Keeping a Balance During the Pandemic: a Narrative Review on the Important Role of Micronutrients in Preventing Infection and Reducing Complications of COVID-19
Current Nutrition Reports 05 May 2021 https://doi.org/10.1007/s13668-021-00356-2
Nathan Ushmantha Pinnawala, Tinna Osk Thrastardottir & Constantina Constantinou
Table of Contents
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Purpose of Review
The SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) outbreak has manifested into a major public health concern across the globe, affecting particularly the most vulnerable population groups. Currently, there are various clinical trials being conducted to develop effective treatments. It is estimated that it could take one or more years before these drugs pass all safety tests and concrete results with regard to their effectiveness become available. In addition, despite the recent development of vaccines (licensed for use under conditional licenses) and the commencement of COVID-19 vaccination programs in several countries, there is still a need for safe and novel strategies that may reduce the symptomatology and/or prevent the severe complications associated with COVID-19. Natural compounds previously shown to have antiviral potential should be thoroughly considered and investigated for use in prophylactic treatment of COVID-19 due to their availability and safety.
The current narrative review investigates whether there is evidence in the literature that supplementation with dietary minerals and vitamins may have a role in preventing infection with SARS-CoV-2 or in reducing COVID-19 symptomatology and disease progression. The current evidence from the literature supports that zinc and vitamin C have a potential in reducing the inflammatory response associated with SARS-CoV-2 while folate and vitamin D may have a role in antagonizing the entry of SARs-CoV-2 virus in host calls.
Thus, further research should be conducted that could lead to the development of nutritional supplements involving natural and widely available compounds such as zinc, folate, vitamin C, and vitamin D. The latter could be an effective, safe, and inexpensive way to either prevent infection with SARS-CoV-2 and/or lessen the burden of COVID-19 disease.