Is there any association between supplements and COVID 19 prevention or cure?
Are supplements utilized for COVID 19 really helpful?
What supplements should I use for COVID 19 and in how much quantity?
All these questions might go through your mind, whenever someone suggests you ‘take this pill’ or ‘try that supplement’, including that also assures that it is advantageous for COVID 19.
The Truth About Supplements and COVID 19
COVID 19 pandemic started to emerge from Wuhan, China taking the lives of more than 1 million people around the globe. Since then researchers started to work day and night for finding the prevention and cure of this deadly disease.
Although it’s been one year and no positive feedback came from scientists regarding COVID 19 treatment. For this deadly disease still to date, prevention is believed to be the only cure.
In addition to all the researches on medications for the cure of coronavirus, the trend of consuming nutritional supplements is at its peak. Around the world, even people who are not consuming them before started to take at least 1 supplement pill a day since the COVID 19 emerged.
Why is that so? Because there is a universal shout out that ‘take this and it will prevent COVID 19’, or ‘take that it will cure coronavirus’. The fear of the coronavirus is everywhere due to which consumers are taking, and stocking whatever they see over social media, or heard by word of mouth, whether medications or supplements.
Many companies are also using this fear of consumers as their marketing benefit and sales increasing strategy. They are earning money in the name of covid 19 prevention and cure. Food and drug authority (FDA) also warns people about the unapproved medications and supplements available in marketing the name of COVID 19.
Moreover, the FDA also mentioned some names and issued warning letters to some companies in this concern.
What is Included in The Nutritional Supplements
The supplements are mainly in the pill form. They contain vitamins, minerals, fiber, and many other dietary supplements that can be taken by a natural diet but it’s hard to reach the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) every day.
Below are the names of the popular ones that are consumed and sold during this pandemic abruptly:
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B9
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Omega 3 Fatty acids
Indeed it is necessary to discuss each of these in detail. But, this post will be very long if I will do so. Briefly, these are in some way or another connected, and the rumors around them are because they make your immunity strong and help in reducing the inflammation.
The Supplements and COVID 19
The truth is that this disease is new for the world to make any conclusions at present. Research is going on about supplements and drugs but at present, there is nothing science can surely say about it, as everything is in the pipeline. There are some beliefs and their effectiveness and facts will take time to be approved.
Then why are people using certain supplements?
Because there are studies that show patients getting favor in their recovery and treatment during the illness with those supplements. They are believed to have antiviral properties leading to the positive outcomes of the patients suffering from COVID 19. One study suggests that people with comorbidities like diabetes, for example, have a bad immune system, and nutritional supplements can help them to prevent COVID 19 and enhance their immunity as well.
There are many drugs, nutritional supplements, and herbal products that I can debate on but for today, I will be discussing the 3 topmost debatable supplements, their uses, why they are essential in COVID 19, and what is their Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA).
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin C
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin and helps to secure your immune system. Studies believe that if you are Vitamin D deficient your immune system will be low and you are more likely to get ill from COVID 19 and face its complications. Also, the study that shows Vitamin D supplements help acute respiratory illnesses like coronavirus.
Even before the COVID 19 arose there were researches available that favored Vitamin D in decreasing the risk of Respiratory tract infection.
So, there is a clear cut indication that Vitamin D is very important to consume in this pandemic of COVID 19. This statement is also favored by a study that reveals people who are living in either pole of the globe that is away from the equator receive less sunlight so are more likely to be Vitamin D deficient. Those people faced more deaths from COVID 19.
Another study was carried out on 2 groups of patients who were admitted to the hospital for COVID 19. Group A received Vitamin D with other antibiotics and medications and Group B didn’t receive Vitamin D with their treatment plan.
Events of that study showed that only 1 patient from Group A ended up in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Whereas almost half of the patients from Group B shifted to ICU because of COVID 19 complications.
Can I take Vitamin D?
Yes, you should and everyone must take vitamin D whether due to COVID 19 or not as it tends to be improving your immunity without a doubt and helping in the recovery of many diseases. It is better to consult your doctor before starting your daily Vitamin D supplement.
Note: Don’t take or consult your doctor before taking Vitamin D if you have one of the following:
- Allergies from Vitamin D.
