A nutritional intervention against COVID-19: Possibilities on the use of an alkaline diet to boost physiological resistance and immunity.

Gawade, Avinash Eknath; Bale, S R


Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a causative agent of COVID-19. The perilous pandemic caused by 2019-nCoV erupted in late 2019 in China has blanketed the whole world and continues to do so. The incidence of the disease, its morbidity, and mortality is high. Strategic planning to contain a virus, fast track research for prophylactics and therapeutics are underway. Food is one of the components of complementary and alternative medicine of the cultures all over the world. Routine diet and its management which is an easily manageable affair will also play crucial to improve an individual’s resistance to infection.    In recent years alkaline diet has secured a large number of proponents and gained popularity among the scientific community as well. Its significance for the treatment of many non-communicable diseases has been recognized. The diet or food component whose net potential renal acid load (PRAL) is low is defined as an alkaline diet. We hypothesize that the alkaline diet could significantly boost an individual’s physiological resistance and immunity against 2019-nCoV by targeting endosomal pH which plays an important role in viral pathogenesis. Hydroxychloroquine, a therapeutic drug that is being used at present for COVID-19 treatment also targets endosomal pH to viral prevent infection.  In the present article, we have discussed the significance of diet in traditional medicine, pH homeostasis, the role of pH in 2019-nCoV pathogenesis and the possibilities of how the alkaline diet could interfere with the initial stages of infection. Clinical evidences of the use of the alkaline diet for the treatment of infectious and non-infectious diseases have been reviewed. Further, technical details of the alkaline diet, its correlation to Ayurvedic dietetics have been discussed. Though the current article emphasizes the management of the COVID-19 in the light of pandemic, the approach holds grounds for the other respiratory tract viral pathogens too whose pathogenesis is similar to 2019-nCoV. Future experimental studies to establish such correlation are warranted. Adopting the food which has low dietary acid load (alkaline diet) will aid in boosting the physiological resistance resulting in improved health conditions to fight against 2019-nCoV.


2019-nCoV; Alkaline diet; COVID-19; Endosomal pH; Physiological resistance

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