. 87%, p < 0.001), with day laborers being the most impacted. Rural respondents reported access to significantly more food environments and lower food insecurity. Multiple linear regression analysis revealed that younger respondents, ≤1 income source, had more difficulty acquiring food, decreased access to cultivated environments, and increased access to informal markets were predictors for higher food insecurity. These data indicate that access to specific types of food environments may improve household resilience. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition within and beyond Corona Virus)
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Weight Loss Management and Lifestyle Changes during COVID-19 Lockdown: A Matched Italian Cohort Study
Nutrients 2022, 14(14), 2897; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14142897 - 14 Jul 2022
Viewed by 1197
Abstract
During the COVID-19 lockdown, lifestyle deterioration had a negative impact on weight, and yet no study has focused on patients already undergoing dietary therapy. We performed a cohort study among adults to evaluate the effect of lockdown on weight loss programs, and we [...] Read more.
During the COVID-19 lockdown, lifestyle deterioration had a negative impact on weight, and yet no study has focused on patients already undergoing dietary therapy. We performed a cohort study among adults to evaluate the effect of lockdown on weight loss programs, and we investigated changes in eating habits and chronotype. We matched confined cases with non-confined cases among individuals who followed the same diet in 2017–2019. At baseline, all patients underwent a clinical examination and completed questionnaires on lifestyle. At follow-up, patients of the confined group were interviewed by a web call, and questionnaires were re-evaluated. We recruited 61 patients. The confined sample was mainly composed of middle-aged (52 (43,58) years) females (46 (75%)) with overweight (27 (44%)) or obesity (24 (39%)) and a moderate physical activity level (48 (81%)). Body weight at follow-up was significantly higher (1.1 (95% CI: 0.14, 2.1) kg) in the confined group adjusting for all matching variables. Adherence to the Mediterranean diet and eating behavior generally improved. Concerning chronotype, patients differentiated from Neither-types to Evening- and Morning-types. A well-monitored dietary therapy maintains weight loss during lockdown. Improvement in eating habits was observed; however, a shift of the circadian typology occurred. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition within and beyond Corona Virus)
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A Study of United States Registered Dietitian Nutritionists during COVID-19: From Impact to Adaptation
Nutrients 2022, 14(4), 907; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14040907 - 21 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1576
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The COVID-19 pandemic introduced an unprecedented health crisis, requiring many Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) to expand their duties and services, while other RDNs faced unemployment, reduced hours, and changes to their work environment. This study evaluated whether the pandemic impacted RDNs’ weight, eating [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic introduced an unprecedented health crisis, requiring many Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) to expand their duties and services, while other RDNs faced unemployment, reduced hours, and changes to their work environment. This study evaluated whether the pandemic impacted RDNs’ weight, eating behaviors, and psychological factors, and whether professional training as an RDN was perceived as a protective factor in maintaining healthy habits. A 57-item, cross-sectional, online questionnaire including open-ended questions was distributed to RDNs residing in the United States. Over two months (January 2021 to February 2021), 477 RDNs completed the questionnaire. Among RDNs, 68.5% reported no weight change, 21.4% reported weight gain greater than 5 pounds, and 10.3% reported weight loss greater than 5 pounds. Approximately 75% (n = 360) reported their RDN professional training equipped them with the skills needed to maintain healthy eating behaviors. Reduced physical activity and mental health were the top qualitative themes that emerged regarding reasons for weight change. These findings suggest that RDN professional practice skills may have conferred some personal health benefits, as evidenced by smaller weight gains, the maintenance of healthy habits, and fewer reporting psychological effects relative to the general population and other health professionals, thereby limiting the impact of pandemic-induced work and life disruptions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition within and beyond Corona Virus)
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A Comparative Cross-Sectional Study of the Consequences of the COVID-19 Lockdown on Women’s Health Behaviors in Spain
Nutrients 2022, 14(4), 846; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14040846 - 17 Feb 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1248
Abstract
Changes in health habits were observed during the COVID-19 pandemic. An unequal distribution of responsibilities may have generated unequal levels of stress in men and women, and, therefore, this may have led to different impacts on their health habits during lockdown. This study [...] Read more.
Changes in health habits were observed during the COVID-19 pandemic. An unequal distribution of responsibilities may have generated unequal levels of stress in men and women, and, therefore, this may have led to different impacts on their health habits during lockdown. This study aimed to analyze the changes in eating habits, physical activity, sleep, and body weight in women, compared to men, because of lockdown. A comparative cross-sectional study was carried out. 2834 Spanish volunteers aged 19 to 76 completed an online survey on health habits. Descriptive and inferential analyses were performed using a cross-sectional methodology to explore gender differences. Results showed that men maintained their health habits to a greater extent, performing the same physical activity, while maintaining the quantity and quality of sleep, the quality of the diet, the quantity of the intake, and their mealtimes and body weight, whereas women’s eating habits changed in relation to the quality of their diet and mealtimes, as their food intake and weight increased, and their sleep was poorer in quality and duration than it was before lockdown. This could be due to the higher levels of anxiety experienced by women as a result of working on essential jobs in addition to taking on more unpaid work associated with care and housework. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition within and beyond Corona Virus)
Article
Impact of COVID-19 Infection and Persistent Lingering Symptoms on Patient Reported Indicators of Nutritional Risk and Malnutrition
Nutrients 2022, 14(3), 642; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14030642 - 02 Feb 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2123
Abstract
Persistent malnutrition after COVID-19 infection may worsen outcomes, including delayed recovery and increased risk of rehospitalization. This study aimed to determine dietary intakes and nutrient distribution patterns after acute COVID-19 illness. Findings were also compared to national standards for intake of energy, protein, [...] Read more.
Persistent malnutrition after COVID-19 infection may worsen outcomes, including delayed recovery and increased risk of rehospitalization. This study aimed to determine dietary intakes and nutrient distribution patterns after acute COVID-19 illness. Findings were also compared to national standards for intake of energy, protein, fruit, and vegetables, as well as protein intake distribution recommendations. Participants (≥18 years old, n = 92) were enrolled after baseline visit at the Post-COVID Recovery Clinic. The broad screening battery included nutritional assessment and 24-h dietary recall. Participants were, on average, 53 years old, 63% female, 69% non-Hispanic White, and 59% obese/morbidly obese. Participants at risk for malnutrition (48%) experienced significantly greater symptoms, such as gastric intestinal issues, loss of smell, loss of taste, or shortness of breath; in addition, they consumed significantly fewer calories. Most participants did not meet recommendations for fruit or vegetables. Less than 39% met the 1.2 g/kg/day proposed optimal protein intake for recovery from illness. Protein distribution throughout the day was skewed; only 3% met the recommendation at all meals, while over 30% never met the threshold at any meal. Our findings highlight the need for nutritional education and support for patients to account for lingering symptoms and optimize recovery after COVID-19 infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition within and beyond Corona Virus)
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Self-Reported Dietary Choices and Oral Health Care Needs during COVID-19 Quarantine: A Cross-Sectional Study
Nutrients 2022, 14(2), 313; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14020313 - 13 Jan 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1498
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacted the healthcare system, including dentistry. However, it is not entirely clear whether affected patients’ willingness for regular dental visits and preventive behaviors with regards oral hygiene and diet. This is essential to understanding the potential effects of the [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacted the healthcare system, including dentistry. However, it is not entirely clear whether affected patients’ willingness for regular dental visits and preventive behaviors with regards oral hygiene and diet. This is essential to understanding the potential effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the acceleration of dental issues in the future. It was aimed at checking the level of dental visit avoidance, self-reported oral health needs, and dietary changes. This cross-sectional questionnaire study conducted in Poland (n = 2574; mean age 44.4 ± 15.6; female 56.3%) assessed nutritional habits and dental care changes during the COVID-19 pandemic. As demonstrated, nearly half of the responders (47.1%) avoided regular dental visits, while only 0.5% used online consultations. Fears related to potential cross-contamination in dental offices dropped from 25% to 11.4% and were associated with increased BMI and age (p < 0.05). Sweet snacking/drinking confirmed 19.1%/33.2% subjects. Self-reported oral health care needs (tooth stain, calculus, gingivitis, loss of fillings) were related to frequent snacking and poor oral hygiene (p < 0.05). The study highlights that pandemic periods are covered by eating and drinking changes combined with inadequate hygiene and dental care impose health complaints in the oral cavity. This can magnify both nutritional and interrelated oral health issues, highlighting the need to implement preventive and mitigation measures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition within and beyond Corona Virus)
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Affordability of Heathy, Equitable and More Sustainable Diets in Low-Income Households in Brisbane before and during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Nutrients 2021, 13(12), 4386; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13124386 - 08 Dec 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2537
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has increased food insecurity worldwide, yet there has been limited assessment of shifts in the cost and affordability of healthy, equitable and sustainable diets. This study explores the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and income supplements provided by the Australian [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has increased food insecurity worldwide, yet there has been limited assessment of shifts in the cost and affordability of healthy, equitable and sustainable diets. This study explores the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and income supplements provided by the Australian government on diet cost and affordability for low-income households in an Australian urban area. The Healthy Diets ASAP method protocol was applied to assess the cost and cost differential of current and recommended diets before (in 2019) and during the COVID-19 pandemic (late 2020) for households with a minimum-wage and welfare-only disposable household income, by area of socioeconomic disadvantage, in Greater Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Data were collected between August and October, 2020, from 78 food outlets and compared with data collected in the same locations between May and October, 2019, in an earlier study. The price of most healthy food groups increased significantly during the pandemic—with the exception of vegetables and legumes, which decreased. Conversely, the price of discretionary foods and drinks did not increase during the pandemic. The cost of the current and recommended diets significantly increased throughout this period, but the latter continued to be less expensive than the former. Due to income supplements provided between May and September 2020, the affordability of the recommended diet improved greatly, by 27% and 42%, for households with minimum-wage and welfare-only disposable household income, respectively. This improvement in the affordability of the recommended diet highlights the need to permanently increase welfare support for low-income families to ensure food security. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition within and beyond Corona Virus)
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Article
Trajectories of Food Choice Motives and Weight Status of Malaysian Youths during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Nutrients 2021, 13(11), 3752; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13113752 - 23 Oct 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2541
Abstract
Stay-at-home orders have abruptly altered food purchasing behaviour, dietary habits, and food choice motives. Therefore, this study aims to investigate the trajectory of food choice motives and their associations with the weight status of Malaysian youths in the time of COVID-19. Socio-demographic information [...] Read more.
