May omega-3 fatty acid dietary supplementation help reduce severe complications in Covid-19 patients?
Pierre Weill,a Claire Plissonneau,b,c Philippe Legrand,d,e Vincent Rioux,d,e and Ronan Thibaulte,f,∗
aBleu-Blanc-Cœur Association – Univ Rennes, France
bUniversité Clermont Auvergne, Inserm U1071, USC-INRAE 2018, Microbes, Intestin, Inflammation et Susceptibilité de l’Hôte (M2iSH), 63001, Clermont-Ferrand, France
cUniversité Clermont Auvergne, Laboratoire des Adaptations Métaboliques à l’Exercice en Conditions Physiologiques et Pathologiques (AME2P), EA 3533, 63171, Clermont-Ferrand, France
dLaboratoire de Biochimie et Nutrition Humaine, Institut Agro, Rennes, France
eINRAE, INSERM, Univ Rennes, Nutrition Métabolismes et Cancer, NuMeCan, Rennes, France
fUnité de Nutrition, CHU Rennes, Rennes, France
∗Corresponding author. Unité de Nutrition CHU Rennes 2, rue Henri Le Guilloux, 35000, Rennes, France.
In around 10% of SARS-CoV-2 infected patients, coronavirus disease-2019 (Covid-19) symptoms are complicated with a severe lung damage called Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), which is often lethal. ARDS is mainly associated with an uncontrolled overproduction of immune cells and cytokines, called “cytokine storm syndrome”; it appears 7–15 days following the onset of symptoms, leading to systemic inflammation and multiple organ failure. Because they are well-known metabolic precursors of specialized pro-resolving lipid mediators (SPMs), omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega-3 LC-PUFAs) could help improve the resolution of the inflammatory balance, limiting therefore the level and duration of the critical inflammatory period. Omega-3 LC-PUFAs may also interact at different stages of the viral infection, notably on the virus entry and replication. In the absence of demonstrated treatment and while waiting for vaccine possibility, the use of omega-3 LC-PUFAs deserve therefore to be considered, based on previous clinical studies suggesting that omega-3 supplementation could improve clinical outcomes of critically ill patients at the acute phase of ARDS. In this context, it is crucial to remind that the omega-3 PUFA dietary intake levels in Western countries remains largely below the current recommendations, considering both the omega-3 precursor α-linolenic acid (ALA) and long chain derivatives such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). An optimized omega-3 PUFAs status could be helpful to prevent infectious diseases, including Covid-19.
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