Diet plays an essential role in maintaining a healthy body, including the immune system to fight off disease. Amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, nutritional status has been classified as a risk factor for developing serious diseases, including obesity and malnutrition.
A team of researchers from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and the University of Oxford now wanted to provide a systematic review of the latest findings on how malnutrition in all forms, including malnutrition, obesity and micronutrient status, can affect susceptibility and severity of COVID-19 .
Diet and COVID-19
The continued spread of Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome that causes COVID-19 has resulted in a global pandemic that has seen more than 41.5 million cases and the death toll more than 1.13 is a million.
As the pandemic evolves, studies have linked risk factors related to diet and the progression of COVID-19. Meanwhile, the pandemic has also exacerbated risk factors for malnutrition in all its forms. The reasons include changes in agricultural production and market links that have led to food price increases, as well as a lack of nutritious food.
Understanding the relationship between nutritional status and COVID-19 risk is important in making evidence-based recommendations.
Overview diagram with key concepts from narrative synthesis
In the study, which was published in the preprint journal medRxiv *, the researchers synthesized information on 13 nutritional components and their relationship to COVID-19 – overweight, obesity and diabetes, protein-energy malnutrition, vitamins A, C, D and E. , Anemia, iron, selenium, zinc, polyunsaturated fatty acids, antioxidants and nutritional support.
Of the 13 search queries, a total of 2,732 articles were returned by EMBASE and PubMed, 4,164 articles by preprint servers and 433 attempts. A total of 288 published and 278 preprint articles were included in the full-text evaluation.
Of all the articles, the team got 22 published articles, 39 preprint articles, and 79 studies. The team found that the studies cover a wide range of mechanistic and observational evidence to underscore the role of diet in COVID-19 susceptibility and progression. However, there is limited evidence that high-dose supplementation of these micronutrients can help prevent infections.
The current study summarizes the information to add to existing reviews and brings 13 systematic reviews into one. However, the team said that to date there is no conclusive evidence of novel nutritional therapies in the fight against COVID-19. The team said public health strategies to reduce micronutrient deficiencies and malnutrition remain imperative. In addition, preventing obesity and type 2 diabetes can significantly reduce the risk of severe COVID-19.
"To date, there is no evidence to support the adoption of novel nutritional therapies, although the results of clinical trials are eagerly awaited. Given the known effects of all forms of malnutrition on the immune system, public health strategies to reduce micronutrient deficiencies, malnutrition, and overeating remain from crucial and draws on the numerous lessons learned from other viral diseases, "the team concluded in the study.
COVID-19 worldwide toll
Understanding the ways to prevent and potentially contain the current COVID-19 pandemic is crucial as the virus is wreaking havoc around the world. The total number of cases has now reached more than 41.47 million, while the number of deaths has risen to over 1.13 million.
The United States also reports a high number of cases, with more than 8.4 million cases and more than 222,000 deaths. India follows with more than 7.70 million infections and more than 116,000 deaths.
Other countries reporting high numbers of cases are Brazil with more than 5.29 million, Russia with more than 1.45 million and France with more than 1.04 million cases.
As the number of active cases increases, and some countries are reporting their second waves, it is important to always remember to wash your hands, practice social distancing, and wear a mask at all times, especially outdoors.
* Important NOTE
medRxiv publishes preliminary scientific reports that are not peer-reviewed and, therefore, should not be considered conclusive, guide clinical practice / health-related behavior, or treated as established information