COVID-19: Role of Nutrition and Supplementation

Nutrients. 2021 Mar 17;13(3):976. doi: 10.3390/nu13030976.


At the end of 2019, a new coronavirus (COVID-19) appeared on the world scene, which mainly affects the respiratory system, causing pneumonia and multi-organ failure, and, although it starts with common symptoms such as shortness of breath and fever, in about 2-3% of cases it leads to death. Unfortunately, to date, no specific treatments have been found for the cure of this virus and, therefore, it is advisable to implement all possible strategies in order to prevent infection. In this context, it is important to better define the role of all behaviors, in particular nutrition, in order to establish whether these can both prevent infection and improve the outcome of the disease in patients with COVID-19. In the literature, it is widely shown that states of malnutrition, overweight, and obesity negatively affect the immune system, leading to viral infections, and several studies have shown that nutritional interventions can act as immunostimulators, helping to prevent viral infections. Even if several measures, such as the assumption of a specific diet regimen, the use of dietary supplements, and other similar interventions, are promising for the prevention, management, and recovery of COVID-19 patients, it is important to highlight that strong data from randomized clinical trials are needed to support any such assumption. Considering this particular scenario, we present a literature review addressing several important aspects related to diet and SARS-CoV-2 infection, in order to highlight the importance of diet and supplementation in prevention and management of, as well as recovery from COVID-19.

Keywords: COVID-19; COVID-19 and diet; dietary supplement; nutrition.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19 / prevention & control*
  • Diet
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Humans
  • Nutritional Status*