Nutrition During The Pandemic

We are living in unprecedented times, and while the pandemic continues, increasing number of people are reviewing nutritional ways to optimise their immune function.

While there is no magic solution, doctors have suggested that supportive nutrition could play an essential role in boosting our immune function moving forward. According to an article published in BMJ Nutrition, Prevention and Health, doctors Emma Derbyshire and Joanne Delange have suggested that the right diet could be of significant benefit to vulnerable groups.

The article notes that a recent review pinpointed a number of micronutrients that are essential to developing a robust immune system, such as vitamins A, B12, C, D, and E, as well as copper, folate, iron, selenium, and zinc.

Of these, it notes that there is a particularly large body of evidence relating to the positive impact of vitamins C and D and zinc.


Drs Derbyshire and Delange note that Vitamin C’s beneficial impact on immunity has been recognised for almost a century. Indeed, a review in 2017, which studied three separate trials, noted that it was effective in both preventing and treating pneumonia.

In addition, a 2013 review collated evidence from three different trials and discovered that there was a statistically significant reduction in the incidence of pneumonia among those who had taken vitamin C. It was thus concluded that vitamin C supplementation could offer an effective treatment for patients with pneumonia, especially in light of its low costs and minimal risks.

The article points out that with regards to potential mechanisms, it is well documented that infections increase oxidative stress, while vitamin C is a known antioxidant that can counteract these effects.


Vitamin D is known as an incredibly effective immunoregulator, with the majority of immune cells, including macrophages, band T lymphocytes, and monocytes, having vitamin D receptors.

It has been theorised that immune cells themselves can also transform the vitamin into its active form.

Thus, in a review by Zdrenghea et al, it was concluded that the vitamin could act as a potential adjuvant, helping to protect and treat patients suffering from viral respiratory infections (who often have a decreased vitamin D status).

In addition to this, Greiller and Martineau discovered that vitamin D deficiency correlated with an increased risk of viral acute respiratory infection, with vitamin D metabolites able to modulate the expression and secretion of type one interferon, chemokines, and pro-inflammatory cytokines.

Another study, in the form of a systematic review and meta-analysis, gathered research from 25 different trials, to study the impact of supplementing vitamin D on acute respiratory infections. Participants ranged from new-borns 95-year-olds, but the same protective effects were seen among all demographics, especially where they were deficient in this vitamin. They thus surmised that vitamin D was a low-risk strategy for protecting against acute respiratory tract infections.


Known as the ‘gatekeeper’ of our immune systems, Zinc has an essential role in regulating our intracellular signalling pathways.

Not only this, but zinc has a part to play in bodily inflammation, elevating our inflammatory responses and encouraging cell-mediated immunity. It thus acts as a primary component in pathogen-eliminating transduction pathways.

While no meta-analyses or reviews have been carried out on this subject, a study of paediatric populations nonetheless concluded that supplementing with zinc for a period of three months or more could help to prevent pneumonia in children under the age of five.

In addition, it’s recognised that, among elderly demographics, insufficient levels of zinc can negatively impact immune function, while also reducing pathogen resistance, increasing the incidence and duration of pneumonia, and contributing to overall mortality rates.

Given this extensive body of research, it’s fair to suggest that immune-supportive nutrition can be vital in helping to maximise immune function.

Curaetd’s Immunity Box contains Zinc, Vitamin C (with bioflavonoids to increase its potency) and D3K2, as well as body’s master antioxidant Glutathione.