- Heart problems.
- Kidney problems: stones and decreased functions.
- High Vitamin D, Phosphate, or Calcium in your blood.
- Blockage in your arteries is arteriosclerosis.
- Other electrolyte issues.
How Much Vitamin D Should I Take?
Can I Get Vitamin D From Food?
Yes, Vitamin D is naturally occurring in sunlight. Approximately 5–30 mins of sun exposure between 10 AM and 3 PM at least twice a week to the face, arms, legs, or back without sunscreen usually lead to sufficient Vitamin D synthesis.
Some food sources include milk, fish like salmon, mackerel, etc. Egg yolk, fish liver oil, beef, food fortified with Vitamin D and cheese.
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that is a potent antioxidant and also has anti-inflammatory properties. It helps maintain a good immune system and also increasing immunity at times of need.
Vitamin C is beneficial in the early treatment of COVID 19. Vitamin C decreases the chances of COVID 19 patients developing.
Studies show that Vitamin C has a wide range of antiviral properties. Furthermore, it is cheap and well-tolerable almost by everyone.
Researchers also suggest that intravenous Vitamin C is very effective in fighting COVID 19 primarily for patients who are critically ill and needing the ICU setting. On the other hand, some suggest that it is as effective as oral vitamin supplements.
In either way, the importance of Vitamin C in the role of COVID 19 treatment is not questionable.
Can I Take Vitamin C Supplement?
Yes, you can and everyone must take vitamin C whether due to COVID 19 or not as it tends to be improving your immunity and helping in the recovery if you get COVID 19. It is better to consult your doctor before starting your daily Vitamin C supplement.
Note: Don’t take or consult your doctor before taking Vitamin C if you have one of the following:
- Sickle cell disease.
- G6PD deficiency.
- High oxalic acid in the urine.
- Allergy from Vitamin C.
How Much Vitamin C Should I Take?
Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) as approved by the Food and Drug Authority (FDA) is 90mg.
Can I Get Vitamin C From Food?
Yes, Vitamin C is naturally occurring and rich in fruits like Cantaloupe, grapefruit, Orange, Kiwi, Papaya, all berries ( for example strawberry, blueberries), Mango, Watermelon, guavas, etc.
Vegetables that are rich in Vitamin C include Bell peppers, broccoli, kale, lemon, green chilies, ginger, garlic, etc.
Zinc is a mineral that is important in numerous ways to your body but concerning this article, it is important to maintain robust immunity. It helps in fighting colds, flu, and respiratory infections. Zinc increases the antibodies to fight infections and if taken within 24 hours of symptoms can decrease the duration and course of infection.
Another study shows that low levels of zinc in the blood tends to increase death chances in a COVID 19 patient. Moreover, Zinc works by preserving the respiratory epithelium of the respiratory system, and it is also believed to have antiviral properties.
Can I Take Zinc Supplement?
Yes, Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of zinc must be taken by everybody. It is not only effective against COVID 19 but also with flu and other respiratory illnesses. It is better to consult your doctor before starting your daily Zinc supplementation.
Note: Don’t take or consult your doctor before taking Zinc if you have one of the following:
- Kidney issues
- Zinc allergy
How Much Zinc Should I Take?
Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) as approved by the Food and Drug Authority (FDA) is 11mg.
Can I Get Zinc From Food?
Yes, Zinc is naturally occurring in foods like Oysters, nuts, whole grains, beans and lentils, meat, shellfish, seeds, eggs, dairy, etc.
In a nutshell, If your doctor recommends you and you don’t fall in the contraindicated category it is better to take all the vitamins and minerals within their Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) every day. This will not only help in COVID 19 but also boost your immune system for fighting almost all diseases.
All the supplements and COVID 19 interactions I mentioned above conclude that there is an effect of nutritional supplements on advancing your overall health.
Just like drugs, dietary supplements are also in the trial phase right now. They help in prevention and cure there is no doubt, but the confirmation is still in dispute. The best way to cure COVID 19 is still avoidance of being exposed. Try to wash your hands frequently with soap and water, wear a mask to cover your nose and mouth, and practice social distancing.