The Role of Micronutrients in Support of the Immune Response against Viral Infections.Nutrients. 2020 Oct 20; 12(10)N
Viral infections are a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, and the importance of public health practices including handwashing and vaccinations in reducing their spread is well established. Furthermore, it is well known that proper nutrition can help support optimal immune function, reducing the impact of infections. Several vitamins and trace elements play an important role in supporting the cells of the immune system, thus increasing the resistance to infections. Other nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids, help sustain optimal function of the immune system. The main aim of this manuscript is to discuss of the potential role of micronutrients supplementation in supporting immunity, particularly against respiratory virus infections. Literature analysis showed that in vitro and observational studies, and clinical trials, highlight the important role of vitamins A, C, and D, omega-3 fatty acids, and zinc in modulating the immune response. Supplementation with vitamins, omega 3 fatty acids and zinc appears to be a safe and low-cost way to support optimal function of the immune system, with the potential to reduce the risk and consequences of infection, including viral respiratory infections. Supplementation should be in addition to a healthy diet and fall within recommended upper safety limits set by scientific expert bodies. Therefore, implementing an optimal nutrition, with micronutrients and omega-3 fatty acids supplementation, might be a cost-effective, underestimated strategy to help reduce the burden of infectious diseases worldwide, including coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).