Some nutrients play key roles in maintaining the integrity and function of the immune system, presenting synergistic actions in steps determinant for the immune response. Among these elements, zinc and vitamins C and D stand out for having immunomodulatory functions and for playing roles in preserving physical tissue barriers. Considering the COVID-19 pandemic, nutrients that can optimize the immune system to prevent or lower the risk of severe progression and prognosis of this viral infection become relevant. Thus, the present review aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the roles of zinc and vitamins C and D in the immune response to viral infections, focusing on the synergistic action of these nutrients in the maintenance of physical tissue barriers, such as the skin and mucous membranes.
The evidence found in the literature shows that deficiency of one or more of these three elements compromises the immune response, making an individual more vulnerable to viral infections and to a worse disease prognosis. Thus, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the adequate intake of zinc and vitamins C and D may represent a promising pharmacological tool due to the high demand for these nutrients in the case of contact with the virus and onset of the inflammatory process. Ongoing clinical trials will help to clarify the role of these nutrients for COVID-19 management.