Role of selected dietary components on the course of SARS-CoV-2 infection
More details
Hide details
Uniwersytet Przyrodniczo-Humanistyczny w Siedlcach, Wydział Nauk Medycznych i Nauk o Zdrowiu, Instytut Nauk o Zdrowiu, Polska
Agnieszka Decyk   

Uniwersytet Przyrodniczo-Humanistyczny W Siedlcach, Wydział Nauk Medycznych i Nauk o Zdrowiu, Instytut Nauk o Zdrowiu, Prusa 14, 08-110, Siedlce, Polska
Introduction and objective:
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. SARS-CoV-2 virus is one of the largest RNA viruses. It belongs to the group of coronaviruses and exhibits tropism to the epithelial cells of the respiratory tract. Due to the large number of deaths from coronavirus infection, there is an urgent need to find effective drugs, methods of prevention and control. The global strategy of combating COVID-19 assumes, inter alia, the hypothesis that a well-balanced diet combined with antiviral drugs and herbs can be an ally in the fight against infection.

The aim of the study was to review the current literature on the influence of selected components on the course of SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Review methods:
A systematic review of studies published from 1 January 2015 – 31 July 2021 has been performed. For this purpose, bibliographic databases such as PubMed, Elsevier and Web of Science were searched. The following key words and their combinations were used: Covid-19, dietary ingredients, vitamin D, selenium, zinc, vitamin B12, Omega-3.

Abbreviated description of the state of knowledge:
Properly composed and balanced diet, providing the appropriate amount of nutrients and energy, should support the immune system and contribute to the reduction of the risk of disease and support the recovery process.

Main activities should be aimed at changing life style. According to experts, especially in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, a healthy life style, including adequate physical activity and changing eating habits should be the highest priority. It can reduce the risk, and in the event of contracting COVID-19, can help reduce the risk of complications.

