Association of Dietary Macronutrients and Micronutrients with COVID-19

Document Type : Original Article


1 Student Research Committee, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

2 International UNESCO Center for Health-Related Basic Sciences and Human Nutrition, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

3 Department of Nutrition Sciences, Varastegan Institute for Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

4 Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

5 Brighton & Sussex Medical School, Division of Medical Education, Falmer, Brighton, Sussex BN1 9PH, UK.


Introduction: The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak is still an ongoing problem affecting people’s well-being globally. It is known that malnutrition is an important determinant of immune function, leading to an increased risk of infection and severity of diseases. The aim of this study was to characterize the relationship between macronutrients and micronutrients and this viral infection.
Methods: This study was a historical cohort including 6539 subjects (57.2% females, 42.8% males) from the Mashhad stroke and heart atherosclerotic disorder (MASHAD) cohort study. Dietary intakes were assessed using a 65-item validated food frequency questionnaire (FFQ). Data on COVID-19 diagnosis was collected from online health records of patients available in the Sina health information system from the onset of the disease to the end of July 2020. COVID-19 diagnosis has been confirmed using a lung spiral CT scan or PCR laboratory test. SPSS software (Version 20) was usedfor the analysis of data. .
Results: A total of 154 subjects including 85 men (55.2%) and women (44.8%) were infected with COVID-19. Body mass index (p=0.03) and waist circumference (p=0.01) of the patients along with the protein (p=0.02), total N2 (p=0.02), calcium (p=0.02) and thiamin (p=0.04) content of their diet was significantly associated with COVID-19. After multivariate analysis, dietary calcium remained the only dietary factor that predicted COVID-19 infection (OR=0.94, 95%CI [0.87-0.99], p value=0.04).
Conclusion: Our findings indicated that prevalence of COVID-19 may be affected by dietary macronutrients and micronutrients. According to our data, increased calcium intake can reduce the prevalence of COVID-19.


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