Stay-at-home orders have abruptly altered food purchasing behaviour, dietary habits, and food choice motives. Therefore, this study aims to investigate the trajectory of food choice motives and their associations with the weight status of Malaysian youths in the time of COVID-19. Socio-demographic information and anthropometric measurements were self-reported by the respondents, while the food choice motives were assessed using a validated 38-item food choice questionnaire (FCQ). Of the 1013 Malaysian youths, 48.6% gained weight due to the confinement, with an average weight gain of 3.90 ± 2.92 kg. On the other hand, 47.0% to 73.0% of the youths changed their food choice motives in the time of COVID-19. Of the 10 motives, convenience (48.5%) had the largest percentage increase, followed by weight control (47.0%) and health (45.3%). Moreover, the mean scores of health (t = −3.324, p = 0.001), convenience (t = −5.869, p < 0.001), weight control (t = −7.532, p < 0.001), natural content (t = −5.957, p < 0.001), ethical concern (t = −4.419, p < 0.001) and price (t = −3.737, p < 0.001) were significantly higher during the pandemic compared to pre-pandemic. Findings from the multinomial regression model revealed that youths highly concerned for weight control were more likely to be in the weight loss category (Adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 1.633, Confidence Interval (CI) = 1.230–2.168, p = 0.001). Conversely, those who gained weight due to the pandemic confinement highly valued natural content in foods (AOR = 0.653, CI = 0.481–0.886, p = 0.006) when making their food choices in this unprecedented pandemic. In conclusion, Malaysian youths made healthier food choices to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition within and beyond Corona Virus)
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Analysis of Food Habits during Pandemic in a Polish Population-Based Sample of Primary School Adolescents: Diet and Activity of Youth during COVID-19 (DAY-19) Study
Nutrients 2021, 13(11), 3711; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13113711 - 22 Oct 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2914
Abstract
The improper dietary behaviors of children and adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic, which are associated with lockdowns and reduced physical activity, are a complex problem, potentially resulting in increased risk of diet-related diseases, including overweight and obesity and their consequences. The aim of [...] Read more.
The improper dietary behaviors of children and adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic, which are associated with lockdowns and reduced physical activity, are a complex problem, potentially resulting in increased risk of diet-related diseases, including overweight and obesity and their consequences. The aim of the study was to assess the food habits during the COVID-19 pandemic and to define their association with physical activity and body mass changes in a Polish population of primary school adolescents within the Diet and Activity of Youth During COVID-19 (DAY-19) Study. The DAY-19 Study was conducted in June 2020 in a national cohort of 1334 primary school students aged 10–16 years, recruited based on a stratified random sampling of schools (sampling counties from voivodeships and schools from counties). The Adolescent Food Habits Checklist (AFHC) was used to assess food habits, associated with food purchase, preparation, and consumption, which in the studied group were analyzed separately for the period before (retrospective data) and during the COVID-19 pandemic (prospective data). The recognizable physical activity changes and recognizable body mass changes were also assessed (retrospective data) and respondents were classified as those declaring that their physical activity and body mass decreased, remained stable, or increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. It was observed that during the COVID-19 pandemic the majority of food habits changed in a statistically significant way (p < 0.05). Within food purchase habits, the number of respondents who declared choosing a low-fat lunch away from home decreased, often buying pastries or cakes decreased, and buying a low-fat crisps brand increased (p < 0.05). Within food preparation habits, the number of respondents who declared trying to keep overall fat intake down increased, trying to keep overall sugar intake down increased, eating at least one serving of vegetables or salad with evening meal increased, and usually including some chocolate and/or biscuits in a packed lunch decreased (p < 0.05). Within food consumption habits, the number of respondents who declared making sure that they eat at least one serving of fruit a day increased, eating at least three servings of fruit most days increased, making sure that they eat at least one serving of vegetables or salad a day increased, trying to ensure that they eat plenty of fruit and vegetables increased, often choosing a fruit when they have a snack between meals increased, eating at least three servings of fruit most days increased, and generally trying to have a healthy diet increased (p < 0.05). It was concluded that in the period of the COVID-19 pandemic and resultant remote education, adolescents in Poland presented different food habits than before, while the majority of changes were positive. The positive food purchase, preparation, and consumption habits were observed mainly in sub-groups of adolescents declaring decreased body mass or increased physical activity during the COVID-19 pandemic. It may be suggested that physical activity may support positive changes of dietary behaviors and while combined positive changes of diet and increased physical activity, they may effectively promote body mass reduction in adolescents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition within and beyond Corona Virus)
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Article
Food Insecurity Pre- and Post the COVID-19 Pandemic and Economic Crisis in Lebanon: Prevalence and Projections
Nutrients 2021, 13(9), 2976; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13092976 - 27 Aug 2021
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 4232
Abstract
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has had serious repercussions on the global economy, work force, and food systems. In Lebanon, the pandemic overlapped with an economic crisis, which threatened to exacerbate food insecurity (FI). The present study aims to evaluate the trends and projections [...] Read more.
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has had serious repercussions on the global economy, work force, and food systems. In Lebanon, the pandemic overlapped with an economic crisis, which threatened to exacerbate food insecurity (FI). The present study aims to evaluate the trends and projections of FI in Lebanon due to overlapping health and economic crises. Data from Gallup World Poll (GWP) 2015–2017 surveys conducted in Lebanon on nationally representative adults (n = 3000) were used to assess FI trends and explore its sociodemographic correlates. Predictive models were performed to forecast trends in FI (2018–2022), using GWP data along with income reduction scenarios to estimate the impact of the pandemic and economic crises. Pre crises, trend analyses showed that FI could reach 27% considering wave year and income. Post crises, FI was estimated to reach on average 36% to 39%, considering 50–70% income reduction scenarios among Lebanese population. FI projections are expected to be higher among females compared to males and among older adults compared to younger ones (p < 0.05). These alarming findings call for emergency food security policies and evidence-based programs to mitigate the burden of multiple crises on the FI of Lebanese households and promote resilience for future shocks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition within and beyond Corona Virus)
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Article
Dietary Changes during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Longitudinal Study Using Objective Sequential Diet Records from an Electronic Purchase System in a Workplace Cafeteria in Japan
Nutrients 2021, 13(5), 1606; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13051606 - 11 May 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2211
Abstract
As a result of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic-related restrictions, food systems have undergone unprecedented changes, with the potential to affect dietary behavior. We aimed to investigate workers’ dietary changes resulting from the introduction of regulations to combat COVID-19 in a Japanese [...] Read more.
As a result of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic-related restrictions, food systems have undergone unprecedented changes, with the potential to affect dietary behavior. We aimed to investigate workers’ dietary changes resulting from the introduction of regulations to combat COVID-19 in a Japanese factory cafeteria. Objective data on daytime dietary intake were automatically collected from electronic purchase system records. The dataset included the weekly data of 890 men from 1 July 2019 to 30 September 2020. The cafeteria regulations came into effect on 10 April 2020; in this context, the purchase of dishes and estimated dietary intake were monitored. The number of cafeteria visits decreased slightly after the introduction of the regulations. The purchase of main and side dishes also decreased, but the purchase of grain dishes was less affected. When compared with summer 2019 (pre-pandemic, no regulations: 1 July to 29 September 2019), in summer 2020 (during the pandemic and with regulations: 29 June to 30 September 2020), the estimated mean grain, meat, fish, and total energy intake was stable; however, vegetable intake decreased by 11%. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, workplace cafeteria regulations need to be monitored to avoid unfavorable dietary changes in employees. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition within and beyond Corona Virus)
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Article
Vitamin D Status in Adolescents during COVID-19 Pandemic: A Cross-Sectional Comparative Study
Nutrients 2021, 13(5), 1467; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13051467 - 26 Apr 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2138
Abstract
Vitamin D has been claimed to be effective in the response to infections, including the respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). It is supposed that lockdown measures and fear of SARS-CoV-2 infection might reduce vitamin D levels through the modification of lifestyle. However, very [...] Read more.
Vitamin D has been claimed to be effective in the response to infections, including the respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). It is supposed that lockdown measures and fear of SARS-CoV-2 infection might reduce vitamin D levels through the modification of lifestyle. However, very few data exist on the association between lockdown measures and vitamin D status in humans. For this cross-sectional comparative study, adolescents (n = 298) aged 18 to 19 years were enrolled during the compulsory military fitness-for-duty evaluation between July and December 2020 in Southern Switzerland. Beyond anthropometric measurements, participants filled in a structured questionnaire about their lifestyle and a blood specimen was sampled for the determination of total 25-hydroxy-vitamin D. The obtained data were compared with those of 437 adolescents enrolled at the military fitness-for-duty evaluation during the same period of the year in the context of the CENERI study (2014–2016). The anthropometric measures were similar between the two study groups. The levels of vitamin D were also comparable (77 (64–91) vs. 74 (60–92) nmol/L, p = 0.50; median and interquartile range). A total of 38 (13%) and 43 (9.8%) subjects presented insufficient (<50 nmol/L) levels of vitamin D (p = 0.42) during the current pandemic and in the CENERI study, respectively. These data do not support the hypothesis that during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, late adolescents are at higher risk of vitamin insufficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition within and beyond Corona Virus)
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Managing Obesity in Lockdown: Survey of Health Behaviors and Telemedicine
Nutrients 2021, 13(4), 1359; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13041359 - 19 Apr 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2968
Abstract
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, billions of people have gone into lockdown, facing pandemic related challenges that engender weight gain, especially in the obese. We report the results of an online survey, conducted during Israel’s first quarantine, of 279 adults treated in hospital-based [...] Read more.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, billions of people have gone into lockdown, facing pandemic related challenges that engender weight gain, especially in the obese. We report the results of an online survey, conducted during Israel’s first quarantine, of 279 adults treated in hospital-based obesity clinics with counseling, medications, surgery, endoscopic procedures, or any combination of these for weight loss. In this study, we assessed the association between changes in dietary and lifestyle habits and body weight, and the benefits of receiving weight management care remotely through telemedicine during lockdown. Compared to patients not receiving obesity care via telemedicine, patients receiving this care were more likely to lose weight (OR, 2.79; p = 0.042) and also to increase participation in exercise (OR, 2.4; p = 0.022). While 40% of respondents reported consuming more sweet or salty processed snacks and 33% reported less vegetables and fruits, 65% reported more homemade foods. At the same time, 40% of respondents reported a reduction in exercise and 52% reported a decline in mood. Alterations in these eating patterns, as well as in exercise habits and mood, were significantly associated with weight changes. This study highlights that lockdown affects health behaviors associated with weight change, and advocates for the use of telemedicine to provide ongoing obesity care during future quarantines in order to promote weight loss and prevent weight gain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition within and beyond Corona Virus)
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L-Carnitine Tartrate Downregulates the ACE2 Receptor and Limits SARS-CoV-2 Infection
Nutrients 2021, 13(4), 1297; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13041297 - 14 Apr 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 7241
Abstract
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has been responsible for one of the worst pandemics in modern history. Several prevention and treatment strategies have been designed and evaluated in recent months either through the repurposing of existing treatments or the development of [...] Read more.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has been responsible for one of the worst pandemics in modern history. Several prevention and treatment strategies have been designed and evaluated in recent months either through the repurposing of existing treatments or the development of new drugs and vaccines. In this study, we show that L-carnitine tartrate supplementation in humans and rodents led to significant decreases of key host dependency factors, notably angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), transmembrane protease serine 2 (TMPRSS2), and Furin, which are responsible for viral attachment, viral spike S-protein cleavage, and priming for viral fusion and entry. Interestingly, pre-treatment of Calu-3, human lung epithelial cells, with L-carnitine tartrate led to a significant and dose-dependent inhibition of the infection by SARS-CoV-2. Infection inhibition coincided with a significant decrease in ACE2 mRNA expression levels. These data suggest that L-carnitine tartrate should be tested with appropriate trials in humans for the possibility to limit SARS-CoV-2 infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition within and beyond Corona Virus)
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An Italian Survey on Dietary Habits and Changes during the COVID-19 Lockdown
Nutrients 2021, 13(4), 1197; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13041197 - 05 Apr 2021
Cited by 38 | Viewed by 5872
Abstract
The World Health Organization has declared the coronavirus outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern; the outbreak has led to lockdowns in several parts of the world, and sudden changes in people’s lifestyles. This study explores the impact of the first coronavirus [...] Read more.
