Can vitamins help lessen the severity of COVID-19?


Harvard School of Public Health recently published an article, entitled “Ask the Expert: The role of diet and nutritional supplements during COVID-19,”that suggests vitamins could play a role in the severity of COVID-19:

Harvard experts in epidemiology and nutrition, Drs. Wafaie Fawzi and Walter Willett, along with PhD student, Dr. Ibraheem Abioye, provided some information on the link between vitamins and COVID-19.

While there is no evidence explicitly examining the relationship between nutrition and the severity of COVID-19, the Harvard experts explained that “nutrition is intricately linked to immunity and to the risk and severity of infections.” Previous studies mentioned in the article have shown that both vitamin C and D supplementation have reduced the occurrence of respiratory tract infections. Existing evidence that reveals the importance of meeting nutritional needs to lower the risk of infection suggests that vitamin deficiencies could be related to more severe cases of COVID-19; “although we do not have evidence at this time whether vitamin D supplements will reduce the severity of COVID-19, they might, especially among people with low levels.”

While we do not know the direct link between COVID-19 and nutritional supplements, taking vitamins is sensible, especially considering they are reasonably inexpensive and have few negative consequences. As explained in the article, “prudence suggests that inadequate intakes of essential minerals and vitamins be avoided at this time, and supplements can help fill some gaps.” Two supplementation options recommended are multivitamin supplements and vitamin D supplements. Multivitamins can help fulfill nutritional requirements not met through diet, whereas vitamin D helps avoid a deficiency that could become problematic.

With the widespread cases of COVID-19, why not invest in another potential way to protect ourselves–vitamins.

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