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  • Writer's pictureMaria Tinoco


Much has been said since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic; however, public health authorities only focus on isolation, social distance, and hygiene. That is a recommendation that must be followed to flatten the curve and avoid the collapse of the health-care system. COVID-19 continues to evolve, and many variables remain unknown.

A vaccine will take at least one to a year and a half to develop. Opening the economy is not going to take that long. The question is, what will happen when we return to our regular life, to our jobs? If we become infected, can we decrease the severity of the infection?

COVID19 and your immunity
COVID19 and your immunity

For me, the focus now more than ever should be on nutritional status and how to support your immune system. This statement does not mean that you will not become infected, but if it happens, your body will be better prepared to fight the infection.

Defense by Bruno/Germany

From several recently written articles on the virus, how it enters the cell, and previous reports on immune modulation, Here are five nutrient/lifestyle recommendations you should focus on to support your immune system.

Lactoferrin, an iron-binding glycoprotein reported in the literature to provide immune support activities. Lactoferrin supplementation can play a protective role by binding to HSPG (1)(2)(3) receptor, blocking the preliminary interaction of the virus with the host cell, and reducing the virus load. Research on this topic is ongoing. A source of Lactoferrin is whey protein and supplemental capsules.

Vitamin D is known to have a role as an immunomodulator (4)(5). Although there is no evidence of vitamin D to reduce the risk or severity of COVID-19, taking supplemental vitamin D would be reasonable for most people. Especially people with pre-existing health conditions or with low sun exposure. According to the Food and Nutrition Board (FNB), the maximum daily intake that is unlikely to cause adverse health effects is 4,000 IU.

Critical nutrients, known for their immune support function (6). The main ones are

Vitamin A (they play an essential role in cell differentiation and innate immunity).(7)
Vitamin C (an antioxidant and cofactor for cellular function in the innate and adaptive immune system).(8)
Zinc (deficiency can lead to excessive inflammation at the time of infection).(9) 
EFA (essential fatty acids).

Reduce food that increases inflammation (sugar, refined carbohydrates, vegetable oils, trans-fats, processed meat). The western diet, deprived of so many micronutrients and fiber, affects not only the gut microbiota but can also deregulate the immune response. (10)(11)

Improve stress and sleep management. These, out of control, weaken the immune system. A meta-analysis report found that chronic stressors were associated with suppression of cellular and humoral immunity. Similarly, studies found that lack of sleep can weaken the immune system, leading to an increased susceptibility of the body to infections. (12)(13)

" Don't focus on how much you eat, focus on what you eat"

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