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Nutrition, immunity and COVID-19

Nutrition, immunity and COVID-19
Nutrition, immunity and COVID-19
The immune system protects the host from pathogenic organisms (bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites). To deal with this array of threats, the immune system has evolved to include a myriad of specialised cell types, communicating molecules and functional responses. The immune system is always active, carrying out surveillance, but its activity is enhanced if an individual becomes infected. This heightened activity is accompanied by an increased rate of metabolism, requiring energy sources, substrates for biosynthesis, and regulatory molecules, which are all ultimately derived from the diet. A number of vitamins (A, B6, B12, folate, C, D and E) and trace elements (zinc, copper, selenium, iron) have been demonstrated to have key roles in supporting the human immune system and reducing risk of infections. Other essential nutrients including other vitamins and trace elements, amino acids and fatty acids are also important. Each of the nutrients named above has roles in supporting anti-bacterial and anti-viral defence, but zinc and selenium seem to be particularly important for the latter. It would seem prudent for individuals to consume sufficient amounts of essential nutrients to support their immune system in order to help them deal with pathogens should they become infected. The gut microbiota plays a role in educating and regulating the immune system. Gut dysbiosis is a feature of disease including many infectious diseases and has been described in COVID-19. Dietary approaches to achieve a healthy microbiota can also benefit the immune system. Severe infection of the respiratory epithelium can lead to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), characterised by excessive and damaging host inflammation, termed a cytokine storm. This is seen in cases of severe COVID-19. There is evidence from ARDS in other settings that the cytokine storm can be controlled by n-3 fatty acids, possibly through their metabolism to specialised pro-resolving mediators.
e000085
Calder, Philip
1797e54f-378e-4dcb-80a4-3e30018f07a6
Calder, Philip
1797e54f-378e-4dcb-80a4-3e30018f07a6

Calder, Philip (2020) Nutrition, immunity and COVID-19. BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health, 3, e000085. (doi:10.1136/bmjnph-2020-000085).

Record type: Review

Abstract

The immune system protects the host from pathogenic organisms (bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites). To deal with this array of threats, the immune system has evolved to include a myriad of specialised cell types, communicating molecules and functional responses. The immune system is always active, carrying out surveillance, but its activity is enhanced if an individual becomes infected. This heightened activity is accompanied by an increased rate of metabolism, requiring energy sources, substrates for biosynthesis, and regulatory molecules, which are all ultimately derived from the diet. A number of vitamins (A, B6, B12, folate, C, D and E) and trace elements (zinc, copper, selenium, iron) have been demonstrated to have key roles in supporting the human immune system and reducing risk of infections. Other essential nutrients including other vitamins and trace elements, amino acids and fatty acids are also important. Each of the nutrients named above has roles in supporting anti-bacterial and anti-viral defence, but zinc and selenium seem to be particularly important for the latter. It would seem prudent for individuals to consume sufficient amounts of essential nutrients to support their immune system in order to help them deal with pathogens should they become infected. The gut microbiota plays a role in educating and regulating the immune system. Gut dysbiosis is a feature of disease including many infectious diseases and has been described in COVID-19. Dietary approaches to achieve a healthy microbiota can also benefit the immune system. Severe infection of the respiratory epithelium can lead to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), characterised by excessive and damaging host inflammation, termed a cytokine storm. This is seen in cases of severe COVID-19. There is evidence from ARDS in other settings that the cytokine storm can be controlled by n-3 fatty acids, possibly through their metabolism to specialised pro-resolving mediators.

Text
Calder Nutrition immunity and covid19 revised - Accepted Manuscript
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 30 April 2020
e-pub ahead of print date: 20 May 2020
Published date: 2020
Additional Information: Running title: Nutrition, immunity and COVID19

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 439814
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/439814
PURE UUID: 37c25b69-774a-4709-bda5-a9631ca5102d
ORCID for Philip Calder: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-6038-710X

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 05 May 2020 16:30
Last modified: 11 Mar 2021 02:35

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