bims-covind Biomed News
on COVID-19 and Immunology: nutrition and diet
Issue of 2020‒12‒13
twelve papers selected by
Aimee Cook
Newcastle University

  1. Nutrients. 2020 Dec 04. pii: E3741. [Epub ahead of print]12(12):
    Grant WB, Lahore H, Rockwell MS.
      The COVID-19 pandemic is having major economic and personal consequences for collegiate and professional sports. Sporting events have been canceled or postponed, and even when baseball and basketball seasons resumed in the United States recently, no fans were in attendance. As play resumed, several players developed COVID-19, disrupting some of the schedules. A hypothesis now under scientific consideration is that taking vitamin supplements to raise serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] concentrations could quickly reduce the risk and/or severity of COVID-19. Several mechanisms have been identified through which vitamin D could reduce the risks of infection and severity, death, and long-haul effects of COVID-19: (1) inducing production of cathelicidin and defensins to reduce the survival and replication of the SARS-CoV-2 virus; (2) reducing inflammation and the production of proinflammatory cytokines and risk of the "cytokine storm" that damages the epithelial layer of the lungs, heart, vascular system, and other organs; and (3) increasing production of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, thus limiting the amount of angiotensin II available to the virus to cause damage. Clinical trials have confirmed that vitamin D supplementation reduces risk of acute respiratory tract infections, and approximately 30 observational studies have shown that incidence, severity, and death from COVID-19 are inversely correlated with serum 25(OH)D concentrations. Vitamin D supplementation is already familiar to many athletes and sports teams because it improves athletic performance and increases playing longevity. Thus, athletes should consider vitamin D supplementation to serve as an additional means by which to reduce risk of COVID-19 and its consequences.
    Keywords:  25-hydroxyvitamin D; COVID-19; acute respiratory tract infections; athletic performance; immunity; team sports; vitamin D
  2. Therap Adv Gastroenterol. 2020 ;13 1756284820974914
    Segal JP, Mak JWY, Mullish BH, Alexander JL, Ng SC, Marchesi JR.
      The novel coronavirus infection (COVID-19) caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus has spread rapidly across the globe, culminating in major global morbidity and mortality. As such, there has been a rapid escalation in scientific and clinical activity aimed at increasing our comprehension of this virus. This volume of work has led to early insights into risk factors associated with severity of disease, and mechanisms that underpin the virulence and dynamics involved in viral transmission. These insights ultimately may help guide potential therapeutics to reduce the human, economic and social impact of this pandemic. Importantly, the gastrointestinal (GI) tract has emerged as an important organ influencing propensity to, and potentially severity of, COVID-19 infection. Furthermore, the gut microbiome has been linked to a variety of risk factors for COVID-19 infection, and manipulation of the gut microbiome is an attractive potential therapeutic target for a number of diseases. While data profiling the gut microbiome in COVID-19 infection to date are limited, they support the possibility of several routes of interaction between COVID-19, the gut microbiome, angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE-2) expression in the small bowel and colon and gut inflammation. This article will explore the evidence that implicates the gut microbiome as a contributing factor to the pathogenesis, severity and disease course of COVID-19, and speculate about the gut microbiome's capability as a therapeutic avenue against COVID-19.Lay summary: It has been noted that certain baseline gut profiles of COVID-19 patients are associated with a more severe disease course, and the gut microbiome impacts the disease course of several contributory risk factors to the severity of COVID-19. A protein called ACE-2, which is found in the small intestine among other sites, is a key receptor for COVID-19 virus entry; there is evidence that the gut microbiome influences ACE-2 receptor expression, and hence may play a role in influencing COVID-19 infectivity and disease severity. Furthermore, the gut microbiome plays a significant role in immune regulation, and hence may be pivotal in influencing the immune response to COVID-19. In terms of understanding COVID-19 treatments, the gut microbiome is known to interact with several drug classes being used to target COVID-19 and should be factored into our understanding of how patients respond to treatment. Importantly, our understanding of the role of the gut microbiome in COVID-19 infection remains in its infancy, but future research may potentially aid our mechanistic understanding of viral infection, and new ways in which we might approach treating it.
