Researchers at the University of the Balearic Islands have published a study which considers the relationship between mortality from Covid-19 and the intake of iron, zinc and vitamins B12, C and D.
The nutrigenomics and obesity group at the university, which is led by Professor Andreu Palou, has published its findings in the journal Nutrients. The research indicates that countries where consumption of these minerals and vitamins is lowest were those where there were higher rates of mortality during the first wave of the pandemic. These countries include Belgium, France, Italy, Spain and the UK.
The group focused on the consumption of the main essential nutrients for the proper functioning of the immune system - the vitamins A, B6, B9, B12, C and D; the minerals copper, iron, selenium and zinc - and the correlation with the effects of Covid.
The three authors, Palou, Sebastià Galmés and Francisca Serra, explain that while the importance of nutrition for the healthy functioning of the immune response system is widely recognised by the scientific community, they had sought to determine the specific nutrients most important for the threat posed by Covid.
The intake level of the ten nutrients was analysed in ten European countries, and the results suggest that "suboptimal intake of vitamins B12, C and D and of iron and zinc is associated with a higher incidence of mortality".
The researchers add that the conclusions of the study refer to the set of populations in each of the countries that were studied and "can serve as a guide but cannot be directly extrapolated to each individual person".