New research shows Vitamin C and Zinc supplements ineffective in treating COVID-19 symptoms

New research shows Vitamin C and Zinc supplements ineffective in treating COVID-19 symptoms

Vitamin C and Zinc supplements were among the most highly sought products during the coronavirus pandemic. These supplements have been long used to shorten the duration of symptoms caused by the common cold and the flu noted that zinc is known to be important for immune function, with a role in antibody and white blood cell production and fighting infections while Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps reduce cell damage and is known to be immune boosting. However, new research shows that it remains ineffective in treating Covid-19 symptoms.

Researchers from Cleveland Clinic examined the effects of the supplements on 214 people who were recovering at home between April and October last year. The patients were randomly assigned to four groups. One group was given the zinc supplements. Another received vitamin C supplements, A third received both the supplements while a fourth served as a control group.

The results, published in the journal of the American Medicine Association, were so futile that researchers stopped the trial early. The researchers found that even at high doses; the supplements didn’t help reduce the duration of Covid-19 symptoms.

“When we began this trial, there was no research to support supplemental therapy for the prevention of or treatment of patients with Covid-19,” said Milind Desai, Co-principal investigator of the study from Cleveland Clinic’s Heart Vascular & Thoracic Institute.

“As we watched the pandemic spread across the globe, infecting and killing millions, the medical community and consumers alike scrambled to try the supplements that they believed could possibly prevent infection, or ease Covid-19 symptoms, but the research is just catching up,” He said.

“While vitamin C and zinc proved ineffective as a treatment when clinically compared to standard care, the study of other therapeutics continues,” Desai said

The study results show another way that Covid-19 diverges from the common cold and the flu.  Some previous research has found zinc and vitamin C help reduce the duration of those illnesses.

CNN reported that studies have shown that the zinc may reduce the duration of the common cold by 20% when taken in high doses while vitamin C has been found to shorten colds by 8% in adults and 14% in kids, but the supplement must be taken before the symptoms begin to be effective.

The researchers said that a total of four safety events were observed during the trial, including three deaths. However, the data safety monitoring board denied any adverse events during the trial.