    Keywords:  COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; gastrointestinal disease; microbiota
  3. Nutrients. 2020 Dec 07. pii: E3760. [Epub ahead of print]12(12):
    Holford P, Carr AC, Jovic TH, Ali SR, Whitaker IS, Marik PE, Smith AD.
      There are limited proven therapies for COVID-19. Vitamin C's antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and immunomodulating effects make it a potential therapeutic candidate, both for the prevention and amelioration of COVID-19 infection, and as an adjunctive therapy in the critical care of COVID-19. This literature review focuses on vitamin C deficiency in respiratory infections, including COVID-19, and the mechanisms of action in infectious disease, including support of the stress response, its role in preventing and treating colds and pneumonia, and its role in treating sepsis and COVID-19. The evidence to date indicates that oral vitamin C (2-8 g/day) may reduce the incidence and duration of respiratory infections and intravenous vitamin C (6-24 g/day) has been shown to reduce mortality, intensive care unit (ICU) and hospital stays, and time on mechanical ventilation for severe respiratory infections. Further trials are urgently warranted. Given the favourable safety profile and low cost of vitamin C, and the frequency of vitamin C deficiency in respiratory infections, it may be worthwhile testing patients' vitamin C status and treating them accordingly with intravenous administration within ICUs and oral administration in hospitalised persons with COVID-19.
    Keywords:  COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; ascorbate; colds; coronavirus; immunonutrition; pneumonia; sepsis; supplementation; vitamin C
  4. Clin Mol Allergy. 2020 Nov 19. 18(1): 23
    Murdaca G, Pioggia G, Negrini S.
      The world is now experiencing its third major epidemic of coronavirus (CoV) infections began in Wuhan, Hubei, China, in late 2019 and named COVID-19. After an initial explosive outbreak of pneumonia of unknown etiology in China, the disease spread first to neighboring Asian countries and then worldwide. Patients with COVID-19 presented with a constellation of symptoms such as fever, dry cough, dyspnea, sore throat, and nasal congestion and radiological findings showed bilateral lung glassy opacities. Vitamin D has many mechanisms by which it reduces the risk of microbial infection and death, including physical barrier, cellular natural immunity, and adaptive immunity. Vitamin D supplementation has shown favorable effects in viral infections including influenza and HIV. The effects of vitamin D supplementation during covid 19 infection remain controversial. Looking ahead, clinical studies are needed to define better cut offs for vitamin D levels and, finally, which dosage is the best.
    Keywords:  Covid-19; Vitamin D
  5. Bratisl Lek Listy. 2020 ;121(12): 870-877
    Aygun H.
      The novel coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak quickly spread across many countries and has become a worldwide threat to health, trade and travel. In terms of clinical manifestations, although it starts as an acute respiratory disorder, it could eventually lead to death by causing damage to many organs such as: lung, liver, kidney and heart. It has been shown that COVID-19 pathology is mediated by an excessive inflammation, oxidation and an aggravated immune response. Vitamin D is a an immunomodulator hormone and has receptors in many tissues and organs. In many studies, vitamin D was shown to have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. In addition, since COVID-19 infection causes a cytokine storm, vitamin D can have a protective effect on many tissues and organs by reducing the production of proinflammatory cytokines. Vitamin D has a high safety profile, and thus could be beneficial against multiple organ damage in COVID-19 patients. This paper aims to highlight the potential benefits of vitamin D against multiple organ damage caused by COVID-19 (Fig. 1, Ref. 109). Keywords: COVID-19, cytokine, inflammation, vitamin D.
  6. Ther Adv Cardiovasc Dis. 2020 Jan-Dec;14:14 1753944720977715
    Martín Giménez VM, Ferder L, Inserra F, García J, Manucha W.
