PITTSBURGH – Most of us have heard that vitamin C and zinc can boost your immunity, and some believe they can help protect you from the common cold. But what about COVID-19?
Do vitamins give you an advantage against coronavirus? Can they make you less likely to get COVID-19, or if you get it, reduce the duration and make it less severe?
So far, research shows some promising indications, but it is still mixed.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant and many people swear by it to help build immunity.
But specifically, when it comes to COVID-19, a major study supported by the National Institutes of Health showed no significant health benefit when vitamin C was given to patients diagnosed with COVID-19.
We spoke to the Allegheny Health Network registered dietitian Kelsey Hutter about that.
“Unfortunately, there has been no conclusive evidence of this, for now. So I think we need more investigations,” Hutter told us.
So unfortunately, there is no clear evidence at this point that vitamin C helps protect against COVID-19.
Zinc is known to stimulate antiviral activity and reduce inflammation. And some studies show that zinc can slow down the virus’ ability to make copies of itselfincluding coronavirus.
“Specifically, with COVID-19, it helps with one enzyme to reduce the replication of COVID-19.
So there is some evidence that zinc may help, but more research is still needed, “Hutter said.
There are several studies shows promise that vitamin D can offer some protection when it comes to COVID-19.
One out of Boston University looked at the blood samples from nearly 200,000 people from all 50 states. It found those who had deficient levels of vitamin D had a 54% higher COVID-19 positivity rate compared to those with adequate levels of vitamin D.
And one more recent study from Israel showed that people with vitamin D deficiency are more likely to have a severe or critical case of COVID-19.
One thing to note is that most people get their vitamin D from the sun and many do not get enough.
“Some of the reasons are that the older you are, the harder it is to synthesize enough vitamin D from the sun, and that’s where you get vitamin D. If you’re African American, you tend to synthesize less D “Vitamin from the sun, compared to a Caucasian person,” Hutter explained.
So we ultimately asked Hutter if you should take vitamins to protect against COVID-19?
“Generally, if you eat a healthy diet and take a multivitamin with D, it will give you that backup insurance so your body can fight infection,” Hutter said. “Especially with COVID-19, if we have enough armor to prepare for battle, then we can better fight disease and infection.”
So there is reason to hope that some vitamins may be useful in the fight against COVID-19, although more research is needed to provide definitive evidence.
If you decide to take vitamins that are right for you, be sure to follow the instructions for the appropriate dosage and talk to your doctor before starting a new regimen.
© 2022 Cox Media Group