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Association of dietary intake of polyphenols, lignans, and phytosterols with immune-stimulating microbiota and COVID-19 risk in a group of Polish men and women

Micek et al., Frontiers in Nutrition, doi:10.3389/fnut.2023.1241016
Aug 2023  
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Dietary analysis of 95 adults in Poland, showing lower risk of COVID-19 with higher intake of polyphenols, lignans, and phytosterols. Results were statistically significant for total phytosterols, secoisolariciresinol, β-sitosterol, matairesinol, and stigmasterol. Authors suggest that beneficial effects on gut microbiota and immune function may contribute to the lower risk.
Study covers quercetin, curcumin, and diet.
Micek et al., 3 Aug 2023, retrospective, Poland, peer-reviewed, survey, 8 authors, study period July 2020 - December 2020. Contact:
This PaperCurcuminAll
{ 'DOI': '10.3389/fnut.2023.1241016', 'ISSN': ['2296-861X'], 'URL': '', 'abstract': '<jats:sec><jats:title>Objectives</jats:title><jats:p>Devastating consequences of COVID-19 ' 'disease enhanced the role of promoting prevention-focused practices. Among targeted efforts, ' 'diet is regarded as one of the potential factors which can affect immune function and optimal ' 'nutrition is postulated as the method of augmentation of people’s viral resistance. As ' 'epidemiological evidence is scarce, the present study aimed to explore the association ' 'between dietary intake of total polyphenols, lignans and plant sterols and the abundance of ' 'immunomodulatory gut microbiota such as Enterococcus spp. and <jats:italic>Escherichia ' 'coli</jats:italic> and the risk of developing COVID-19 ' 'disease.</jats:p></jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Methods</jats:title><jats:p>Demographic ' 'data, dietary habits, physical activity as well as the composition of body and gut microbiota ' 'were analyzed in a sample of 95 young healthy individuals. Dietary polyphenol, lignan and ' 'plant sterol intakes have been retrieved based on the amount of food consumed by the ' 'participants, the phytochemical content was assessed in laboratory analysis and using ' 'available databases.</jats:p></jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Results</jats:title><jats:p>For ' 'all investigated polyphenols and phytosterols, except campesterol, every unit increase in the ' 'tertile of intake category was associated with a decrease in the odds of contracting ' 'COVID-19. The risk reduction ranged from several dozen percent to 70 %, depending on the ' 'individual plant-based chemical, and after controlling for basic covariates it was ' 'statistically significant for secoisolariciresinol (OR\u2009=\u20090.28, 95% CI: 0.11–0.61), ' 'total phytosterols (OR\u2009=\u20090.47, 95% CI: 0.22–0.95) and for stigmasterols (OR\u2009' '=\u20090.34, 95% CI: 0.14–0.72). We found an inverse association between increased ' 'β-sitosterol intake and phytosterols in total and the occurrence of <jats:italic>Escherichia ' 'coli</jats:italic> in stool samples outside reference values, with 72% (OR\u2009=\u20090.28, ' '95% CI: 0.08–0.86) and 66% (OR\u2009=\u20090.34, 95% CI: 0.10–1.08) reduced odds of abnormal ' 'level of bacteria for the highest compared with the lowest tertile of phytochemical ' 'consumption. Additionally, there was a trend of more frequent presence of Enterococcus spp. ' 'at relevant level in people with a higher intake of ' 'lariciresinol.</jats:p></jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Conclusion</jats:title><jats:p>The ' 'beneficial effects of polyphenols and phytosterols should be emphasized and these plant-based ' 'compounds should be regarded in the context of their utility as antiviral agents preventing ' 'influenza-type infections.</jats:p></jats:sec>', 'alternative-id': ['10.3389/fnut.2023.1241016'], 'author': [ {'affiliation': [], 'family': 'Micek', 'given': 'Agnieszka', 'sequence': 'first'}, {'affiliation': [], 'family': 'Bolesławska', 'given': 'Izabela', 'sequence': 'additional'}, {'affiliation': [], 'family': 'Jagielski', 'given': 'Paweł', 'sequence': 'additional'}, {'affiliation': [], 'family': 'Konopka', 'given': 'Kamil', 'sequence': 'additional'}, {'affiliation': [], 'family': 'Waśkiewicz', 'given': 'Anna', 'sequence': 'additional'}, {'affiliation': [], 'family': 'Witkowska', 'given': 'Anna Maria', 'sequence': 'additional'}, {'affiliation': [], 'family': 'Przysławski', 'given': 'Juliusz', 'sequence': 'additional'}, {'affiliation': [], 'family': 'Godos', 'given': 'Justyna', 'sequence': 'additional'}], 'container-title': 'Frontiers in Nutrition', 'container-title-short': 'Front. 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