Which vitamins help with COVID?
Corona viruses are a large group of viral infections that can affect both humans and animals. They get their name from the Latin root for “crown” or the aura of plasma that surrounds the Sun. This is because they have projections from themselves looking like the projections seen on our sun.
There are now seven known Corona viruses that have affected humans. The first four types are common and cause common colds. The next 3 include SARS, MERS and now the most recent pandemic SARs-CoV2, also better known as the COVID-19 Virus that is causing the current pandemic.
This virus, like many of its family members, can last on surfaces for days and it is good to be in the habit of washing your hands after touching door handles, railings, chairs, and tables at outdoor centers.
- Avoid touching your face and always wash your hands and face with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds, which has shown to kill Corona Viruses. Use a fist pump or elbow to greet someone and avoid shaking hands.
- Avoid any person that is coughing or appears ill since the duration of contact has shown to be of utmost importance.
- Try to avoid large gatherings or wear a mask to protect yourself while with others.
- Masks must be changed often to keep from becoming ineffective.
Could Zinc Help Fight COVID-19?
Zinc has been promoted for years as a possible boost for the immune system fighting off infections. Even though there are many other health benefits to zinc supplements, many people who want to improve their overall immune function tend to gravitate towards zinc supplements.
Zinc is a nutrient found throughout your body, helps your immune system, and helps overall metabolism. Zinc is also important for immunity and your sense of taste and smell.
With a varied diet, your body usually gets enough zinc. Food sources of zinc include chicken, red meat, and fortified breakfast cereals. The main issue with zinc absorption is that it can be blocked by supplements such as Calcium, Iron, or Magnesium and it can interact with other medications such as antibiotics. What is the best way to take my zinc supplements and are there certain supplements that should be avoided?
As stated above zinc is a mineral that is very important to the immune system. It is believed that zinc helps the diverse types of white blood cells fight off infections better. Some studies have found that zinc helps lower the duration and the number of viral colds, which are part of the coronavirus family. There is some literature on the synergistic effects of zinc and vitamin C have in boosting the immune response to colds. There are ample data on vitamins helping against viral infections since the days of polio in the 1940’s. Most experts recommend taking some were between 5 to 15mg of zinc daily. The Recommended Daily Value (RDV) or the Reference Daily Intakes (RDIs) of Zinc by FDA for children 1-3 years of age is at 3 milligram and for adults and children above 4 years of age is recommended at 11 milligrams daily.
Recently there are multiple studies showing that a cell receptor called ACE which is abundant in the adult lung is involved as a gateway for Coronavirus (COVID-19) to enter the cell. Hence the virus hits the lungs more commonly in adults and it is less seen in children which have less ACE receptors. Zinc is a sort of a plug that blocks this gateway for the Coronavirus. Newer studies are also showing that zinc can block the enzyme that is responsible for replication of the coronavirus’ genetic code also known as ribonucleic acid (RNA).
There was a study in France that showed the patients that were taking Hydroxychloroquine along with the well-known antibiotic Z-pack showed faster recovery and stopped shedding the virus in less than one week. The problem with the study was that it was too small and too short of duration and the patients in the different arms of the study were not carefully evaluated for other medical conditions. However, this study was the reason that suddenly there was much renewed interest in Hydroxychloroquine.
Some believe that Hydroxychloroquine causes the virus not to be able to penetrate the cell by causing the internal fluid of the cells to become more acidic some others believe that the medication causes a blockage of the cell receptor ACE, which the virus uses as a door to gain entry to our cells. A recent study suggests that Hydroxychloroquine helps shuttle Zinc into the cells. Zinc is believed to interfere with or to stop viral RNA transcription inside the cells and hence halt the proliferation of the virus and its ability to spread.
Unfortunately, subsequent studies have failed to show any benefit for the addition of this medication to the therapy for the current pandemic. Therefore, there is currently recommended not to take this drug if infected by Covid-19 virus and its subtypes.
Can Vitamin D Lower Your Risk of COVID-19?
