Vitamins ineffective at reducing COVID-19 mortality - study

"A lot of people have this misconception that if you load up on zinc, vitamin D or vitamin C, it can help the clinical outcome of COVID-19. That hasn’t been shown to be true."

 Shaare Zedek hospital team members wearing safety gear as they work in the Coronavirus ward of Shaare Zedek hospital in Jerusalem on February 09, 2022. (photo credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)
Shaare Zedek hospital team members wearing safety gear as they work in the Coronavirus ward of Shaare Zedek hospital in Jerusalem on February 09, 2022.
(photo credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)

A University of Toledo study found that taking vitamins such as zinc, vitamin C and vitamin D does not reduce the chance of dying from COVID-19.

The study was published last month in the journal Clinical Nutrition ESPEN by Dr. Azizullah Beran from the Department of Internal Medicine and Dr. Ragheb Assaly from the Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at the University of Toledo, as well as several other researchers.

Noting that, although supplements have been used to manage viral diseases, their effectiveness in treating COVID-19 had not yet been proven, the researchers searched multiple medical databases through December 5, 2021, and analyzed mortality, intubation rate and length of hospital stay.

Furthermore, the researchers analyzed 26 studies involving 5633 COVID-19 patients and compared the use of zinc, vitamin C and vitamin D with the overall standard of care that the patients received and found that, though none of the vitamins had a significant impact on mortality rate, vitamin D did, however, reduce the rate of intubation, or the number of patients that required ventilators, as well as the length of patients' hospital stay.

Beran, an internal medicine resident at the university and lead author of the study, commented on the common misconception that taking vitamins improves the condition of COVID-19 patients:

"A lot of people have this misconception that if you load up on zinc, vitamin D or vitamin C, it can help the clinical outcome of COVID-19. That hasn’t been shown to be true."

 SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 (illustrative). (credit: PIXABAY) SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 (illustrative). (credit: PIXABAY)

The researchers noted that this does not mean that vitamins and minerals are detrimental, but that they do not prevent deaths from COVID-19.