Boosting the immune system with functional compounds during the Covid-19 pandemic: A Review

Parisa Rasolabadi, Masoud Rasolabadi, Himan Nourbakhsh

DOI: 10.22122/cdj.v10i1.612

Abstract


BACKGROUND: More than 1 year has passed since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nutrition and its role in boosting the immune system have been a hot topic during the previous year in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic. An effective medicine for COVID-19 has not been introduced and public vaccination has not gained an acceptable speed in the world; therefore, preventive measures, protocols adherence, and a robust immune system are crucial. The aim of this study was to evaluate the role of food in boosting the immune system during the Covid-19 pandemic.

METHODS: In this scoping review, we searched and collected data related to food and its role in strengthening the immune system and COVID-19 in 4 leading databases including PubMed, Scopus, Web of sciences, and ScienceDirect. Findings were analyzed and combined using thematic analysis.

RESULTS: People with weak immune systems have been more affected by the coronavirus. Vitamins D, A, and E, zinc, selenium, copper, prebiotics, probiotics, lactoferrin, and omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to minimize SARS-CoV-2 viral load and shorten hospital stay. The dietary sources that can provide such functional compounds and boost the immune system are fish, milk and cheese, eggs, meat, fruits, beans, nuts and seeds, liver, and vegetable oils.

CONCLUSION: Due to the high demand for and limited availability of successful vaccines around the world, developing and low-income countries should be cautious about personal health problems and use food supplements to improve the immune system until public vaccination can be made available.


Keywords


Antiviral agents, Coronavirus; Dietary supplements; Immunity

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