The Malnutritional Status of the Host as a Virulence Factor for New Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.

Frontiers in medicine. 2020;7:146

Plain language summary

This opinion article explores the role of an individual’s nutrition status when subjected to infection by viruses, in particular Covid-19. Distinction is made between the susceptibility to infection in the first instance and the ability to persist in fighting infection once it is established. For Covid-19, it is argued that a healthier nutritional status, in particular Vitamins A, B, C, D and E, iron selenium and zinc, will lower susceptibility to infection, lower the severity of the virus and therefore reduce the length of time an individual has to find reserves to fight the virus. More severe cases of Covid-19 infection also often include gastro-intestinal symptoms which further exacerbate nutritional status with lowered appetite. The authors conclude that malnourished individuals may be more susceptible to Covid-19 infection and that nutritional support is vital in severe cases. The article includes a useful diagram of both hyponutrition and hypernutrition and possible impacts of Covid-19.

Lifestyle medicine

Patient Centred Factors : Mediators/Covid-19/nutrition
Environmental Inputs : Diet ; Nutrients
Personal Lifestyle Factors : Nutrition
Functional Laboratory Testing : Not applicable
Bioactive Substances : Vitamin A ; Vitamin D ; Vitamin C ; Vitamin E ; Iron ; Selenium ; Zinc

Methodological quality

Allocation concealment : Not applicable
Publication Type : Journal Article