Review Article

Enhancement of Immune System in Addition to Medical Therapy For Counteracting COVID-19: The Importance of Micronutrients


  • Mustafa Metin DONMA
  • Orkide DONMA

Received Date: 19.05.2020 Accepted Date: 23.10.2020 Nam Kem Med J 2020;8(3):541-550

Immune responses in patients with Coronavirus Disease 2019 infection have been dysregulated. Decreased T cells, natural killer cells, monocytes/macrophages and increased proinflammatory cytokines are observed. Immunological status of the body is greatly affected by the nutrition. Micronutrients are required for the optimum performance of macronutrients. Vitamin and trace element deficiencies are generally associated with altered immune responses, which lead to increased susceptibility to infections. Supplementation with micronutrients generally reverses many impaired immune responses. In this study, close associations between the regulation of immune processes and some vitamins, trace elements as well as phytochemicals have been pointed out. In addition to a proper diet as well as a medical therapy, supplementation of vitamins A, B6, B9, B12, C, D, E and zinc, copper, selenium may be beneficial for both prevention and treatment of viral infections including this new extraordinary coronavirus disease. The investigations on phytochemicals are also underway. In individuals with a powerful immune system, the recovery from this disease is either without symptoms or with a mild clinical picture. Therefore, it is plausible to apply natural integrative approaches comprising some vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals as preventive measures or as supplements in addition to the present medical treatment. This approach will favor the enhancement of the immune system. Such an integrative treatment reduces morbidity and mortality rates in patients, who have been contaminated with this virus. Micronutrients, within the scope of immune system, may be conceivable as the expedient to find some solutions for the prevention and/or treatment of this disease.

Keywords: Covid-19, immune system, micronutrients, trace elements, vitamins