The World Health Organization has declared the coronavirus outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern; the outbreak has led to lockdowns in several parts of the world, and sudden changes in people’s lifestyles. This study explores the impact of the first coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic period on dietary habits, lifestyle changes, and adherence to the Mediterranean diet among the Italian population, through an online questionnaire, conducted from April to May 2020, involving 1519 participants. The 14-point Mediterranean Diet Adherence Screener (MEDAS) highlighted a medium Mediterranean diet adherence in 73.5% of responders, which principally included the younger population, aged 18–30 years (p < 0.05). In regards to changes in eating habits, 33.5% of responders declared an influence of the pandemic period on nutritional practice. A decrease in alcohol consumption was reported by 81% of responders, while an increase in frozen food consumption was reported by 81.3% of responders. In addition, 58.8% reported positive weight modification (40.8%, +1–3 kg); physical activity reduction was reported for 70.5% of responders. Our study contributes toward amplifying the investigation on the dietary habits and changes of the Italian population during the COVID-19 lockdown, although the pandemic is ongoing. Similar studies should be performed around the world to understand how the emergency has impacted people’s habits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition within and beyond Corona Virus)
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The Impact of COVID-19-Related Lockdown on Diet and Serum Markers in Healthy Adults
Nutrients 2021, 13(4), 1082; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13041082 - 26 Mar 2021
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 3924
Abstract
Due to limited data about the impact of lockdown on health status, the present study aimed to investigate the impact of COVID-19-related lockdown on changes in dietary habits, physical activity and serum markers in healthy adults. A total of 38 asymptomatic adults aged [...] Read more.
Due to limited data about the impact of lockdown on health status, the present study aimed to investigate the impact of COVID-19-related lockdown on changes in dietary habits, physical activity and serum markers in healthy adults. A total of 38 asymptomatic adults aged from 23 to 59 with a normal BMI (22.5 kg/m2) participated in baseline and post-lockdown measurements that included dietary and physical activity assessment, anthropometric measurements and blood samples; and the lockdown survey which included dietary assessment and questionnaires about changes in lifestyle and physical activity. A decreased diet quality during lockdown was observed (Healthy Eating Index reduced from 64.59 to 61.08), which returned to near baseline post-lockdown. Energy intake decreased during lockdown (p = 0.002) and returned to baseline post-lockdown. Despite lower physical activity levels during lockdown (p = 0.035), we observed no significant changes in body composition. However, we observed a significant increase in serum glucose (p = 0.005), total cholesterol (p = 0.003), and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) (p = 0.049) post-lockdown. Increase in serum glucose levels was pronounced in subjects with higher increase in energy intake (p = 0.039), increased omega-6 fatty acids intake (p = 0.016), those who were exposed to several risky contacts (p = 0.018, compared to those with less risky contacts) and those who were not active in nature (p = 0.008, compared to those active in nature). Increased serum LDL was correlated to decreased monounsaturated fatty acids intake (p = 0.028). Within the limits of this preliminary report, changes in serum markers observed among healthy subjects point to a possible impact of COVID-19-related lockdown on adults’ health to be confirmed in larger groups. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition within and beyond Corona Virus)
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Eating Habits and Lifestyles during the Initial Stage of the COVID-19 Lockdown in China: A Cross-Sectional Study
Nutrients 2021, 13(3), 970; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13030970 - 17 Mar 2021
Cited by 38 | Viewed by 5672
Abstract
Due to the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the Chinese government implemented strict lockdown measures to control the spread of infection. The impact of the COVID-19 lockdown on eating habits and lifestyles in the general population is unclear. This cross-sectional study was [...] Read more.
Due to the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the Chinese government implemented strict lockdown measures to control the spread of infection. The impact of the COVID-19 lockdown on eating habits and lifestyles in the general population is unclear. This cross-sectional study was conducted via an online survey to obtain an overview of the food access, food intake, and physical activity of Chinese residents during the initial stage of the COVID-19 lockdown, and to investigate the association between staying at home/working from home and changes in eating habits and lifestyles. A total of 2702 participants (70.7% women) were included. Most of the participants maintained their habitual diet, while 38.2% increased their snack intake, 54.3% reported reduced physical activity, and 45.5% had increased sleep duration. Most people (70.1%) reported no change in body weight, while 25.0% reported an increase. Always staying at home/working from home was associated with an increase in animal product, vegetable, fruit, mushroom, nut, water, and snack intake, as well as sleep duration and frequency of skipping breakfast (odds ratio (OR) 1.54, 1.62, 1.58, 1.53, 1.57, 1.52, 1.77, 2.29, and 1.76 respectively). Suggestions should be made to encourage people to reduce their snack intake, maintain the daily consumption of breakfast, and increase physical activity during future lockdown periods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition within and beyond Corona Virus)
Article
New Methodologies for Conducting Maternal, Infant, and Child Nutrition Research in the Era of COVID-19
Nutrients 2021, 13(3), 941; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13030941 - 15 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2444
Abstract
The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak rapidly became a worldwide pandemic in early 2020. In Australia, government-mandated restrictions on non-essential face-to-face contact in the healthcare setting have been crucial for limiting opportunities for COVID-19 transmission, but they have severely [...] Read more.
The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak rapidly became a worldwide pandemic in early 2020. In Australia, government-mandated restrictions on non-essential face-to-face contact in the healthcare setting have been crucial for limiting opportunities for COVID-19 transmission, but they have severely limited, and even halted, many research activities. Our institute’s research practices in the vulnerable populations of pregnant women and young infants needed to adapt in order to continue without exposing participants, or staff, to an increased risk of exposure to COVID-19. Here, we discuss our pre-and-post COVID-19 methods for conducting research regarding nutrition during pregnancy, infancy, and early childhood. We discuss modifications to study methods implemented to avoid face-to-face contact when identifying and recruiting potential participants, gaining informed consent, conducting appointments, and collecting outcome data, and the implications of these changes. The COVID-19 pandemic has required numerous changes to the conduct of research activities, but many of those modifications will be useful in post-COVID-19 research settings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition within and beyond Corona Virus)
Article
Longitudinal Weight Gain and Related Risk Behaviors during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Adults in the US
Nutrients 2021, 13(2), 671; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13020671 - 19 Feb 2021
Cited by 75 | Viewed by 7437
Abstract
Cross-sectional analyses have shown increased obesogenic behaviors and a potential for weight gain during COVID-19 related peak-lockdown (March–May 2020), but longitudinal data are lacking. This study assessed longitudinal changes in body weight and lifestyle behaviors in the US adults during the pandemic. Methods: [...] Read more.
Cross-sectional analyses have shown increased obesogenic behaviors and a potential for weight gain during COVID-19 related peak-lockdown (March–May 2020), but longitudinal data are lacking. This study assessed longitudinal changes in body weight and lifestyle behaviors in the US adults during the pandemic. Methods: We used Qualtrics survey to collect self-reported data on body weight, dietary, physical activity, and psychological variables (n = 727) during the peak-lockdown (April/May) and at post-lockdown (September/October). Peak-lockdown weight data were categorized based on the magnitude of weight gained, maintained, or lost, and behavioral differences were examined between categories at two time points. Results: Body weight increased (+0.62 kg; p < 0.05) at the post-lockdown period. The body mass index also increased (26.38 ± 5.98 kg/m2 vs. 26.12 ± 5.81 kg/m2; p < 0.01) at the post-lockdown period vs. peak-lockdown period. Close to 40% of participants reported gaining either 1–4 lbs or >5 lbs of body weight during the peak-lockdown, while 18.2% lost weight. Weight-gainers engaged in riskier dietary behaviors such as frequent ultra-processed food intake (p < 0.01) and snacking (p < 0.001), were less active, and reported high stress and less craving control during peak-lockdown. Of those gaining >5 lbs, 33% continued to gain weight after the lockdown eased, while 28% maintain higher body weight. In weight-gainers, takeout meal frequency increased, and high ultra-processed food intake and stress, and low craving control continued to persist after the lockdown eased. Conclusion: We show that the COVID-19 lockdown periods disrupted weight management among many Americans and that associated health effects are likely to persist. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition within and beyond Corona Virus)
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The Impact of COVID-19 on Rural Food Supply and Demand in Australia: Utilising Group Model Building to Identify Retailer and Customer Perspectives
Nutrients 2021, 13(2), 417; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13020417 - 28 Jan 2021
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 5640
Abstract
Prior to the 2020 outbreak of COVID-19, 70% of Australians’ food purchases were from supermarkets. Rural communities experience challenges accessing healthy food, which drives health inequalities. This study explores the impact of COVID-19 on food supply and purchasing behaviour in a rural supermarket. [...] Read more.
