Study In BMJ Journal Says Women Do Modestly Benefit From Multivitamins, Omega-3 Supplements And Probiotics In Terms Of Decreasing Risk Of COVID-19
Supplements For COVID-19
: A new study by researchers from King's College London-UK, Massachusetts General Hospital-USA, Lund University-Sweden, University College London-UK, University of Nottingham-UK and University of Southampton-UK has shown that women do benefit modestly from taking multivitamins, Omega-3 supplements and probiotics in terms of decreasing the risk of COVID-19.
Based on a web-app survey, involving 372,720 UK participants (175,652 supplement users and 197,068 non-users), the study found that those taking probiotics, omega-3 fatty acids, multivitamins or vitamin D had a lower risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection by 14% (95% CI (8% to 19%)), 12% (95% CI (8% to 16%)), 13% (95% CI (10% to 16%)) and 9% (95% CI (6% to 12%)), respectively, after adjusting for potential confounders.
However no effect was observed for those taking vitamin C, zinc or garlic supplements. On stratification by sex, age and body mass index (BMI), the protective associations in individuals taking probiotics, omega-3 fatty acids, multivitamins and vitamin D were observed in females across all ages and BMI groups, but were not seen in men. The same overall pattern of association was observed in both the US and Swedish cohorts.
The study findings conclude that in women, a modest but significant association between the use of Supplements For COVID-19
such as probiotics, omega-3 fatty acid, multivitamin or vitamin D supplements and lowered risk of testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 is found. The study team found no clear benefits for men nor any effect of vitamin C, garlic or zinc.
However randomized controlled trials are required to confirm these observational findings before any therapeutic recommendations can be made.
The study findings were published in the peer reviewed journal: BMJ Nutrition, Prevention and Health. https://nutrition.bmj.com/content/4/1/149
Hence the large observational showed that taking multivitamins, omega-3, probiotics or vitamin D supplements may reduce the risk of testing positive for the novel coronavirus which causes COVID-19, at least among women.
The study found that taking vitamin C, zinc, or garlic supplements was not associated with a lower risk of testing positive for the virus.
The study team lead by researchers from King's College London in the UK, drew on adult users of the COVID-19 Symptom Study app to see if regular supplement users were less likely to test positive for SARS-CoV-2.
The COVID-19 Symptom Study app was launched in the UK, the US, and Sweden in March 2020 to capture self-reported information on the evolution of the pandemic.
The study team analyzed information supplied by 372,720 UK subscribers to the app about their regular use of dietary supplements throughout May, June, and July 2020 during the first wave of the pandemic as well as any coronavirus swab test results.
It was found that between May and July 2020, 175,652 UK subscribers regularly took dietary supplements while197,068 did not.
Interestingly around two thirds (67 per cent) were women and over half were
The study found that in all, 23,521 people tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 and 349,199 tested negative between May and July.
Importantly the research findings showed that taking probiotics, omega fatty acids, multivitamins or vitamin D was associated with a lower risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection by 14 per cent, 12 per cent, 13 per cent and 9 per cent, respectively.
However no such effects were observed among those taking vitamin C, zinc, or garlic supplements, according to the researchers.
Also when the study team looked specifically at sex, age and weight (BMI), the protective associations for probiotics, omega-3 fatty acids, multivitamins and vitamin D were observed only in women of all ages and weights.
However no such clear associations were seen in men, the study team said.
Also, despite some differences, the same overall patterns were mirrored in both the US (45,757) and Swedish (27,373) subscribers, they said.
The study team noted that this is an observational study, and as such, cannot establish cause.
The team also acknowledged several limitations, including that the study relied on self-reported data and a self-selected group.
It should be noted that no information was collected on supplement doses or ingredients either.
While the observed effects were modest, they were significant, noted the researchers, who call for large clinical trials to inform evidence-based therapeutic recommendations.
Professor Dr Sumantra Ray, Executive Director, NNEdPro Global Centre for Nutrition and Health, which-co-owns the journal told Thailand Medical News, "We know that a range of micronutrients, including vitamin D, are essential for a healthy functioning immune system. This, in turn, is key to prevention of, and recovery from, infections. But to date, there is little convincing evidence that taking nutritional supplements has any therapeutic value beyond maintaining the body's normal immune response.”
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