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Nutrients. 2021 Jul 14 ;13(7). Epub 2021 Jul 14. PMID: 34371920

Abstract Title: 

Nutraceuticals in Viral Infections: An Overview of the Immunomodulating Properties.


Nutraceuticals, including vitamin D, vitamin A, zinc, lactoferrin, polyphenols coenzyme Q, magnesium, and selenium, are implicated in the modulation of the complex molecular pathways involved in the immune response against viral pathogens. A common element of the activity of nutraceuticals is their ability to enhance the innate immune response against pathogens by acting on the major cellular subsets and inducing the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines and antimicrobial peptides. In some cases, this action is accompanied by a direct antimicrobial effect, as evidenced in the specific case of lactoferrin. Furthermore, nutraceuticals act through complex molecular mechanisms to minimize the damage caused by the activation of the immune system against pathogens, reducing the oxidative damage, influencing the antigen presentation, enhancing the differentiation and proliferation of regulatory T cells, driving the differentiation of lymphocyte subsets, and modulating the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. In this paper, we review the main molecular mechanisms responsible for the immunomodulatory function of nutraceuticals, focusing on the most relevant aspects for the prevention and treatment of viral infections.

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