In view of several studies claiming efficacy of vitamins against Covid-19, a new research proves that taking immune-boosting supplements such as vitamin C, D and zinc do not lessen your chance of dying from the virus.
While these supplements have also been dubbed as an alternative against proven vaccines, researchers at The University of Toledo in Ohio, the US, said there’s been little evidence.
“A lot of people have this misconception that if you load up on zinc, vitamin D or C, it can help the clinical outcome of Covid-19,” said Dr. Azizullah Beran, an internal medicine resident at the University’s College of Medicine and Life Sciences.
“That hasn’t been shown to be true,” Beran added.
In the study, published in the journal Clinical Nutrition ESPEN, the team reviewed 26 peer-reviewed studies from around the globe that included more than 5,600 hospitalised Covid patients.
The analysis found no reduction in mortality for those being treated with vitamin D, C or zinc compared to patients who did not receive one of these three supplements.
While treatment with vitamin D may be associated with lower rates of intubation and shorter hospital stays, the researchers stated that more rigorous study is needed to validate that finding.
Vitamin C and zinc were not associated with shorter hospital stays or lowering the chance of a patient being put on a ventilator.
The researchers also analysed a smaller subset of individuals who had been taking vitamin D prior to contracting the virus and found no significant difference in the mortality rate.
However, thy cautioned that the study should not be interpreted as saying vitamin and mineral supplements are bad or should be avoided, but rather made it clear that they are not effective at preventing deaths due to Covid.
At the same time, they also noted that it’s possible that some Covid patients who are malnourished or otherwise deficient in micronutrients may benefit from taking supplements, but that’s because their bodies already lack essential nutrients – not because vitamin D or vitamin C are effective against the virus.
“What we’re saying is this: If you don’t medically need these supplements, don’t take them thinking they’re protective against Covid,” Beran said. “They’re not going to prevent you from getting it and they’re not going to prevent you from dying.”