As the Covid-19 pandemic continues and even intensifies in some localities. There has been more and more individuals interested in learning about supplements. I will take this opportunity to review some of the available literature on commonly asked questions.
There has been some evidence to suggest that a vitamin D deficiency can lead to an increased risk of contracting Covid-19. This association was supported by a retrospective cohort study, JAMA Netw Open 2020 Sep 1;3(9):e2019722. The study simply demonstrated that individuals who were deficient in vitamin D were more likely to test positive for Covid 19. However, it did not assess any other vitamin or mineral deficiencies. Individuals who are deficient in vitamin D may very well be deficient in other vitamins and minerals. Can we assume that it is solely the Vitamin D deficiency that has predisposed them to contracting covid? Vitamin D does not currently have any definitive evidence of efficacy in treating covid 19. The recommended dose for vitamin D3 is 1000 IU daily. Given that many individuals are deficient in vitamin D. I am recommending vitamin D3 1000 IU daily to all my patients.
There is weak data suggesting that high dose vitamin C aids in the treatment of Covid-19. While the data is weak, it is still present, and needs to be considered. Maintaining adequate intake of vitamin C is beneficial. Thus, I am recommending vitamin C supplementation to my patients.
Zinc supplements/ lozenges have been used to help with the common cold for quite sometime. There has been data demonstrating that they decrease the length of the common cold. The data does not currently definitively prove that these zinc benefits are extended to the common cold. Furthermore, there have been reports of anosmia (loss of sense of smell) in patients taking intranasal zinc. Thus, my advise is to proceed with caution, and inquire before taking over the counter zinc supplements.