      COVID-19 is said to be a pandemic that does not distinguish between skin color or ethnic origin. However, data in many parts of the world, especially in the United States, begin to show that there is a sector of society suffering a more significant impact from this pandemic. The Black population is more vulnerable than the White population to infection and death by COVID-19, with hypertension and diabetes mellitus as probable predisposing factors. Over time, multiple disparities have been observed between the health of Black and White populations, associated mainly with socioeconomic inequalities. However, some mechanisms and pathophysiological susceptibilities begin to be elucidated that are related directly to the higher prevalence of multiple diseases in the Black population, including infection and death by COVID-19. Plasma vitamin D levels and evolutionary adaptations of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) in Black people differ considerably from those of other races. The role of these factors in the development and progression of hypertension and multiple lung diseases, among them SARS-CoV-2 infection, is well established. In this sense, the present review attempts to elucidate the link between vitamin D and RAAS ethnic disparities and susceptibility to infection and death by COVID-19 in Black people, and suggests possible mechanisms for this susceptibility.
    Keywords:  African Americans; COVID-19; renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system; vitamin D
  7. Nutrition. 2020 Nov 11. pii: S0899-9007(20)30338-5. [Epub ahead of print] 111055
    Cereda E, Bogliolo L, Lobascio F, Barichella M, Zecchinelli AL, Pezzoli G, Caccialanza R.
    Keywords:  COVID-19; Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2); Hospitalization; Mortality; Outcome; Vitamin D
  8. Tuberk Toraks. 2020 Sep;68(3): 227-235
    Kerget B, Kerget F, Kızıltunç A, Koçak AO, Araz Ö, Yılmazel Uçar E, Akgün M.
      Introduction: SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), which emerged in Wuhan, China in December 2019, infected more than six million people in a short time. In COVID-19, the relationship of many laboratory parameters to morbidity and mortality has been defined. In our study, we aimed to determine the relationship of serum vitamin D level to clinical course and prognosis.Materials and Methods: This study included 108 patients; 88 patients who stayed in Ataturk University and Erzurum City Hospital between March 24, 2020 and May 15, 2020, who were identified as COVID-19 by real-time PCR method from the nasopharyngeal swab and 20 asymptomatic voluntary medical personnel who tested negative for real-time PCR after routine check-up in our hospital.
    Result: In statistical analysis conducted between healthy control group and vitamin D levels of patients admitted due to COVID-19, it was observed that patients infected with COVID-19 had a lower level (p= 0.004). In 20 patients developing MAS, a lower level of vitamin D was observed (p= 0.004) compared to 68 patients who did not develop. In the comparison of vitamin D levels of the patients (n= 8) who developed exitus in their follow up due to COVID-19, it was observed that vitamin D levels were statistically significantly lower compared to the living (p= 0.009).
    Conclusions: Due to COVID-19, pandemic, long-running quarantines caused insufficient use of sunlight and worsening of vitamin D deficiency. We wanted to draw attention again with our study to vitamin D which can be responsible for the heavy clinical course of COVID-19 and whose replacement is easy to apply.
  9. Metabolism. 2020 Dec 07. pii: S0026-0495(20)30326-7. [Epub ahead of print] 154462
    Chakhtoura M, Fuleihan GEH.
  10. Nutrition. 2020 Nov 07. pii: S0899-9007(20)30332-4. [Epub ahead of print]82 111049
    Xu J, Gao L, Liang H, Chen SD.
      OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to seek potential natural compounds that can resist COVID-19 using computer virtual screening technology through molecular docking of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) 3CL hydrolytic enzyme (3CLpro) and angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2).METHODS: Molecular docking was achieved by using the Autodock Vina software. The natural phytocompounds acting on 3CLpro and ACE2 were then selected from the Traditional Chinese Medicine Systems Pharmacology Database and Analysis Platform. This was followed by speculation on the mechanism of action of phytocompounds.
    RESULTS: Six potential natural anti-COVID-19 phytocompounds were selected and were evaluated for absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion (ADME) and Lipinski rules. The content of the six phytocompounds in various fruits and vegetables was determined via a literature search. Red wine, Chinese hawthorn, and blackberry were recommended as supplements because they contained antiviral phytocompounds.
    CONCLUSION: Red wine, Chinese hawthorn, and blackberry show promise for resisting COVID-19 and are thus recommended as supplements to prevent the infection of COVID-19 during its outbreak period.
    Keywords:  Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2; COVID-19; Chinese hawthorn and blackberry; Molecular docking; Red wine; SARS-CoV-2 3CL hydrolytic enzyme