Could Supplements Protect you from COVID-19?

Medicines and a face mask

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) causes cough, fever, and shortness of breath and its symptoms are similar to that of flu. Hence there is a debate that whether supplements like vitamin C can fix, provide relief or protect you from the outbreak itself.

Let me make it clear, it’s extremely unlikely that supplements can fight off this infection. I was watching CNN on my Spectrum Indianapolis cable connection this morning and was surprised to hear that Tom Hanks and his wife have tested positive for COVID-19. This pandemic is spreading and we need to take precautions ASAP!

Can Supplements Help?

I repeat NO!

When afflicted by a common cold, we chug orange juice and perhaps even swallow vitamin C supplements. The myth says it boosts the immune system and hence cold and its symptoms disappear.

The truth is, in most people, this supplement doesn’t ward off the cold. And there is no evidence so far that supplements can grant immunity against COVID-19.

Apart from vitamin C, people are taking elderberry syrup, and Zinc to protect themselves against the virus. Many influencers without any medical credentials have been tweeting about vitamins, supplements, and even diets as if they can protect against the virus.

The truth is loud and clear, there is no evidence showing any of these supplements can’t prevent or treat the condition. Therefore, don’t waste your time or money on buying supplements.

Be Wary of the Headlines

Supplements like Vitamin C pose no risk however, others that are sold as immune system boosters can be harmful. After the outbreak of COVID-19 in the USA, the FDA and FTC issued warning letters to 7 companies for selling bogus products that promise to treat the infection, cure it, and prevent it.

Other immune system boosting supplements like green tea, zinc, and Echinacea cannot help. Medical experts have given loud and clear statements about not spending your money on these scams. A registered dietitian and nutritionist, Julia Stefanski says that the medical professional hasn’t been able to identify how to influence the immune system. So don’t bother about getting supplements.

Scientists are testing if Vitamin C can alleviate the symptoms or improve patient outcomes. A clinical trial was launched at Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University in February to test 140 patients. The purpose of the research is to test if a high dosage of Vitamin C could treat the infection. The test group will be given infusions twice a day for 7 days. They will receive 12 grams of Vitamin C. The trial is to be completed in September. No updates or results are available so far.

Ditch the Supplements and do this Instead

If you really want to protect yourself and your family against the virus, ditch the supplements and start by washing your hands thoroughly with soap.

Here are other things you can do for prevention:

Get More Sleep

Sleepy man in bed

The whole idea of taking supplements was to boost the immune system, right? A simple way to do that is to get more sleep.

It’s backed by research – sleep-deprived people have low immunity. This means they are at more risk of catching a virus. If you want to fix something, fix your sleeping schedule. Make sure you get at least 7 hours of sleep.

Keep Your Phone Clean

I am sure you are already washing your hands and keeping a hand sanitizer with you. But have you forgotten the number of germs there are on your phone? Just look at its screen right now! It’s dirty, isn’t it?

A study says some viruses can remain on the surface for up to 9 days. I suggest disinfecting your smartphone regularly. Use cleaning wipes containing 70% ethanol. Clean the front as well as the back. Just like you are extra careful about washing your hands these days, clean your phone at least once a day too.

Wearing a Facemask

It’s not mandatory but if you want to be cautious, there is no harm in wearing one.

Generally, a facemask is mandatory when you are in close contact with a person with COVID-19. The person who is infected must also wear it.

Tips on Coping with the Stress

It’s natural to feel anxious about the outbreak. WHO brings some tips for coping with stress.

  • Whenever you feel scared, stressed, confused, or sad about the outbreak, talk to someone you trust.
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle. A proper diet, sleep, exercise, and casual hangout with friends are recommended.
  • Do not incline to drugs, smoke, or alcohol to deal with your emotions.
  • Keep updated with the news. Make sure your source is a credible website.

Remember, that lots of patients who were inflicted with this virus have been cured. It’s best to invite friends over on the weekends and watch shows on Spectrum channels with some snacks and drinks instead of going out to crowded public places. Worry less and stay safe!