Multivits, Omega-3s, and Probiotics May Reduce Covid Infection in Women


London, April 21 (IANS) Women who take multivitamins, omega-3s, probiotics or vitamin D supplements are less likely to test positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the infection with Covid-19, according to a large study population.

Women taking probiotics had a 14% lower risk of infection, while omega-3 fatty acids reduced the risk by 12%. Multivits and vitamin D were associated with a 13% and 9% lower risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection, respectively. However, no such clear association was seen in men, said the research team, including Cristina Menni, of the Twin Research and Genetic Epidemiology Department at King’s College London, UK.

Additionally, taking high-profile vitamin C, zinc or garlic supplements did not reduce the risk of testing positive for the virus, results published online in the journal BMJ Nutrition Prevention & Health showed.

Since the start of the pandemic, celebrities have widely endorsed the use of dietary supplements to both prevent and treat Covid-19 infection. In the UK alone, market share rose 19.5% in the run-up to the first nationwide ‘lockout’ on March 23 last year, with sales of vitamin C increasing by 110 % and those of the multivits of 93%. Likewise, sales of zinc supplements rose 415 percent in the first week of March, at the height of Covid-19 fears in the United States.

Dietary supplements can help support a healthy immune system, but it is not known whether specific supplements could be associated with a lower risk of catching SARS-CoV-2, the researchers said.

To understand, the team analyzed information provided by 372,720 British people on the Covid-19 Symptom Study app, to see if regular supplement users were less likely to test positive for SARS-CoV-2.

“This is an observational study, and as such, cannot establish a cause,” the team noted.

But although the observed effects were modest, they were significant, note the researchers, who are calling for large clinical trials to inform evidence-based treatment recommendations.


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