Prior to the 2020 outbreak of COVID-19, 70% of Australians’ food purchases were from supermarkets. Rural communities experience challenges accessing healthy food, which drives health inequalities. This study explores the impact of COVID-19 on food supply and purchasing behaviour in a rural supermarket. Group model building workshops explored food supply experiences during COVID-19 in a rural Australian community with one supermarket. We asked three supermarket retailers “What are the current drivers of food supply into this supermarket environment?” and, separately, 33 customers: “What are the current drivers of purchases in this supermarket environment?” Causal loop diagrams were co-created with participants in real time with themes drawn afterwards from coded transcripts. Retailers’ experience of COVID-19 included ‘empty shelves’ attributed to media and government messaging, product unavailability, and community fear. Customers reported fear of contracting COVID-19, unavailability of food, and government restrictions resulting in cooking more meals at home, as influences on purchasing behaviour. Supermarket management and customers demonstrated adaptability and resilience to normalise demand and combat reduced supply. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition within and beyond Corona Virus)
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COVID-19-Related Quarantine Effect on Dietary Habits in a Northern Italian Rural Population: Data from the Brisighella Heart Study
Nutrients 2021, 13(2), 309; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13020309 - 22 Jan 2021
Cited by 40 | Viewed by 4364
Abstract
North of Italy was severely hit by the COVID-19 (Coronavirus disease 19) pandemic. This induced the government to adopt severely restrictive measures to reduce the contagion risk, forcing most of the population to stop working and from leisure activities, and to remain at [...] Read more.
North of Italy was severely hit by the COVID-19 (Coronavirus disease 19) pandemic. This induced the government to adopt severely restrictive measures to reduce the contagion risk, forcing most of the population to stop working and from leisure activities, and to remain at home for several weeks. Our study aimed to evaluate the effect of COVID-related quarantine on smoking and dietary habits of a well-characterized northern Italian rural population. For this purpose, while lockdown restrictions were in place (February–April 2020), 359 subjects from the Brisighella Heart Study cohort underwent a phone interview about their lifestyle habit changes during COVID-19-related quarantine. Quarantine did not significantly modify smoking habit nor body mass index. Subjects significantly increased daily carbohydrates consumption, all fresh vegetables, healthy vegetable oils, milk and yogurt, alcoholic drinks, sugars and sweets, and coffee. The weekly consumption of low-fat meat, cured meat other than ham, cheeses, eggs, nuts and mixed seed oils significantly increased, while the weekly intake of fish, mussels, and legumes significantly decreased during lockdown. The Dietary Quality Index was reduced from 42.4 ± 4.1 to 37.8 ± 4.7 (p < 0.03). In accordance with our findings, COVID-19-related quarantine might worsen the quality of diet, also leading to an increased intake of almost all food categories. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition within and beyond Corona Virus)
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Dietary Supplements during COVID-19 Outbreak. Results of Google Trends Analysis Supported by PLifeCOVID-19 Online Studies
Nutrients 2021, 13(1), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13010054 - 27 Dec 2020
Cited by 82 | Viewed by 11180
Abstract
The use of dietary supplements (DSs) has been steadily increasing all over the world and additionally, the sales of DSs have dynamical increased in the wake of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in most of the countries. We investigated DSs phenomenon in 2020 through [...] Read more.
The use of dietary supplements (DSs) has been steadily increasing all over the world and additionally, the sales of DSs have dynamical increased in the wake of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in most of the countries. We investigated DSs phenomenon in 2020 through (1) exploration of Google searches worldwide and in Poland (with Google Trends (GT) tool), and (2) analyses of results of PLifeCOVID-19 Online Studies conducted during the first and second wave of the pandemic. The conducted GT analysis and cross-sectional studies revealed that during the COVID-19 outbreak in March 2020, the interest in immune-related compounds and foods like vitamins C and D, zinc, omega-3, garlic, ginger, or turmeric, as well as their consumption increased. Improving immunity was the main reason behind the supplementation and changes in consumption of pro-healthy foods. GT analysis has shown these interests were positively correlated with the interest in COVID-19, but adversely with cumulative cases or deaths. Respondents tended to start supplementation during the first COVID-19 wave rather than the second one. Except for the role of vitamins D and C, zinc, and selenium in patients with deficiencies of those nutrients, there are no clear and convincing studies that support the role of DSs use in COVID-19 prevention and treatment in healthy, well-nourished individuals. Moreover, as the risk of elevated intake of some nutrients due to the popularity of DSs exists, effective education of consumers in rationale use of DSs and health-protecting behaviors against COVID-19 should be developed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition within and beyond Corona Virus)
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Associations between Changes in Health Behaviours and Body Weight during the COVID-19 Quarantine in Lithuania: The Lithuanian COVIDiet Study
Nutrients 2020, 12(10), 3119; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12103119 - 13 Oct 2020
Cited by 125 | Viewed by 10686
Abstract
The COVID-19 quarantine has caused significant changes in everyday life. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of the quarantine on dietary, physical activity and alcohol consumption habits of Lithuanians and the association between health behaviours and weight changes. An online cross-sectional survey [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 quarantine has caused significant changes in everyday life. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of the quarantine on dietary, physical activity and alcohol consumption habits of Lithuanians and the association between health behaviours and weight changes. An online cross-sectional survey was carried out among individuals older than 18 years in April 2020. The self-administered questionnaire included health behaviour and weight change data. Altogether 2447 subjects participated in the survey. Almost half of the respondents (49.4%) ate more than usual, 45.1% increased snacking, and 62.1% cooked at home more often. Intake of carbonated or sugary drinks, fast food and commercial pastries decreased, while consumption of homemade pastries and fried food increased. A decrease in physical activity was reported by 60.6% of respondents. Every third (31.5%) respondent, more often those already with overweight, gained weight. Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that the higher odds of weight gain were associated with females, older age, increased consumption of sugary drinks, homemade pastries and fried food, eating more than usual, increased snacking, decreased physical activity and increased alcohol consumption. Our data highlighted the need for dietary and physical activity guidelines to prevent weight gain during the period of self-isolation, especially targeting those with overweight and obesity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition within and beyond Corona Virus)
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Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Food Security and Diet-Related Lifestyle Behaviors: An Analytical Study of Google Trends-Based Query Volumes
Nutrients 2020, 12(10), 3103; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12103103 - 12 Oct 2020
Cited by 52 | Viewed by 14382
Abstract
The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV)-2 disease (COVID)-19 is having profound effects on the global economy and food trade. Limited data are available on how this pandemic is affecting our dietary and lifestyle-related behaviors at the global level. Google Trends was used [...] Read more.
The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV)-2 disease (COVID)-19 is having profound effects on the global economy and food trade. Limited data are available on how this pandemic is affecting our dietary and lifestyle-related behaviors at the global level. Google Trends was used to obtain worldwide relative search volumes (RSVs) covering a timeframe from before the COVID-19 pandemic 1 June 2019 to 27 April 2020. Spearman’s rank-order correlation coefficients were used to measure relationships between daily confirmed cases and aforementioned RSVs between 31 December 2019 and 15 April 2020. RSV curves showed increased interest in multiple keywords related to dietary and lifestyle behaviors during the COVID-19 lockdown period in March and April 2020. Spearman’s correlation analysis showed that the strongest variables in each keyword category were (1) food security (food shortage: r = 0.749, food bank: r = 0.660, and free food: r = 0.555; all p < 0.001), (2) dietary behaviors (delivery: r = 0.780, restaurant: r = −0.731, take-away: r = 0.731, and food-delivery: r = 0.693; all p < 0.001), (3) outdoor-related behaviors (resort: r = −0.922, hotel: r = −0.913, cinema: r = −0.844, park: r = −0.827, fitness: r = −0.817, gym: r = −0.811; plant: r = 0.749, sunbathing: r = 0.668, and online: r = 0.670; all p < 0.001), and (4) immune-related nutrients/herbs/foods (vitamin C: r = 0.802, vitamin A: r = 0.780, zinc: r = 0.781, immune: r = 0.739, vitamin E: r = 0.707, garlic: r = 0.667, omega-3 fatty acid: r = −0.633, vitamin D: r = 0.549, and turmeric: r = 0.545; all p < 0.001). Restricted movement has affected peoples’ dietary and lifestyle behaviors as people tend to search for immune-boosting nutrients/herbs and have replaced outdoor activities with sedentary indoor behaviors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition within and beyond Corona Virus)
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Nutrition Behaviors in Polish Adults before and during COVID-19 Lockdown
Nutrients 2020, 12(10), 3084; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12103084 - 10 Oct 2020
Cited by 86 | Viewed by 9337
Abstract
Unexpected isolation, which has not yet been seen on a global scale, has created the conditions for evaluating nutrition in a situation of reduced spatial activity. The study aimed to assess the influence of lockdown on selected eating habits of Polish adults. An [...] Read more.
Unexpected isolation, which has not yet been seen on a global scale, has created the conditions for evaluating nutrition in a situation of reduced spatial activity. The study aimed to assess the influence of lockdown on selected eating habits of Polish adults. An anonymous questionnaire was conducted, including questions about eating habits and self-reported anthropometric measurements, referring to “before” and “during” lockdown. We reported the findings of 312 adults (aged 41.12 ± 13.05 years). Overall, 64.1% of the participants were women, 77.7% urban inhabitants and 78.6% employed. The average length of social isolation was 50.79 ± 10.53 days. The majority (51.6%) of the respondents did not eat outside the house during lockdown (p < 0.0001). The number of meals eaten during the day during lockdown increased significantly, 11.2% of the respondents ate 5 and more meals (p < 0.0001). The percentage of people snacking between meals increased by 5.1% during lockdown (p = 0.0001). Eggs, potatoes, sweets, canned meat and alcohol were consumed considerably more commonly during lockdown, while fast-food products, instant soups and energy drinks were eaten or drunk significantly less frequently. A marked decrease in the number of daily servings of the following products was observed: bakery products, red meat, fast food, instant soups, sweet beverages and energy drinks. Conversely, the number of daily servings of sweets and canned meat significantly increased. Two thirds of the respondents reported body weight changes, with 45.86% of the participants being overweight during lockdown. Significant changes in the diet of Polish adults were found during lockdown due to COVID-19. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition within and beyond Corona Virus)
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The Nutritional and Health Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Patients with Diabetes Mellitus
Nutrients 2020, 12(10), 3013; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12103013 - 30 Sep 2020
Cited by 32 | Viewed by 7092
Abstract
COVID-19 related restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus result in changes in daily routines and physical activity which can have a negative effect on eating and health habits. The aim of the study was to assess the impact of the [...] Read more.
