Zinc and vitamin C, taken alone or in combination, do not significantly reduce the severity or duration of COVID-19, according to a recent study. Taking zinc and vitamin C supplements to alleviate the symptoms of COVID-19 is therefore useless. The extent to which preventive intake could help protect against coronavirus infection was not investigated here.
When people take zinc and ascorbic acid (vitamin C) to treat COVID-19, it doesn’t significantly reduce the severity or duration of symptoms compared to standard treatment, the Cleveland Clinic researchers report of their latest research. The study was published in the English-language journal ” JAMA Open Network “.
Vitamins and dietary supplements against COVID-19?
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been widespread speculation about the role of various vitamins and dietary supplements in preventing or treating the disease. However, there is still limited scientific evidence about the protective effects of vitamins and dietary supplements.
Effects of zinc and vitamin C.
Zinc is known to be important for immune function. Zinc also plays a role in the production of antibodies and white blood cells and can fight infections. According to a recently published study, zinc strengthens the body’s defenses and also protects fertility in COVID-19 . In turn, vitamin C is an antioxidant that can help reduce cell damage and has been shown to boost the immune system in the past, researchers at the Cleveland Clinic report.
To investigate the effect of zinc and vitamin C on the course of the disease, 214 adults with a confirmed COVID-19 infection were recruited for the current study. The participants were randomly divided into four groups and received either zinc gluconate (50 mg), vitamin C (8000 mg), both active ingredients together or the standard care for ten days from April 2020 to October 2020, the team explains.
Zinc and vitamin C no more effective than standard treatment
The study was stopped because there was no significant difference between the four groups of participants, reports the Cleveland Clnic. The researchers explain that, especially when it came to reducing symptoms, there was no significant difference between the groups.
The participants in the study were not admitted as an inpatient, but treated on an outpatient basis. “We know that not all people with COVID-19 need hospitalization, and compared to those who are treated in a hospital, the others are more likely to look for supplements that could help them,” explains expert Dr. Suma Thomas from Cleveland Clinic’s Heart Vascular & Thoracic Institute. Therefore, this is an important group of people for appropriate research.
Explanation for three deaths?
A total of four serious incidents were observed during the study, including three deaths. The researchers explain that the so-called Data Safety Monitoring Board had come to the conclusion that none of the adverse events were caused by the individual treatments that the participants received in the study.
Prevention of COVID-19
In conclusion, the experts point out that there are definitely ways to reduce the risk of a coronavirus infection. They advise that you get vaccinated against COVID-19 if possible and that you should continue to observe the distance rules. In addition, care must be taken to wash your hands frequently and to wear a mask in public. The extent to which a preventive intake of zinc and vitamin C could help is not discussed and would first have to be investigated in further studies.
Lack of scientific evidence
“When we started this study, there was no research to support any complementary therapy to prevent or treat patients with COVID-19,” explains Dr. Milind Desai of the Heart Vascular & Thoracic Institute at the Cleveland Clinic in a press release .
Since then, the pandemic has spread across the globe, millions of people were infected with SARS-CoV-2 and died. As a result, despite the lack of scientific evidence, attempts have often been made to combat the disease with dietary supplements that were believed to potentially prevent infection or alleviate COVID-19 symptoms. To date, however, there is not enough scientific research that investigates these effects, reports the expert. Vitamin C and zinc have now been shown to be ineffective in treatment, but studies on other therapeutic agents are continuing. (as)