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Optimal nutritional status for a well-functioning immune system is an important factor to protect against viral infections

Optimal nutritional status for a well-functioning immune system is an important factor to protect against viral infections
Optimal nutritional status for a well-functioning immune system is an important factor to protect against viral infections
Public health practices including handwashing and vaccinations help reduce the spread and impact of infections. Nevertheless, the global burden of infection is high, and additional measures are necessary. Acute respiratory tract infections, for example, were responsible for more than 2.38 million deaths worldwide in 2016. The role nutrition plays in supporting the immune system is well‐established. A wealth of mechanistic and clinical data show that vitamins, including vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E, and folate; trace elements, including zinc, iron, selenium, magnesium, and copper; and the omega‐3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid play important and complementary roles in supporting the immune system. Inadequate intake and status of these nutrients are widespread, leading to a decrease in resistance to infections and as a consequence an increase in disease burden. Against this background the following conclusions are made: 1) Supplementation with the above micronutrients and omega‐3 fatty acids is a safe, effective, and low‐cost strategy to help support optimal immune function; 2) Supplementation above the RDA, but within recommended upper safety limits, for specific nutrients such as vitamins C and D is warranted; and 3) Public health officials are encouraged to include nutritional strategies in their recommendations to improve public health.
COVID-19, Immune system, Influenza, Micronutrients, Minerals, Omega-3 fatty acids, Viral infection, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamins
2072-6643
1-10
Calder, Philip
1797e54f-378e-4dcb-80a4-3e30018f07a6
Carr, Anitra C.
2071fad6-8097-49ac-a702-80f327d29aa2
Gombart, Adrian F.
e9fe8071-c8d0-456b-9524-7ab2bcb34a44
Eggersdorfer, Manfred
48d01cdd-f8ac-4d0c-ad34-0d22b1bf187c
Calder, Philip
1797e54f-378e-4dcb-80a4-3e30018f07a6
Carr, Anitra C.
2071fad6-8097-49ac-a702-80f327d29aa2
Gombart, Adrian F.
e9fe8071-c8d0-456b-9524-7ab2bcb34a44
Eggersdorfer, Manfred
48d01cdd-f8ac-4d0c-ad34-0d22b1bf187c

Calder, Philip, Carr, Anitra C., Gombart, Adrian F. and Eggersdorfer, Manfred (2020) Optimal nutritional status for a well-functioning immune system is an important factor to protect against viral infections. Nutrients, 12 (4), 1-10, [1181]. (doi:10.3390/nu12041181).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Public health practices including handwashing and vaccinations help reduce the spread and impact of infections. Nevertheless, the global burden of infection is high, and additional measures are necessary. Acute respiratory tract infections, for example, were responsible for more than 2.38 million deaths worldwide in 2016. The role nutrition plays in supporting the immune system is well‐established. A wealth of mechanistic and clinical data show that vitamins, including vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E, and folate; trace elements, including zinc, iron, selenium, magnesium, and copper; and the omega‐3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid play important and complementary roles in supporting the immune system. Inadequate intake and status of these nutrients are widespread, leading to a decrease in resistance to infections and as a consequence an increase in disease burden. Against this background the following conclusions are made: 1) Supplementation with the above micronutrients and omega‐3 fatty acids is a safe, effective, and low‐cost strategy to help support optimal immune function; 2) Supplementation above the RDA, but within recommended upper safety limits, for specific nutrients such as vitamins C and D is warranted; and 3) Public health officials are encouraged to include nutritional strategies in their recommendations to improve public health.

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Accepted/In Press date: 18 April 2020
e-pub ahead of print date: 23 April 2020
Published date: April 2020
Keywords: COVID-19, Immune system, Influenza, Micronutrients, Minerals, Omega-3 fatty acids, Viral infection, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamins

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 439543
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/439543
ISSN: 2072-6643
PURE UUID: 480072a3-0631-4b69-aa28-974a3de9016c
ORCID for Philip Calder: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-6038-710X

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Date deposited: 27 Apr 2020 16:30
Last modified: 26 Nov 2021 02:38

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Contributors

Author: Philip Calder ORCID iD
Author: Anitra C. Carr
Author: Adrian F. Gombart
Author: Manfred Eggersdorfer

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