COVID-19 related restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus result in changes in daily routines and physical activity which can have a negative effect on eating and health habits. The aim of the study was to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on patients with diabetes and their nutrition and health behaviours. A survey conducted in July 2020 included 124 individuals with type 1 (n = 90) and 2 (n = 34) diabetes mellitus from Poland. To assess nutritional and health behaviours, an online questionnaire covering basic information, anthropometric data, and details regarding physical activity, eating, and hygiene habits was used. Almost 40% of all respondents with type 1 and 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) stated that their disease self-management had significantly improved. Over 60% of all participants declared that they had started eating more nutritious and regular meals during the COVID-19 pandemic. Enhanced hygiene, in particular, during the period, a statistically significant increase in hand sanitiser use was reported by respondents (18% vs. 82%, p < 0.001). The study demonstrated that the pandemic had a significant impact on the behaviour of patients with DM. Improved disease self-management and making healthy, informed food and hygiene choices were observed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition within and beyond Corona Virus)
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Prevalence and Predictors of Emotional Eating among Healthy Young Saudi Women during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Nutrients 2020, 12(10), 2923; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12102923 - 24 Sep 2020
Cited by 77 | Viewed by 11483
Abstract
Emotional eating (EE) is prevalent among women and is associated with obesity. The coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and mandatory quarantine increased the risk of mental symptoms and, inferentially, emotional eating (EE). We investigated the EE prevalence and predictors during this pandemic. Overall, 638 [...] Read more.
Emotional eating (EE) is prevalent among women and is associated with obesity. The coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and mandatory quarantine increased the risk of mental symptoms and, inferentially, emotional eating (EE). We investigated the EE prevalence and predictors during this pandemic. Overall, 638 women, ages 18–39, completed an online survey incorporating the Emotional Eating Scale, Perceived Stress Scale, Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 Scale, Patient Health Questionnaire-9, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, and Global Physical Activity Questionnaire. We asked about nutrition and collected data on weight, height, and pandemic responses. Most respondents (47.2%) reported low EE; 40.4% were “moderate” and 12.4% “high” emotional eaters; 42.8% reported depression, 27% anxiety, 71% moderate stress, and 12.5% severe stress. The main EE indicators/predictors were fat intake (β = 0.192, p = 0.004), number of meals (β = 0.187, p < 0.001), sugar consumption (β = 0.150, p < 0.001), body mass index (β = 0.149, p < 0.001), stress (β = 0.143, p = 0.004), energy intake (β = 0.134, p = 0.04), and fast food intake frequency (β = 0.111, p < 0.01). EE score correlated negatively with increased family income (β = −0.081, p = 0.049). Higher stress correlated with worse sleep, less sleep, and less physical activity. Emotional eating is common among young Saudi women during the pandemic. We recommend healthy food choices and increased physical activity to improve sleep and mitigate stress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition within and beyond Corona Virus)
Article
Consumers’ Fears Regarding Food Availability and Purchasing Behaviors during the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Importance of Trust and Perceived Stress
Nutrients 2020, 12(9), 2852; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12092852 - 17 Sep 2020
Cited by 37 | Viewed by 7295
Abstract
The present study aimed to investigate whether trust in circulating information and perceived stress are predictors of consumers’ fear of limited access to food as well as predictors of food purchase behaviors during the COVID-19 pandemic. The computer-assisted web interviewing (CAWI) technique was [...] Read more.
The present study aimed to investigate whether trust in circulating information and perceived stress are predictors of consumers’ fear of limited access to food as well as predictors of food purchase behaviors during the COVID-19 pandemic. The computer-assisted web interviewing (CAWI) technique was used to collect data from 1033 Polish adults in March 2020. Logistic regression was used to estimate the likelihood of fear of limited access to food and the likelihood of purchase of larger amounts of food than usual. The likelihood of experiencing fear of limited access to food increased by 16% with higher perceived stress, by 50% with higher trust in “Mass media and friends”, and by 219% with perceived changes in food availability in the previous month. Trust in “Polish government institutions” decreased the chance of experiencing such fears by 22%. The likelihood of purchasing larger quantities of food than usual increased by 9% with higher perceived stress, by 46% with higher trust in “Mass media and friends”, by 81% with perceived changes in food availability in the last month, and by 130% with fears of limited access to food as the pandemic spreads. Government institutions may have difficulty in disseminating pandemic-related recommendations through media, not only due to relatively low trust people have in media organizations but also due to the increasing likelihood of the occurrence of both fears regarding food availability and panic-stricken food-buying behaviors with increase in trust in this source of information. Therefore, it is necessary to develop interventions that will reduce perceived stress and improve the trust in information from reputable sources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition within and beyond Corona Virus)
Article
Prevalence and Socio-Demographic Predictors of Food Insecurity in Australia during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Nutrients 2020, 12(9), 2682; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12092682 - 02 Sep 2020
Cited by 65 | Viewed by 10739
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated economic vulnerabilities and disrupted the Australian food supply, with potential implications for food insecurity. This study aims to describe the prevalence and socio-demographic associations of food insecurity in Tasmania, Australia, during the COVID-19 pandemic. A cross-sectional survey (deployed [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated economic vulnerabilities and disrupted the Australian food supply, with potential implications for food insecurity. This study aims to describe the prevalence and socio-demographic associations of food insecurity in Tasmania, Australia, during the COVID-19 pandemic. A cross-sectional survey (deployed late May to early June 2020) incorporated the U.S. Household Food Security Survey Module: Six-Item Short Form, and fifteen demographic and COVID-related income questions. Survey data (n = 1170) were analyzed using univariate and multivariate binary logistic regression. The prevalence of food insecurity was 26%. The adjusted odds of food insecurity were higher among respondents with a disability, from a rural area, and living with dependents. Increasing age, a university education, and income above $80,000/year were protective against food insecurity. Food insecurity more than doubled with a loss of household income above 25% (Adjusted Odds Ratio (AOR): 2.02; 95% CI: 1.11, 3.71; p = 0.022), and the odds further increased with loss of income above 75% (AOR: 7.14; 95% CI: 2.01, 24.83; p = 0.002). Our results suggest that the prevalence of food insecurity may have increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly among economically vulnerable households and people who lost income. Policies that support disadvantaged households and ensure adequate employment opportunities are important to support Australians throughout and post the COVID-19 pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition within and beyond Corona Virus)
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Population-Based Study of the Changes in the Food Choice Determinants of Secondary School Students: Polish Adolescents’ COVID-19 Experience (PLACE-19) Study
Nutrients 2020, 12(9), 2640; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12092640 - 30 Aug 2020
Cited by 42 | Viewed by 6974
Abstract
During the outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and the lockdown, various changes of dietary habits are observed, including both positive and negative ones. However, the food choice determinants in this period were not studied so far for children and adolescents. The [...] Read more.
During the outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and the lockdown, various changes of dietary habits are observed, including both positive and negative ones. However, the food choice determinants in this period were not studied so far for children and adolescents. The study aimed to analyze the changes in the food choice determinants of secondary school students in a national sample of Polish adolescents within the Polish Adolescents’ COVID-19 Experience (PLACE-19) Study population. The study was conducted in May 2020, based on the random quota sampling of schools (for voivodeships and counties) and a number of 2448 students from all the regions of Poland participated. The Food Choice Questionnaire (FCQ) (36 items) was applied twice—to analyze separately current choices (during the period of COVID-19 pandemic) and general choices (when there was no COVID-19 pandemic). For both the period before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, sensory appeal and price were indicated as the most important factors (with the highest scores). However, differences were observed between the scores of specific factors, while health (p < 0.0001) and weight control (p < 0.0001) were declared as more important during the period of COVID-19 pandemic, compared with the period before, but mood (p < 0.0001) and sensory appeal (p < 0.0001) as less important. The observations were confirmed for sub-groups, while female and male respondents were analyzed separately. It can be concluded that the COVID-19 pandemic may have changed the food choice determinants of Polish adolescents, as it may have increased the importance of health and weight control, but reduced the role of mood and sensory appeal. This may be interpreted as positive changes promoting the uptake of a better diet than in the period before the pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition within and beyond Corona Virus)
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Vitamin D Insufficiency and Deficiency and Mortality from Respiratory Diseases in a Cohort of Older Adults: Potential for Limiting the Death Toll during and beyond the COVID-19 Pandemic?
Nutrients 2020, 12(8), 2488; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12082488 - 18 Aug 2020
Cited by 32 | Viewed by 26830
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic goes along with increased mortality from acute respiratory disease. It has been suggested that vitamin D3 supplementation might help to reduce respiratory disease mortality. We assessed the prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency, defined by 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic goes along with increased mortality from acute respiratory disease. It has been suggested that vitamin D3 supplementation might help to reduce respiratory disease mortality. We assessed the prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency, defined by 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) blood levels of 30–50 and <30 nmol/L, respectively, and their association with mortality from respiratory diseases during 15 years of follow-up in a cohort of 9548 adults aged 50–75 years from Saarland, Germany. Vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency were common (44% and 15%, respectively). Compared to those with sufficient vitamin D status, participants with vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency had strongly increased respiratory mortality, with adjusted hazard ratios (95% confidence intervals) of 2.1 (1.3–3.2) and 3.0 (1.8–5.2) overall, 4.3 (1.3–14.4) and 8.5 (2.4–30.1) among women, and 1.9 (1.1–3.2) and 2.3 (1.1–4.4) among men. Overall, 41% (95% confidence interval: 20–58%) of respiratory disease mortality was statistically attributable to vitamin D insufficiency or deficiency. Vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency are common and account for a large proportion of respiratory disease mortality in older adults, supporting the hypothesis that vitamin D3 supplementation could be helpful to limit the burden of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly among women. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition within and beyond Corona Virus)
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The Impact of COVID-19 on Health Behavior, Stress, Financial and Food Security among Middle to High Income Canadian Families with Young Children
Nutrients 2020, 12(8), 2352; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12082352 - 07 Aug 2020
Cited by 251 | Viewed by 31438
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted many aspects of daily life. The purpose of this study was to identify how health behaviors, level of stress, financial and food security have been impacted by the pandemic among Canadian families with young children. Parents (mothers, n [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted many aspects of daily life. The purpose of this study was to identify how health behaviors, level of stress, financial and food security have been impacted by the pandemic among Canadian families with young children. Parents (mothers, n = 235 and fathers, n = 126) from 254 families participating in an ongoing study completed an online survey that included close and open-ended questions. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize the quantitative data and qualitative responses were analyzed using thematic analysis. More than half of our sample reported that their eating and meal routines have changed since COVID-19; most commonly reported changes were eating more snack foods and spending more time cooking. Screen time increased among 74% of mothers, 61% of fathers, and 87% of children and physical activity decreased among 59% of mothers, 52% of fathers, and 52% of children. Key factors influencing family stress include balancing work with childcare/homeschooling and financial instability. While some unhealthful behaviors appeared to have been exacerbated, other more healthful behaviors also emerged since COVID-19. Research is needed to determine the longer-term impact of the pandemic on behaviors and to identify effective strategies to support families in the post-COVID-19 context. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition within and beyond Corona Virus)
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Dietary and Lifestyle Changes During COVID-19 and the Subsequent Lockdowns among Polish Adults: A Cross-Sectional Online Survey PLifeCOVID-19 Study
Nutrients 2020, 12(8), 2324; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12082324 - 03 Aug 2020
Cited by 204 | Viewed by 22210
Abstract
The present study aimed to identify patterns of dietary changes during the COVID-19 pandemic and their associations with sociodemographics, body mass index (BMI) before pandemic, and lifestyle changes in Polish adults and to examine the effects of lockdowns on dietary–lifestyle changes. This study [...] Read more.
