Vitamin C and zinc are commonly used in the treatment of colds and flu, but do not have much effect on people infected with nCoV.
The research was published in the medical journal JAMA Network Open on February 12. “Unfortunately, vitamin C and zinc are not as beneficial to Covid-19 as many would expect,” said Associate Professor and Dr Erin Michos of John Hopkins University, the author of the work.
The clinical trial was conducted in three groups, with 214 adults infected with nCoV. The first group received vitamin C, the second group received zinc, and the third group received both. The fourth control group did not use these substances but only standard treatment (rest, rehydration, fever reduction).
“High doses of zinc, vitamin C, or both, did not reduce nCoV symptoms,” concludes Dr Milind Desai, a Cleveland Clinic cardiologist and study co-author.
Taking high doses of vitamin C and zinc also causes many undesirable effects. “Side effects such as nausea, diarrhea and stomach cramps were reported more in the supplement group than in the standard treatment group,” Michos said.
Many Americans often take vitamin C and zinc as a treatment for colds and flu caused by viruses. This is an antioxidant and plays an important role in supporting the immune system. Having not been shown to help prevent disease, other research has shown vitamin C reduces colds by 8% in adults and 14% in children.
Many analyzes show that zinc helps the body’s cells fight infection. Zinc deficiency, on the other hand, increases proinflammatory cytokines and decreases antibody production – an important element of the immune process.
Overuse of zinc and vitamin C causes many side effects. According to the National Institutes of Health, taking vitamin C after cold symptoms appear does not have much effect.
Taking more than 2,000 mg of vitamin C per day leads to heartburn, heartburn, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and headache. The average recommended daily intake of vitamin C is 75 mg for women and 90 mg for adult men.
Taking more than 40 mg of zinc a day can cause dry mouth, nausea, loss of appetite and diarrhea, in addition to creating an unpleasant metallic taste when eating.
According to the National Institutes of Health, long-term use of zinc lowers blood copper, lowers immunity, and lowers HDL-cholesterol (a type of cholesterol that is good for health). In 2009, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned against using zinc nasal sprays as they have been linked to more than 100 cases of smell loss.
Scientists are continuing to study the role of vitamins and other supplements in the treatment of Covid-19. Several randomized controlled trials are underway to determine the role of vitamin D. In addition to supporting healthy bone development, vitamin D also has anti-inflammatory properties.
Scientists in the US and China are studying the effectiveness of intravenous vitamin C therapy in the supportive treatment of patients with severe respiratory failure who need to be ventilated. Much scientific work is underway to evaluate the effectiveness of supplements such as vitamin C, vitamin D and zinc in the prevention of Covid-19. However, with this newly published study, using vitamin C and zinc to shorten the duration of nCoV infection does not seem to be of value.
Manh Kha (Follow CNN)