Gasmi A, Noor S, Tippairote T, et al. Individual risk management strategy and potential therapeutic options for the COVID-19 pandemic. Clin Immunol. 2020; 215: 108409.
Sybilski AJ. COVID-19 – co powinien wiedzieć pediatra, J EBM. 2020; 2(47):30–37. doi:10.24292/
Doremalen NT, Bushmaker DH, Morris MG, et al. Aerosol and surface stability of SARS-CoV-2 as compared with SARS-CoV-1. N Engl J Med. 2020; 382(16): 1564–1567. NEJMc2004973.
Wang J, Tang K, Feng K, et al. Impact of temperature and relative humidity on the transmission of COVID-19: a modelling study in Chinaand the United States. BMJ Open. 2021;11(043863): 1–16. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2020-043863.
Kampf G, Todt D, Pfaender S, et al. Persistence of coronaviruses on inanimate surfaces and their inactivation with biocidal agents. J Hosp Infect. 2020; 104(3):246–251.
Torabi A. Proinflammatory cytokines in the olfactory mucosa result in COVID-19 induced anosmia. ACS Chem Neurosci. 2020; 11(3): 1909–1913.
Hackett G. COVID-19, Type 2 Diabetes, and Hypogonadism: Lessons for Acute Management and Long-Term Prevention, Clin Ther. 2020; 1(1): 22–31.
Angelidi AM, Kokkinos A, Katechaki E, et al. Mediterranean diet as a nutritional approach for COVID-19. Metab Clin Exp. 2021; 114: 1–3.
World Health Organization Nutrition advice for adults during the COVID-19 outbreak. (access: 2021.07.02).
Jarosz M. Normy żywienia dla populacji polskiej. Warszawa: Instytut Żywności i Żywienia; 2020.
Team NCPERE. Vital surveillances: the epidemiological characteristics of an outbreak of 2019 novel coronavirus diseases (COVID-19) – China. CCDC Weekly. 2020; 2(8): 113–122. doi: 10.3760/cma.j.issn.0254-6450.2020.02.003.
Yang X, Yu Y, Xu J, et al. Clinical course and outcomes of critically ill patients with SARSCoV-2 pneumonia in Wuhan, China: a single-centered, retrospective, observational study. Lancet Respir Med. 2020; 8(5): 475–481.
Skrajnowska D, Bobrowska-Korczak B. Role of zinc in immune system and anti-cancer defense mechanisms. Nutrients. 2019; 11(10): 1–28.
Jurek JM. Suplementacja podczas pandemii COVID-19. Kardiol Prakt. 2020; 14(3–4): 51–59.
Iddir M, Brito A, Dingeo G, et al. Strengthening the immune system and reducing inflammation and oxidative stress through diet and nutrition: considerations during the COVID-19 crisis. Nutrients. 2020; 12(6): 1–39.
Schmidt M, Hajage D, Lebreton G, et al. Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation for severe acute respiratory distress syndrome associated with COVID-19: a retrospective cohort study. Lancet Respir Med. 2020; 8(11): 1121–1131. doi: 10.1016/S2213-2600(20)30328-3.
Skalny AV, Rink L, Ajsuvakova OP, et al. Zinc and respiratory tract infections: Perspectives for COVID‑19. Int J Mol Med. 2020; 46(1): 17–26.
Boudreault F, Pinilla-Vera M, Englert JA, et al. Zinc deficiency primes the lung for ventilator-induced injury. JCI Insight 2017; 2(11): 1–14. doi: 10.1172/jci.insight.86507.
Hemilä H. Zinc lozenges and the common cold: a meta-analysis comparing zinc acetate and zinc gluconate, and the role of zinc dosage. JRSM open. 2017; 8(5): 1–7.
Lassi ZS, Moin A, Bhutta ZA. Zinc supplementation for the prevention of pneumonia in children aged 2 months to 59 months. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2016;12: 1–33.
Avery JC, Hoffmann PR. Selenium, selenoproteins, and immunity. Nutrients. 2018; 10(9): 1–20.
Jankowska K, Suszczewicz N. Naturalne metody wspomagania odporności w walce z koronawirusem. Wiedza Medyczna. 2020; 46–65.
Mahmoodpoor A, Hamishehkar H, Shadvar K, et al. The Effect of Intravenous Selenium on Oxidative Stress in Critically Ill Patients with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. Immunol Invest. 2019; 48(2): 147–59.
Ivory K, Prieto E, Spinks C, et al. Selenium supplementation has beneficial and detrimental effects on immunity to influenza vaccine in older adults. Am J Clin Nutr. 2017; 36(2): 407–415.
Zhang J, Taylor EW, Bennett K, et al. Association between regional selenium status and reported outcome of COVID-19 cases in China. Am J Clin Nutr. 2020; 111(6): 1297–1299.
Moghaddam A, Heller RA, Sun Q, et al. Selenium deficiency is associated with mortality risk from COVID-19. Nutrients. 2020; 12(7): 1–13.
Liu Q, Zhao X, Ma J, et al. Selenium (Se) plays a key role in the biological effects of some viruses: Implications for COVID-19. Environ Res. 2021; 196: 1–7.
dos Santos LMJ. Can vitamin B12 be an adjuvant to COVID-19 treatment?. GSC pharmaceuticals. 2020; 11(3); 001–005.
Wee AKH. COVID-19’s toll on the elderly and those with diabetes mellitus – Is vitamin B12 deficiency an accomplice?. Med Hypotheses. 2021; 146: 1–8.
Tan CW, Ho LP, Kalimuddin S, et al. A cohort study to evaluate the effect of combination Vitamin D, Magnesium and Vitamin B12 (DMB) on progression to severe outcome in older COVID-19 patients. medRxiv. 2020.
Del Fiol FDS. Vitamin D and respiratory infections. J Infect Dev Ctries. 2015; 9(4): 355–361. doi: 10.3855/jidc.5711.
Maghbooli Z. Vitamin D sufficiency, a serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D at least 30 ng/mL reduced risk for adverse clinical outcomes in patients with COVID-19 infection, PloS one. 2020; 15: 1–13.
Ma H, Zhou T, Heianza Y, Qi L. Habitual use of vitamin D supplements and risk of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection: a prospective study in UK Biobank. Am J Clin Nutr. 2021; 113(5): 1275–1281.
Sulli A, Gotelli E, Casabella A, et al. Vitamin D and lung outcomes in elderly COVID-19 patients. Nutrients. 2021; 13(3); 1–13.
Luo X. Liao Q, Shen Y. Vitamin D deficiency is inversely associated with covid-19 incidence and disease severity in Chinese people. J Nutr. 2021; 151(1): 98–103.
Vimaleswaran KS, Forouhi NG, Khunti K. Vitamin D and covid-19. 2021; 372(544): 1–3. doi:
Simopoulos AP. Genetic Variation, Diet, Inflammation, and the Risk for COVID-19. Lifestyle Genomics. 0221; 14(2), 37–42.
Calder PC, Carr AC, Gombart AF, et al. Optimal nutritional status for a well-functioning immune system is an important factor to protect against viral infections. Nutrients. 2020; 12(4): 1–10. doi:10.3390/nu12041181.
Doaei S, Gholami S, Rastgoo S, et al. The effect of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation on clinical and biochemical parameters of critically ill patients with COVID-19: a randomized clinical trial. J Transl Med. 2021; 19(1): 1–9.
Asher A, Tintle NL, Myers M, et al. Blood omega-3 fatty acids and death from COVID-19: A pilot study. Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids. 2021; 166: 102250.
Panigrahy D, Gilligan MM, Huang S, et al. Inflammation resolution: a dual-pronged approach to averting cytokine storms in COVID-19?, Cancer Metastasis Rev. 2020; 39(2): 337–340.