The present study aimed to identify patterns of dietary changes during the COVID-19 pandemic and their associations with sociodemographics, body mass index (BMI) before pandemic, and lifestyle changes in Polish adults and to examine the effects of lockdowns on dietary–lifestyle changes. This study used a cross-sectional online survey to collect data. The k-means algorithm was used to determine of patterns of dietary changes, and logistic regression analyses were performed. During the study period, 43% of respondents decreased physical activity (PA), 49%—increased screen time, and 34%—increased food consumption. Among the three dietary changes patterns, two opposite patterns were found: Prohealthy (28% participants) and Unhealthy (19% participants).The adherence to the Prohealthy pattern was negatively associated with age, but positively with being overweight (aOR 1.31) or obese before pandemic (aOR 1.64). Residing in a macroeconomic region with GDP > 100% decreased adherence to the Prohealthy (aOR 0.73) but increased adherence to the Unhealthy pattern (aOR 1.47). Adults over 40 years old, those living with children, unemployed, those living in a region with a higher GDP, and those not consuming homemade meals could be more exposed to unhealthy behaviors. From a public health perspective, enhancing the message “to be active” during the compulsory isolation period should be prioritized. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition within and beyond Corona Virus)
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Changes of Physical Activity and Ultra-Processed Food Consumption in Adolescents from Different Countries during Covid-19 Pandemic: An Observational Study
Nutrients 2020, 12(8), 2289; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12082289 - 30 Jul 2020
Cited by 125 | Viewed by 21154
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Aim: to describe physical activity and ultra-processed foods consumption, their changes and sociodemographic predictors among adolescents from countries in Europe (Italy and Spain) and Latin America (Brazil, Chile, and Colombia) during the SARS-CoV-2-pandemic period. Methods: Cross-sectional study via web survey. International Physical Activity [...] Read more.
Aim: to describe physical activity and ultra-processed foods consumption, their changes and sociodemographic predictors among adolescents from countries in Europe (Italy and Spain) and Latin America (Brazil, Chile, and Colombia) during the SARS-CoV-2-pandemic period. Methods: Cross-sectional study via web survey. International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) and weekly ultra-processed food consumption data were used. To compare the frequencies of physical activity status with sociodemographic variables, a multinomial logistic and a multiple logistic regression for habitual ultra-processed foods was performed. In final models, p < 0.05 was considered significant. Results: Sample of 726 adolescents, mostly females (59.6%) aged 16–19 years old (54.3%). Adolescents from Latin America presented odds ratio (OR) 2.98 (CI 95% 1.80–4.94) of being inactive and those whose mothers had higher level of education were less active during lockdown [OR 0.40 (CI 95% 0.20–0.84)]. The habitual ultra-processed consumption was also high during this period in all countries, and more prevalent in Latin America. Conclusion: A higher prevalence of inactivity was observed in this population, but reductions of physical activity and habitual ultra-processed consumption during the pandemic were more pronounced in Latin America. Our findings reinforce the importance of promoting a healthy lifestyle, i.e., exercise and diet, during periods of social isolation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition within and beyond Corona Virus)
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Psychological Aspects and Eating Habits during COVID-19 Home Confinement: Results of EHLC-COVID-19 Italian Online Survey
Nutrients 2020, 12(7), 2152; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12072152 - 19 Jul 2020
Cited by 192 | Viewed by 23828
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on the population with consequences on lifestyles. The aim of the study was to analyse the relationship between eating habits, mental and emotional mood. A survey was conducted online during social isolation, from 24 April [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on the population with consequences on lifestyles. The aim of the study was to analyse the relationship between eating habits, mental and emotional mood. A survey was conducted online during social isolation, from 24 April to 18 May 2020, among the Italian population. A total of 602 interviewees were included in the data analysis. A high percentage of respondents experienced a depressed mood, anxious feelings, hypochondria and insomnia (61.3%, 70.4%, 46.2% and 52.2%). Almost half of the respondents felt anxious due to the fact of their eating habits, consumed comfort food and were inclined to increase food intake to feel better. Age was inversely related to dietary control (OR = 0.971, p = 0.005). Females were more anxious and disposed to comfort food than males (p < 0.001; p < 0.001). A strength of our study was represented by the fact that the survey was conducted quickly during the most critical period of the Italian epidemic lockdown. As the COVID-19 pandemic is still ongoing, our data need to be confirmed and investigated in the future with larger population studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition within and beyond Corona Virus)
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The Early Food Insecurity Impacts of COVID-19
Nutrients 2020, 12(7), 2096; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12072096 - 15 Jul 2020
Cited by 234 | Viewed by 26415
Abstract
COVID-19 has disrupted food access and impacted food insecurity, which is associated with numerous adverse individual and public health outcomes. To assess these challenges and understand their impact on food security, we conducted a statewide population-level survey using a convenience sample in Vermont [...] Read more.
COVID-19 has disrupted food access and impacted food insecurity, which is associated with numerous adverse individual and public health outcomes. To assess these challenges and understand their impact on food security, we conducted a statewide population-level survey using a convenience sample in Vermont from 29 March to 12 April 2020, during the beginning of a statewide stay-at-home order. We utilized the United States Department of Agriculture six-item validated food security module to measure food insecurity before COVID-19 and since COVID-19. We assessed food insecurity prevalence and reported food access challenges, coping strategies, and perceived helpful interventions among food secure, consistently food insecure (pre-and post-COVID-19), and newly food insecure (post COVID-19) respondents. Among 3219 respondents, there was nearly a one-third increase (32.3%) in household food insecurity since COVID-19 (p < 0.001), with 35.5% of food insecure households classified as newly food insecure. Respondents experiencing a job loss were at higher odds of experiencing food insecurity (OR 3.06; 95% CI, 2.114–0.46). We report multiple physical and economic barriers, as well as concerns related to food access during COVID-19. Respondents experiencing household food insecurity had higher odds of facing access challenges and utilizing coping strategies, including two-thirds of households eating less since COVID-19 (p < 0.001). Significant differences in coping strategies were documented between respondents in newly food insecure vs. consistently insecure households. These findings have important potential impacts on individual health, including mental health and malnutrition, as well as on future healthcare costs. We suggest proactive strategies to address food insecurity during this crisis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition within and beyond Corona Virus)
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Covid-19 Confinement and Changes of Adolescent’s Dietary Trends in Italy, Spain, Chile, Colombia and Brazil
Nutrients 2020, 12(6), 1807; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061807 - 17 Jun 2020
Cited by 252 | Viewed by 30546
Abstract
Confinement due to the COVID-19 pandemic can influence dietary profiles, especially those of adolescents, who are highly susceptible to acquiring bad eating habits. Adolescents’ poor dietary habits increase their subsequent risk of degenerative diseases such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular pathologies, etc. Our aim [...] Read more.
Confinement due to the COVID-19 pandemic can influence dietary profiles, especially those of adolescents, who are highly susceptible to acquiring bad eating habits. Adolescents’ poor dietary habits increase their subsequent risk of degenerative diseases such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular pathologies, etc. Our aim was to study nutritional modifications during COVID-19 confinement in adolescents aged 10 to 19 years, compare them with their usual diet and dietary guidelines, and identify variables that may have influenced changes. Data were collected by an anonymous online questionnaire on food intake among 820 adolescents from Spain, Italy, Brazil, Colombia, and Chile. The results show that COVID-19 confinement did influence their dietary habits. In particular, we recorded modified consumption of fried food, sweet food, legumes, vegetables, and fruits. Moreover, gender, family members at home, watching TV during mealtime, country of residence, and maternal education were diversely correlated with adequate nutrition during COVID-19 confinement. Understanding the adolescents’ nutrition behavior during COVID-19 lockdown will help public health authorities reshape future policies on their nutritional recommendations, in preparation for future pandemics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition within and beyond Corona Virus)
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Article
Dietary Choices and Habits during COVID-19 Lockdown: Experience from Poland
Nutrients 2020, 12(6), 1657; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061657 - 03 Jun 2020
Cited by 546 | Viewed by 37267
Abstract
The outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in late December 2019 in China, which later developed into a pandemic, has forced different countries to implement strict sanitary regimes and social distancing measures. Globally, at least four billion people were under lockdown, working remotely, homeschooling [...] Read more.
The outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in late December 2019 in China, which later developed into a pandemic, has forced different countries to implement strict sanitary regimes and social distancing measures. Globally, at least four billion people were under lockdown, working remotely, homeschooling children, and facing challenges coping with quarantine and the stressful events. The present cross-sectional online survey of adult Poles (n = 1097), conducted during a nationwide quarantine, aimed to assess whether nutritional and consumer habits have been affected under these conditions. Over 43.0% and nearly 52% reported eating and snacking more, respectively, and these tendencies were more frequent in overweight and obese individuals. Almost 30% and over 18% experienced weight gain (mean ± SD 3.0 ± 1.6 kg) and loss (−2.9 ± 1.5 kg), respectively. Overweight, obese, and older subjects (aged 36–45 and >45) tended to gain weight more frequently, whereas those with underweight tended to lose it further. Increased BMI was associated with less frequent consumption of vegetables, fruit, and legumes during quarantine, and higher adherence to meat, dairy, and fast-foods. An increase in alcohol consumption was seen in 14.6%, with a higher tendency to drink more found among alcohol addicts. Over 45% of smokers experienced a rise in smoking frequency during the quarantine. The study highlights that lockdown imposed to contain an infectious agent may affect eating behaviors and dietary habits, and advocates for organized nutritional support during future epidemic-related quarantines, particularly for the most vulnerable groups, including overweight and obese subjects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition within and beyond Corona Virus)
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Review

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Review
Can Lactoferrin, a Natural Mammalian Milk Protein, Assist in the Battle against COVID-19?
