Vitamins, supplements won’t reduce COVID risk

Although vitamins are an important part of overall health, new research suggests that they don’t play a large role in protecting against COVID-19.

A study published in January found that vitamin C, vitamin D, and zinc—which have long been touted for their immune-boosting properties—didn’t decrease people’s risk of dying from COVID-19. Vitamin D was linked with a lower intubation rate and a shortened hospital stay among COVID-19 patients, but the researchers said more evidence is needed to support those findings.

Experts quoted in a February 28, 2022 article said that the best way to prevent severe illness and death from COVID-19 is to get vaccinated.

Walter Willett, professor of epidemiology and nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, who wasn’t involved in the new study, told that even though vitamins haven’t been shown to reduce COVID-19 mortality risk, people still need many essential nutrients to function. “In some ways, the body and its immune system is like a car,” he said. “You need all the parts running and in good repair, and if you take out one critical part, it doesn’t work very well.”

He noted, however, that if you take supplements that you don’t need or that your doctor hasn’t recommended, you could increase your risk of side effects or even vitamin toxicity. He said that if you think you’re deficient in any vitamins, you should check with your doctor, and consider eating more fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods, because “supplements can’t take the place of a healthy diet.”

Read the article: Taking Vitamins and Supplements Won’t Help Reduce Your Risk of Dying From COVID-19