Food-derived antioxidants and COVID-19

J Food Biochem. 2021 Jan;45(1):e13557. doi: 10.1111/jfbc.13557. Epub 2020 Nov 10.


SARS-CoV-2 (previously 2019-nCoV), the pathogenic agent of COVID-19 disease, started to expand from Wuhan, China, on December 2019 and in 2 months, it spread worldwide giving origin to a pandemic. COVID-19 has a stronger transmission capacity by inhalation of infectious aerosols and after an incubation time of 3-14 days, it may be responsible for diseases ranging from the asymptomatic to fatal consequences. COVID-19 has emerged as a multifaceted, multisystem, multi-organ disorder, which produces its pathogenic effects through a quite ubiquitous target at the level of multiple organs and in which oxidative stress and inflammatory process play relevant roles. Thus, besides the development of a pharmacological therapy, in the field of alternative and coadjutant therapeutic, the use of dietary supplements or nutraceuticals for the prevention or treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infection may be a useful strategy. Herein, we specifically comment on some literature evidences, which link the food-derived antioxidants and metal-chelating agents with treatment and prevention of oxidative stress and inflammation that play a key role in the progression of COVID-19. PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS: Oxidative stress and inflammation are key factors increasing COVID-19 severity especially in the presence of chronic diseases associated with the antioxidant system fragility. These evidences support the recommendation of antioxidants supplementation as useful strategies against COVID-19. In light with these observations, herein, a comment which describes the major antioxidants and metal-chelating agents from food sources that might be useful for the treatment and prevention of oxidative stress and inflammation during COVID-19.

Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; food antioxidants; metal-cheating agents.

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / metabolism*
  • COVID-19 / diet therapy*
  • COVID-19 / metabolism
  • COVID-19 / virology
  • Chelating Agents / metabolism
  • Dietary Supplements / analysis
  • Food Analysis
  • Humans
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Plant Extracts / metabolism*
  • SARS-CoV-2 / physiology


  • Antioxidants
  • Chelating Agents
  • Plant Extracts