Biological plausibility for interactions between dietary fat, resveratrol, ACE2, and SARS-CoV illness severity

Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2020 May 1;318(5):E830-E833. doi: 10.1152/ajpendo.00150.2020. Epub 2020 Apr 20.


The angiotensin converting enzyme-2 (ACE2) cellular receptor is responsible for the pathogenesis of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), thus impacting the entrance and clearance of the virus. Studies demonstrate that upregulation of ACE2 has a protective effect on SARS-CoV-2 illness severity. Moreover, animal studies demonstrate that dietary intake can modulate ACE2 gene expression and function. A high intake of resveratrol may have a protective role, upregulating ACE2, whereas a high intake of dietary fat may have a detrimental role, downregulating ACE2. As such, we postulate on the biological plausibility of interactions between dietary fat and/or resveratrol and ACE2 gene variations in the modulation of SARS-CoV-2 illness severity. We call to action the research community to test this plausible interaction in a sample of human subjects.

Keywords: ACE2; SARS; coronavirus; nutrigenetics; nutrigenomics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2
  • Animals
  • Betacoronavirus / metabolism
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus Infections / physiopathology*
  • Diet*
  • Dietary Fats / pharmacology*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Pandemics
  • Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A / genetics*
  • Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A / metabolism
  • Pneumonia, Viral / physiopathology*
  • Rats
  • Resveratrol / pharmacology*
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Severity of Illness Index


  • Dietary Fats
  • Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A
  • ACE2 protein, human
  • Ace2 protein, mouse
  • Ace2 protein, rat
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2
  • Resveratrol