Vitamin D status is related to risks of influenza and respiratory tract infections. Vitamin D has direct antiviral effects primarily against enveloped viruses, and coronavirus is an enveloped virus. The 2019 coronavirus disease had a high mortality rate and impacted the entire population of the planet, with severe acute respiratory syndrome the principal cause of death. Vitamin D can modulate and regulate the immune and oxidative response to infection with COVID-19.
Most of recent studies showed that blood vitamin D status can determine the risk of being infected with COVID-19, seriousness of COVID-19, and mortality from COVID-19. Therefore, maintaining appropriate levels of Vitamin D through supplementation or natural methods, sunlight on the skin, is recommended for the public to be able to cope with the pandemic.
Can Vitamin C Protect You from COVID-19?
Primates and guinea pigs have one thing in common, their inability to produce vitamin C. Hence, we need to have a steady intake of vitamin C. But the biggest question on everyone’s mind has always been, can vitamin C cure my cold?
We can all agree that vitamins are meant to help our body improve its day-to-day functions. Different vitamins are meant to improve every separate organ system in our body and immunity is no different.
But does daily supplementation of vitamin C cure the common cold or is it just an old wives’ tale?
There are many studies regarding vitamin C and cold prevention, but the results have been inconsistent. A study that was done over 5 years with taking vitamin C 1000mg daily for gastric cancer prevention found instead that the participants had shortened the duration of their common cold. Another double-blind placebo, randomized trial from Japan over 5 years instead showed that daily dosing with 1000mg of vitamin C reduced the frequency of the common cold and not its duration. Hence, we recommend that due to wide range of study outcomes but minimal risk of taking vitamin C, everyone evaluate their own experience with the supplement.
Can melatonin help prevent COVID-19?
Melatonin may decrease risk for and aid treatment of COVID-19 and other RNA viral infections.
A recent retrospective study has provided evidence that COVID-19 infection may be notably less common in those using supplemental melatonin. It is suggested that this phenomenon may reflect the fact that, via induction of silent information regulator 1 (Sirt1), melatonin can upregulate K63 polyubiquitination of the mitochondrial antiviral-signaling protein, thereby boosting virally mediated induction of type 1 interferons. Moreover, Sirt1 may enhance the antiviral efficacy of type 1 interferons by preventing hyperacetylation of high mobility group box 1 (HMGB1), enabling its retention in the nucleus, where it promotes transcription of interferon-inducible genes. This nuclear retention of HMGB1 may also be a mediator of the anti-inflammatory effect of melatonin therapy in COVID-19-complementing melatonin's suppression of nuclear factor kappa B activity and upregulation of nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor two. If these speculations are correct, a nutraceutical regimen including vitamin D, zinc and melatonin supplementation may have general utility for the prevention and treatment of RNA virus infections, such as COVID-19 and influenza.
Regardless of how helpless you may feel in the face of any pandemic you must remember that eventually it will be over, and we must do our best to keep ourselves and our community as healthy as possible. The obvious advice is to wash our hands, wear a mask among others, avoid contact with others, heat our food to kill any viruses or bacteria, and get a good night sleep.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an information overload of health data (both accurate and inaccurate) available to the public.
With vitamins and supplements being readily accessible, many have turned to using them to combat the virus.
All recent studies evaluated the use of vitamins and supplements for the treatment of COVID-19.
Supplement therapies included vitamin D, vitamin C, vitamin B12, zinc, and melatonin.
Of the vitamins and supplements that were studied, vitamin D and zinc presented the most promising data. Vitamin D demonstrating significant decreases in oxygen requirements, need for ICU treatment, SARS-CoV-2 RNA test positivity, and mortality.
While zinc studies clearly show that a considerable number of COVID-19 patients were zinc deficient. These zinc deficient patients developed more complications, and the deficiency was associated with a prolonged hospital stay and increased mortality.
This information is only for educational purposes and is not medical advice or intended as a recommendation of any specific products. Consult your health care provider for more information. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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