Potential role of adjuvant micronutrient therapy in the management of respiratory tract infections: a narrative review
Keywords:Micronutrients, Respiratory tract infections, Vitamins, Zinc, COVID-19
Respiratory tract infections (RTIs) are highly prevalent and variable in nature, and are accountable for considerable morbidity and mortality. Acute respiratory tract infections (ARIs) are the third leading cause of death worldwide and the most common cause of antibiotic prescription among adults. It is common knowledge that inappropriate or overuse of antibiotics for RTIs is a crucial contributing factor with respect to the emergence of microbes that are resistant to the drug’s effects. Overuse of antibiotics and antibiotic resistance is a global issue that is becoming a serious concern. There is a growing need for novel approaches and adjuvant therapies for such infections, particularly in the setting of worsening antibacterial resistance. The strategy of supporting the immune system of the host in advance of infection exposure would decrease the number and severity of infections and thus decrease antibiotic use. Micronutrients have varied roles throughout every stage of the immune system and help in strengthening and maintaining immune function. Deficiencies of micronutrients are associated with varied health outcomes and can impact both innate and adaptive immunity profoundly, causing immunosuppression and thus leading to increased susceptibility to infections. Moreover, in view of the COVID-19 pandemic situation, the factors that help the proper functioning of the immune system have garnered much interest and hence the maintenance of an optimal status of certain micronutrients could be particularly beneficial.
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