Nutrients 2022, 14(24), 5274; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14245274 - 10 Dec 2022
Viewed by 1406
Abstract
Notwithstanding mass vaccination against specific SARS-CoV-2 variants, there is still a demand for complementary nutritional intervention strategies to fight COVID-19. The bovine milk protein lactoferrin (LF) has attracted interest of nutraceutical, food and dairy industries for its numerous properties—ranging from anti-viral and anti-microbial [...] Read more.
Notwithstanding mass vaccination against specific SARS-CoV-2 variants, there is still a demand for complementary nutritional intervention strategies to fight COVID-19. The bovine milk protein lactoferrin (LF) has attracted interest of nutraceutical, food and dairy industries for its numerous properties—ranging from anti-viral and anti-microbial to immunological—making it a potential functional ingredient in a wide variety of food applications to maintain health. Importantly, bovine LF was found to exert anti-viral activities against several types of viruses, including certain SARS-CoV-2 variants. LF’s potential effect on COVID-19 patients has seen a rapid increase of in vitro and in vivo studies published, resulting in a model on how LF might play a role during different phases of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Aim of this narrative review is two-fold: (1) to highlight the most relevant findings concerning LF’s anti-viral, anti-microbial, iron-binding, immunomodulatory, microbiota-modulatory and intestinal barrier properties that support health of the two most affected organs in COVID-19 patients (lungs and gut), and (2) to explore the possible underlying mechanisms governing its mode of action. Thanks to its potential effects on health, bovine LF can be considered a good candidate for nutritional interventions counteracting SARS-CoV-2 infection and related COVID-19 pathogenesis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition within and beyond Corona Virus)
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Review
l-Arginine and COVID-19: An Update
Nutrients 2021, 13(11), 3951; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13113951 - 05 Nov 2021
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 5954
Abstract
l-Arginine is involved in many different biological processes and recent reports indicate that it could also play a crucial role in the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Herein, we present an updated systematic [...] Read more.
l-Arginine is involved in many different biological processes and recent reports indicate that it could also play a crucial role in the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Herein, we present an updated systematic overview of the current evidence on the functional contribution of L-Arginine in COVID-19, describing its actions on endothelial cells and the immune system and discussing its potential as a therapeutic tool, emerged from recent clinical experimentations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition within and beyond Corona Virus)
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Review
A Multidisciplinary Perspective of Ultra-Processed Foods and Associated Food Processing Technologies: A View of the Sustainable Road Ahead
Nutrients 2021, 13(11), 3948; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13113948 - 05 Nov 2021
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 3528
Abstract
Ultra-processed foods (UPFs) are negatively perceived by part of the scientific community, the public, and policymakers alike, to the extent they are sometimes referred to as not “real food”. Many observational surveys have linked consumption of UPFs to adverse health outcomes. This narrative [...] Read more.
Ultra-processed foods (UPFs) are negatively perceived by part of the scientific community, the public, and policymakers alike, to the extent they are sometimes referred to as not “real food”. Many observational surveys have linked consumption of UPFs to adverse health outcomes. This narrative synthesis and scientific reappraisal of available evidence aims to: (i) critically evaluate UPF-related scientific literature on diet and disease and identify possible research gaps or biases in the interpretation of data; (ii) emphasize the innovative potential of various processing technologies that can lead to modifications of the food matrix with beneficial health effects; (iii) highlight the possible links between processing, sustainability and circular economy through the valorisation of by-products; and (iv) delineate the conceptual parameters of new paradigms in food evaluation and classification systems. Although greater consumption of UPFs has been associated with obesity, unfavorable cardiometabolic risk factor profiles, and increased risk for non-communicable diseases, whether specific food processing techniques leading to ultra-processed formulations are responsible for the observed links between UPFs and various health outcomes remains elusive and far from being understood. Evolving technologies can be used in the context of sustainable valorisation of food processing by-products to create novel, low-cost UPFs with improved nutritional value and health potential. New paradigms of food evaluation and assessment should be funded and developed on several novel pillars—enginomics, signalling, and precision nutrition—taking advantage of available digital technologies and artificial intelligence. Research is needed to generate required scientific knowledge to either expand the current or create new food evaluation and classification systems, incorporating processing aspects that may have a significant impact on health and wellness, together with factors related to the personalization of foods and diets, while not neglecting recycling and sustainability aspects. The complexity and the predicted immense size of these tasks calls for open innovation mentality and a new mindset promoting multidisciplinary collaborations and partnerships between academia and industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition within and beyond Corona Virus)
Review
Joint Effort towards Preventing Nutritional Deficiencies at the Extremes of Life during COVID-19
Nutrients 2021, 13(5), 1616; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13051616 - 12 May 2021
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 3249
Abstract
The COVID-19 (Coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic is posing a threat to communities and healthcare systems worldwide. Malnutrition, in all its forms, may negatively impact the susceptibility and severity of SARS-CoV-2 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2) infection in both children and older adults. [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 (Coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic is posing a threat to communities and healthcare systems worldwide. Malnutrition, in all its forms, may negatively impact the susceptibility and severity of SARS-CoV-2 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2) infection in both children and older adults. Both undernutrition and obesity have been evoked as conditions associated with a higher susceptibility to the infection and poor prognosis. In turn, the COVID-19 infection may worsen the nutritional status through highly catabolic conditions, exposing individuals to the risk of malnutrition, muscle wasting, and nutritional deficiencies. Accordingly, the relationship between malnutrition and COVID-19 is likely to be bidirectional. Furthermore, the modification of nutritional behaviors and physical activity, required to limit the spread of the virus, are posing a challenge to health at both the extremes of life. Thus far, even the most advanced healthcare systems have failed to address the alarming consequences of malnutrition posed by this pandemic. If not properly addressed, we may run the risk that new and old generations will experience the consequences of COVID-19 related malnutrition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition within and beyond Corona Virus)
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Review
Micronutrients Deficiency, Supplementation and Novel Coronavirus Infections—A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Nutrients 2021, 13(5), 1589; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13051589 - 10 May 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 9472
Abstract
Background: Micronutrients play roles in strengthening and maintaining immune function, but their supplementation and/or deficiency effects on respiratory tract infections are inconclusive. This review aims to systematically assess the associations between micronutrient supplementation or deficiency, with novel coronavirus incidence and disease severity. Methods: [...] Read more.
Background: Micronutrients play roles in strengthening and maintaining immune function, but their supplementation and/or deficiency effects on respiratory tract infections are inconclusive. This review aims to systematically assess the associations between micronutrient supplementation or deficiency, with novel coronavirus incidence and disease severity. Methods: Systematic literature searches conducted in five electronic databases identified 751 unique studies, of which 33 studies (five supplementation studies, one supplementation and deficiency study, and 27 deficiency studies) were eventually included in this review. Proportions of incidence and severity outcomes in each group, and adjusted summary statistics with their relevant 95% confidence intervaIs (CI) were extracted. Data from 19 studies were pooled in meta-analysis using the generic inverse variance method. Findings: A total of 360,346 patients across 16 countries, with a mean age between 32 and 87.7 years, were involved across 33 studies. All studies were on COVID-19 infections. In individuals without micronutrient deficiency, there was a significant reduction on odds of COVID-19 incidence (pooled OR: 0.37, 95% CI: 0.18, 0.78), and ICU admissions or severe/critical disease onset when combined as a severity outcome (pooled OR: 0.26, 95% CI: 0.08, 0.89). Insignificant protective effects were observed on other outcome measures, namely mortality, ICU admission, progression to respiratory-related complications, severe/critical disease onset or requiring respiratory support and hospitalization rate. Conclusion: The absence of micronutrient deficiency significantly reduced COVID-19 incidence and clinical deterioration in hospitalized patients. Usage of micronutrients as prophylaxis and complementary supplement in therapeutic management of COVID-19 patients may be a promising and cost-effective approach warranting in-depth investigation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition within and beyond Corona Virus)
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Review
Emergent Drug and Nutrition Interactions in COVID-19: A Comprehensive Narrative Review
Nutrients 2021, 13(5), 1550; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13051550 - 04 May 2021
Cited by 23 | Viewed by 5310
Abstract
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are known to cause respiratory tract infections ranging from colds to more severe diseases, such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). New Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), which led [...] Read more.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are known to cause respiratory tract infections ranging from colds to more severe diseases, such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). New Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), which led to deaths as well as social and economic disruptions, is an ongoing worldwide pandemic caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Currently, there is no approved treatment for COVID-19. Hence, only supportive care has been approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) for now. Pharmacological agents used for the adjunctive treatment of COVID-19 following the current literature and clinical experiences include antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and anti-malaria drugs, and other traditional or untraditional treatments. However, it has been reported that the use of these drugs may have some negative effects and comorbidities. Moreover, the current data have indicated that the risk of drug-drug interactions may also be high in polypharmacy cases, especially in elderly people, some comorbidity situations, and intensive care unit (ICU) patients. It is highly possible that these situations can not only increase the risk of drug-drug interactions but also increase the risk of food/nutrition-drug interactions and affect the nutritional status. However, this issue has not yet been entirely discussed in the literature. In this review, current information on the possible mechanisms as well as pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic effects of some pharmacological agents used in the treatment of COVID-19 and/or their secondary interactions with nutrition were evaluated and some future directions were given. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition within and beyond Corona Virus)
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Review
Vitamin C in the Treatment of COVID-19
Nutrients 2021, 13(4), 1172; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13041172 - 01 Apr 2021
Cited by 39 | Viewed by 10165
Abstract
Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that serves as antioxidant and plays a major role as co-factor and modulator of various pathways of the immune system. Its therapeutic effect during infections has been a matter of debate, with conflicting results in studies of [...] Read more.
Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that serves as antioxidant and plays a major role as co-factor and modulator of various pathways of the immune system. Its therapeutic effect during infections has been a matter of debate, with conflicting results in studies of respiratory infections and in critically ill patients. This comprehensive review aimed to summarize the current evidence regarding the use of vitamin C in the prevention or treatment of patients with SARS-CoV2 infection, based on available publications between January 2020 and February 2021. Overall, 21 publications were included in this review, consisting of case-reports and case-series, observational studies, and some clinical trials. In many of the publications, data were incomplete, and in most clinical trials the results are still pending. No studies regarding prevention of COVID-19 with vitamin C supplementation were found. Although some clinical observations reported improved medical condition of patients with COVID-19 treated with vitamin C, available data from controlled studies are scarce and inconclusive. Based on the theoretical background presented in this article, and some preliminary encouraging studies, the role of vitamin C in the treatment of patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection should be further investigated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition within and beyond Corona Virus)
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Review
COVID-19: Role of Nutrition and Supplementation
Nutrients 2021, 13(3), 976; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13030976 - 17 Mar 2021
Cited by 43 | Viewed by 11799
Abstract
At the end of 2019, a new coronavirus (COVID-19) appeared on the world scene, which mainly affects the respiratory system, causing pneumonia and multi-organ failure, and, although it starts with common symptoms such as shortness of breath and fever, in about 2–3% of [...] Read more.
At the end of 2019, a new coronavirus (COVID-19) appeared on the world scene, which mainly affects the respiratory system, causing pneumonia and multi-organ failure, and, although it starts with common symptoms such as shortness of breath and fever, in about 2–3% of cases it leads to death. Unfortunately, to date, no specific treatments have been found for the cure of this virus and, therefore, it is advisable to implement all possible strategies in order to prevent infection. In this context, it is important to better define the role of all behaviors, in particular nutrition, in order to establish whether these can both prevent infection and improve the outcome of the disease in patients with COVID-19. In the literature, it is widely shown that states of malnutrition, overweight, and obesity negatively affect the immune system, leading to viral infections, and several studies have shown that nutritional interventions can act as immunostimulators, helping to prevent viral infections. Even if several measures, such as the assumption of a specific diet regimen, the use of dietary supplements, and other similar interventions, are promising for the prevention, management, and recovery of COVID-19 patients, it is important to highlight that strong data from randomized clinical trials are needed to support any such assumption. Considering this particular scenario, we present a literature review addressing several important aspects related to diet and SARS-CoV-2 infection, in order to highlight the importance of diet and supplementation in prevention and management of, as well as recovery from COVID-19. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition within and beyond Corona Virus)
Review
Harnessing SmartPhones to Personalize Nutrition in a Time of Global Pandemic
Nutrients 2021, 13(2), 422; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13020422 - 28 Jan 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3171
Abstract
The soar in COVID-19 cases around the globe has forced many to adapt to social distancing and self-isolation. In order to reduce contact with healthcare facilities and other patients, the CDC has advocated the use of telemedicine, i.e., electronic information and telecommunication technology. [...] Read more.
The soar in COVID-19 cases around the globe has forced many to adapt to social distancing and self-isolation. In order to reduce contact with healthcare facilities and other patients, the CDC has advocated the use of telemedicine, i.e., electronic information and telecommunication technology. While these changes may disrupt normal behaviors and routines and induce anxiety, resulting in decreased vigilance to healthy diet and physical activity and reluctance to seek medical attention, they may just as well be circumvented using modern technology. Indeed, as the beginning of the pandemic a plethora of alternatives to conventional physical interactions were introduced. In this Perspective, we portray the role of SmartPhone applications (apps) in monitoring healthy nutrition, from their basic functionality as food diaries required for simple decision-making and nutritional interventions, through more advanced purposes, such as multi-dimensional data-mining and development of machine learning algorithms. Finally, we will delineate the emerging field of personalized nutrition and introduce pioneering technologies and concepts yet to be incorporated in SmartPhone-based dietary surveillance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition within and beyond Corona Virus)
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Review
COVID-19 Pandemic Is a Call to Search for Alternative Protein Sources as Food and Feed: A Review of Possibilities
Nutrients 2021, 13(1), 150; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13010150 - 05 Jan 2021
Cited by 30 | Viewed by 7283
Abstract
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is a global health challenge with substantial adverse effects on the world economy. It is beyond any doubt that it is, again, a call-to-action to minimize the risk of future zoonoses caused by emerging human pathogens. The [...] Read more.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is a global health challenge with substantial adverse effects on the world economy. It is beyond any doubt that it is, again, a call-to-action to minimize the risk of future zoonoses caused by emerging human pathogens. The primary response to contain zoonotic diseases is to call for more strict regulations on wildlife trade and hunting. This is because the origins of coronaviruses such as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), SARS-CoV, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), as well as other viral pathogens (e.g., Ebola, HIV) are traceable to wild animals. Although COVID-19 is not related to livestock animals, the pandemic increased general attention given to zoonotic viral infections—the risk of which can also be associated with livestock. Therefore, this paper discusses the potential transformation of industrial livestock farming and the production of animal products, particularly meat, to decrease the risks for transmission of novel human pathogens. Plant-based diets have a number of advantages, but it is unrealistic to consider them as the only solution offered to the problem. Therefore, a search for alternative protein sources in insect-based foods and cultured meat, important technologies enabling safer meat production. Although both of these strategies offer a number of potential advantages, they are also subject to the number of challenges that are discussed in this paper. Importantly, insect-based foods and cultured meat can provide additional benefits in the context of ecological footprint, an aspect important in light of predicted climate changes. Furthermore, cultured meat can be regarded as ethically superior and supports better food security. There is a need to further support the implementation and expansion of all three approaches discussed in this paper, plant-based diets, insect-based foods, and cultured meat, to decrease the epidemiological risks and ensure a sustainable future. Furthermore, cultured meat also offers a number of additional benefits in the context of environmental impact, ethical issues, and food security. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition within and beyond Corona Virus)
Review
Alteration, Reduction and Taste Loss: Main Causes and Potential Implications on Dietary Habits
Nutrients 2020, 12(11), 3284; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12113284 - 27 Oct 2020
Cited by 37 | Viewed by 6791
Abstract
Our sense of taste arises from the sensory information generated after compounds in the oral cavity and oropharynx activate taste receptor cells situated on taste buds. This produces the perception of sweet, bitter, salty, sour, or umami stimuli, depending on the chemical nature [...] Read more.
Our sense of taste arises from the sensory information generated after compounds in the oral cavity and oropharynx activate taste receptor cells situated on taste buds. This produces the perception of sweet, bitter, salty, sour, or umami stimuli, depending on the chemical nature of the tastant. Taste impairments (dysgeusia) are alterations of this normal gustatory functioning that may result in complete taste losses (ageusia), partial reductions (hypogeusia), or over-acuteness of the sense of taste (hypergeusia). Taste impairments are not life-threatening conditions, but they can cause sufficient discomfort and lead to appetite loss and changes in eating habits, with possible effects on health. Determinants of such alterations are multiple and consist of both genetic and environmental factors, including aging, exposure to chemicals, drugs, trauma, high alcohol consumption, cigarette smoking, poor oral health, malnutrition, and viral upper respiratory infections including influenza. Disturbances or loss of smell, taste, and chemesthesis have also emerged as predominant neurological symptoms of infection by the recent Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus strain 2 (SARS-CoV-2), as well as by previous both endemic and pandemic coronaviruses such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and SARS-CoV. This review is focused on the main causes of alteration, reduction, and loss of taste and their potential repercussion on dietary habits and health, with a special focus on the recently developed hypotheses regarding the mechanisms through which SARS-CoV-2 might alter taste perception. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition within and beyond Corona Virus)
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Review
Antiviral Functional Foods and Exercise Lifestyle Prevention of Coronavirus
Nutrients 2020, 12(9), 2633; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12092633 - 28 Aug 2020
Cited by 62 | Viewed by 31359
Abstract
Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is causing global mortality and lockdown burdens. A compromised immune system is a known risk factor for all viral influenza infections. Functional foods optimize the immune system capacity to prevent and control pathogenic viral infections, while physical activity augments such [...] Read more.
Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is causing global mortality and lockdown burdens. A compromised immune system is a known risk factor for all viral influenza infections. Functional foods optimize the immune system capacity to prevent and control pathogenic viral infections, while physical activity augments such protective benefits. Exercise enhances innate and adaptive immune systems through acute, transient, and long-term adaptations to physical activity in a dose-response relationship. Functional foods prevention of non-communicable disease can be translated into protecting against respiratory viral infections and COVID-19. Functional foods and nutraceuticals within popular diets contain immune-boosting nutraceuticals, polyphenols, terpenoids, flavonoids, alkaloids, sterols, pigments, unsaturated fatty-acids, micronutrient vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, B6, B12, C, D, E, and folate, and trace elements, including zinc, iron, selenium, magnesium, and copper. Foods with antiviral properties include fruits, vegetables, fermented foods and probiotics, olive oil, fish, nuts and seeds, herbs, roots, fungi, amino acids, peptides, and cyclotides. Regular moderate exercise may contribute to reduce viral risk and enhance sleep quality during quarantine, in combination with appropriate dietary habits and functional foods. Lifestyle and appropriate nutrition with functional compounds may offer further antiviral approaches for public health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition within and beyond Corona Virus)
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Brief Report
The Influence of SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic on the Diagnosis of Celiac Disease and Clinical Practice in Pediatric Gastroenterology
Nutrients 2023, 15(3), 559; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu15030559 - 21 Jan 2023
Viewed by 517
Abstract
Celiac disease (CD) has a high prevalence but remains largely underdiagnosed. Although extensive studies have confirmed that children with CD do not have an increased risk of severe COVID-19, public health regulations associated with the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic may have exacerbated this problem. The [...] Read more.
Celiac disease (CD) has a high prevalence but remains largely underdiagnosed. Although extensive studies have confirmed that children with CD do not have an increased risk of severe COVID-19, public health regulations associated with the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic may have exacerbated this problem. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of SARS-CoV-2 on the number of new-onset CD cases. Additionally, the role of SARS-CoV-2 in autoimmune diseases and its influence on clinical practice in pediatric gastroenterology were briefly reviewed. We described the data from the hospital electronic registry of new-onset CD, during the COVID-19 pandemic and 2 years before. A total of 423 children were diagnosed with CD between March 2018 and February 2022: 228 in the 2-year pre-COVID-19 period and 195 during the pandemic. The number of patients during the COVID-19 pandemic was 14.5% lower than in the previous years. The quarterly comparison of CD diagnoses showed a reduction in all quarters. A reduction in diagnoses during the lockdown and in the following months was evident and not compensated thereafter. This is the first study to evaluate the impact of SARS-CoV-2 on the diagnosis of CD in children. Further studies are necessary to improve the system of biopsy-sparing diagnosis and to evaluate the effect of the diagnostic delay. Special attention should be given to the implementation of telemedicine services. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition within and beyond Corona Virus)
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