Review Article
Volume 15 Issue 6 - 2020
Vitamins, Minerals and Other Elements of the Diet for Strengthening the Immune System and Reduce the Burden of Viral Respiratory Tract Infections: A Review
Silvia Paz Ruiz1* and Lena Huck2
1Scientific Coordinator, Atrium Innovations, Spain
2Independent Scientific and Medical Writer, SmartWorking4U, Spain
*Corresponding Author: Silvia Paz Ruiz, Scientific Coordinator, Atrium Innovations, Spain.
Received: April 08, 2020; Published: May 11, 2020


Viral infections of the respiratory system comprise a broad spectrum of mild to life-threatening diseases that inflict a significant clinical, humanitarian and economic burden to societies. The intake of an adequate caloric-protein diet rich in micronutrients is a modifiable factor to decrease the load of viral respiratory tract infections in the population. Micronutrients are essential to strengthen the immune system. The objective of this review is to summarise the most consistent evidence that substantiates a potential role of vitamins, oligoelements, probiotics and herbs to reduce the clinical burden of viral respiratory tract infections. Electronic sources of medical publications (PubMed and Scopus) were searched to identify literature reviews, meta-analyses and clinical studies on the health outcomes of using dietary elements in the context of viral infections of the respiratory system. Overall, vitamins C and D as well as zinc, selenium and probiotics are at the cornerstone for strengthening the immune response to viral respiratory infections. Vitamin C and D are fundamental for ameliorating the burden of acute infections of the upper respiratory tract as well as pneumonia, particularly in high risk individuals and in patients who have low vitamins plasma levels. Probiotics are essential to guarantee the diversity and good balance of the microbiota of epitheliums. Probiotics may have a significant role in the recovery of critically ill patients after viral infections of the respiratory tract. Herbs and botanical extracts help diminishing the number and length of symptoms. All these elements of the diet exert some immunomodulatory effect that improves the response to anti-viral vaccination. More research is needed to precise the role of micronutrients and other common elements of the diet to inform their most appropriate and correct use.

Keywords: Viral Infections; Respiratory System; Immunity; Diet; Micronutrients; Probiotics; Review


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Citation: Silvia Paz Ruiz and Lena Huck. “Vitamins, Minerals and Other Elements of the Diet for Strengthening the Immune System and Reduce the Burden of Viral Respiratory Tract Infections: A Review”. EC Nutrition 15.6 (2020): 14-26.

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