Vitamins may not reduce risk of death from COVID-19: study

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Vitamin C and zinc were not associated with shorter hospital stays or a reduced risk of a patient being put on a ventilator. | Photo credit: iStock Images

Highlights

  • In the study, published in the journal Clinical Nutrition ESPEN, the team looked at 26 peer-reviewed studies from around the world that included more than 5,600 hospitalized Covid patients.
  • The analysis found no reduction in mortality in people treated with vitamin D, C or zinc compared to patients who did not receive any of these three supplements.
  • The study should not be taken to say that vitamin and mineral supplements are bad or should be avoided, but rather made it clear that they are not effective in preventing Covid deaths.

New York: In light of several studies claiming the effectiveness of vitamins against Covid-19, new research proves that taking immune-boosting supplements such as vitamin C, D and zinc does not decrease your chances of dying from the virus.

Although these supplements have also been touted as an alternative to proven vaccines, researchers at the University of Toledo in Ohio, USA, said there was little evidence.

“A lot of people have this misconception that if you top up on zinc, vitamin D or C, it can help clinical outcomes of Covid-19,” said Dr. Azizullah Beran, internal medicine resident at the College of Medicine. and Medicine from the University. Life sciences.

“That didn’t turn out to be true,” Beran added.

In the study, published in the journal Clinical Nutrition ESPEN, the team looked at 26 peer-reviewed studies from around the world that included more than 5,600 hospitalized Covid patients.

The analysis found no reduction in mortality in people treated with vitamin D, C or zinc compared to patients who did not receive any of these three supplements.

Although vitamin D treatment may be associated with lower intubation rates and shorter hospital stays, the researchers said more rigorous study is needed to validate this finding.

Vitamin C and zinc were not associated with shorter hospital stays or a reduced risk of a patient being put on a ventilator.

The researchers also analyzed a smaller subset of individuals who had taken vitamin D before contracting the virus and found no significant difference in the death rate.

However, they cautioned that the study should not be interpreted to say that vitamin and mineral supplements are bad or should be avoided, but rather clarified that they are not effective in preventing Covid deaths.

At the same time, they also noted that it is possible that some Covid patients who suffer from malnutrition or another micronutrient deficiency could benefit from taking supplements, but that is because their bodies are already lacking in nutrients. essential – 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 protect against Covid,” Beran said. “They won’t stop you from getting it and they won’t stop you from dying.”

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