Since the discovery of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in late 2019, the virus has spread around the world, resulting in a pandemic.
SARS-CoV-2 is still a threat to the general public, who are potentially at risk in the event of a new outbreak.
According to previous epidemiological and clinical investigations on COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2 infection usually results in mild disease, while a minority proportion of individuals experience severe or critical illness.
Asymptomatic people are expected to make up 17.9% to 78% of those infected, while approximately 15% of those infected will have severe disease, and about 5% will develop severe pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).
Recent Italian data on the COVID-19 case fatality rate (CFR) revealed a linear relationship between the CFR and a person’s age. Under 40 patients have CFRs of less than 0.4%, 1.5% for those over 50, 3.5% for those over 60, 12.8% for those over 70, and 20.2 % for those over 80; the overall CFR is 7.2 percent. However, a number of other factors, such as the patient’s age and the intensity of the illness they’re experiencing, can alter the course and severity of SARS-CoV-2, according to new studies.
SARS-CoV-2’s immunological response is currently being studied, however, a new study has indicated that a cytokine storm overstimulates the body’s immune response to microorganisms as a result of increased inflammatory factor concentrations.
For its anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties, the Mediterranean diet (MetDiet) has been linked to a lower risk for major chronic diseases in several studies. Thus, the authors conclude that the MetDiet may be beneficial to patients who are infected with SARS-CoV2. An Italian research team has published findings on the nutritional benefits of a Mediterranean diet on COVID-19 risk, which are summarized here.
Known as the MetDiet, this method of eating is centered on the traditional foods and beverages of the Mediterranean region. As one of the healthiest eating patterns in recent decades, this approach has continuously been beneficial in terms of longevity. The MetDiet is characterized by a high intake of unrefined grains, fruit, vegetables, legumes, olive oil, and moderate consumption of dairy products and wine.
An ecological investigation of only European countries identified a significant negative connection between MetDiet and COVID-19-related deaths. The researchers found that MetDiet adherence was associated with an increased risk of COVID-19 cases and deaths in 17 Spanish regions, even after controlling for socioeconomic factors. The same researchers discovered a negative correlation between Metdiet adherence and COVID-19-related deaths in 23 countries after controlling for physical inactivity and other confounding factors (OECD).
COVID-19 is related with elevated levels of various proinflammatory cytokines, including tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and CRP. Anti-inflammatory therapies could help to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection or to diminish the severity of COVID-19 disease. Inflammation and oxidative stress have been proven to be reduced by the MetDiet in numerous studies. MetDiet’s positive benefits on those with respiratory system inflammation are evidence of its ability to stimulate the immune system.
Saturated fat-rich foods like processed red meat, cheese, and dairy have been shown to increase inflammation in the body, whereas fruits, whole grains, vegetables, fish, polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), and monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) have all been shown to lower inflammation.
MetDiet’s beneficial effects may be attributed to its abundance of healthful foods (rich in fibre, PUFA, minerals, vitamins, polyphenols, and antioxidants) and lack of fatty foods (high in starch, refined sugar, and trans fatty acids).
Although no one diet can prevent or treat SARS-CoV-2 infection, the Mediterranean diet has a wide range of foods and nutrients that may aid to enhance SARS-CoV-2 infection outcomes.
Vitamin D, C, and selenium have all lately gained attention because of a link between deficiency and the severity of SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 disease. The potential utility of diet and nutrient supplementation as a prophylactic approach against these disorders, on the other hand, is debatable. As a result, the diet of the population is crucial in absorbing all possibly beneficial elements. As a result, sticking to MetDiet may be a smart way to achieve these goals.
When it comes to reducing SARS-CoV-2 virus susceptibility in the general population, it may be crucial to follow the MetDiet guidelines, which encourage the intake of foods high in nutrients with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory qualities. Even in an emergency, a daily meal of legumes, fruits, vegetables, and extra virgin olive oil is simple to follow.
The authors reviewed the most recent studies, focusing on the possible benefits of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant minerals, vitamins, and components, which may play an important role in reducing susceptibility to viral infections in all populations during this global pandemic.
MetDiet is a naturally supplemented dietary pattern that, when combined with quitting smoking and engaging in regular physical activity, can reduce vulnerability to SARS-CoV-2.
As a result, during the global SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, the MetDiet may be considered a viable nutritional option.
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