Good Nutrition, Infection and Corona: Basic understanding

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Rakim Chattopadhyay, Founder & CEO, Esperer Onco Nutrition talks about the role nutrition in combating coronavirus

Infection and malnutrition have always been intricately linked. Malnutrition is the primary cause of immunodeficiency worldwide, and we are learning more and more about the pathogenesis of this interaction.

Early 1960s, less was known about nutrition and infection. We had a believe that protein deficiency (kwashiorkor), more than total calorie deficiency (marasmus), was the predominant basis of nutrition problems. Then we started emphasizing on energy, with the assumption that if a person consumed enough kilocalories of energy, all nutrient needs would be met.  Now we are mpre clear that malnutrition and nutritional alterations, common complications of human immunodeficiency virus infection, include disorders of food intake, nutrient absorption, and intermediary metabolism and play a significant and independent role in morbidity and mortality. This simple understanding is the key in any innovative research or pandemic situation like COVID 19, NIPA, Ebola etc. Human body physiology is equipped to tackle any infection proactively provided we are aware of some basic precaution and give priority to our nutritional health.

Important to know about CORONA:

–  NCV (Covid 19) is a subtype of Corona Virus Family

–  These viruses are responsible for flu like respiratory diseases

–  Previous Corona Virus diseases were SARS & MERS

–  They are zoonotic (transmitted from animals)


  1. Droplet (cough)
  2. Fomite (hand to mouth)
  3. Ingestion (food borne – very rare)


  1. Real Time PCR Assay – Done on Sputum / throat swab / body fluids.
  2. Supportive test – Complete Blood Count, Chest X-ray, Chest CT Scan.


  1. No specific treatment, Isolation care, No vaccine available Supportive
  2. Care (fluids etc.)
  3. Good Nutrition

Know this:

  1. Does not spread from properly cooked non veg food
  2. Does not spread from Chinese food / carrier
  3. No risk from pets
  4. Symptom free people need not use mask
  5. Every cough and cold is not Corona
  6. Mild and Moderate disease is curable with supportive care


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