Vitamins and other immune-supportive elements as cofactors for passing the COVID-19 pandemic

Beni Suef Univ J Basic Appl Sci. 2021;10(1):71. doi: 10.1186/s43088-021-00163-2. Epub 2021 Oct 29.


Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a viral disease that causes a respiratory disorder, started in December of 2019 in China. Several vitamins and trace elements could help in enhancing host immunity producing antioxidant or anti-inflammatory action. This work aimed to identify the role of different nutrition, vitamins, and trace elements on the immunity status of the infected subject and the possibility of the beneficial role of these elements in the management of COVID-19.

Main body: After collecting (PubMed, scholar, OVID, Embase, Cochrane Library) and investigating published articles, testing the effect of these elements on viral infection, it was found that most of these elements have a significant role during viral infection through a different mechanism, like antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulation. Nutritional interventions in COVID-19 infections are very important currently, and it was reported that vitamin C and D reduce the risk of acute respiratory infections. In addition, low vitamin A diets compromise the effectiveness of inactivated bovine coronavirus vaccines. Administration of N-acetyl cysteine showed a beneficial inhibitory effect in viral infections and enhanced glutathione production. The deficiency of selenium on COVID-19 subjects has a significant impact on the clinical outcome of the subjects. In addition, supplementation with vitamins proved to enhance immune response during viral infection. Vitamins and trace elements not only showed a beneficial effect but also Omega 3 fatty acids showed an immunomodulating effect during infections.

Short conclusions: Assessment of levels for these trace elements at the baseline and providing supplementation containing different vitamins and elements could result in better control and clinical outcomes in the case of COVID-19.

Keywords: COVID-19; Coronavirus; Immunity; Nutrition; Traced elements; Vitamins.

Publication types

  • Review