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Global Dietary and Herbal Supplement Use during COVID-19—A Scoping Review

Arora et al., Nutrients, doi:10.3390/nu15030771 (Review)
Arora et al., Global Dietary and Herbal Supplement Use during COVID-19—A Scoping Review, Nutrients, doi:10.3390/nu15030771 (Review)
Feb 2023   Source   PDF  
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Review of 14 global studies showing that the most frequently used dietary supplements during COVID-19 were vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc, and multivitamins. The most common reason was for improved immune system functioning or reduced COVID-19 risk. Authors note that participants who have attained higher education levels were more likely to use supplements during COVID-19.
Currently there are 111 vitamin D for COVID-19 studies, showing 37% lower mortality [28‑44%], 26% lower ventilation [-2‑46%], 50% lower ICU admission [33‑62%], 20% lower hospitalization [8‑31%], and 16% fewer cases [7‑23%].
Currently there are 41 zinc for COVID-19 studies, showing 29% lower mortality [10‑44%], 47% lower ventilation [4‑71%], 26% lower ICU admission [-9‑49%], 29% lower hospitalization [7‑45%], and 22% fewer cases [-10‑45%].
Currently there are 61 vitamin C for COVID-19 studies, showing 20% lower mortality [10‑29%], 15% lower ventilation [-6‑32%], 15% lower ICU admission [0‑28%], 17% lower hospitalization [4‑29%], and 6% more cases [-13‑30%].
This study includes vitamin D, vitamin C, and zinc.
Arora et al., 2 Feb 2023, peer-reviewed, 3 authors.
Contact: (corresponding author).
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Global Dietary and Herbal Supplement Use during COVID-19—A Scoping Review
Ishaan Arora, Shecoya White, Rahel Mathews
Nutrients, doi:10.3390/nu15030771
During the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, the lack of cure and the intensity of the global spread raised a common awareness of health. The aim of this scoping review is to summarize dietary supplement use globally during first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic. A systematic search was conducted in December 2021 following PRISMA guidelines. PubMed, ERIC, and Scopus databases were searched, and 956 results were screened for eligibility. Fourteen cross-sectional studies from 11 countries and 3 continents were examined. All studies were large population surveys investigating healthy eating and supplement use during COVID-19. Vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc and multivitamins were the most widely reported, as well as natural/herbal products such as ginger and honey. The most common reason cited for supplements use was to strengthen immune system and to prevent infection of COVID-19. These studies reported that populations are relying on healthcare providers, family, friends, and social media to learn about supplement use. Future studies on the treatment of COVID-19 should include more evidence for supplement use.
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Please send us corrections, updates, or comments. Vaccines and treatments are complementary. All practical, effective, and safe means should be used based on risk/benefit analysis. No treatment, vaccine, or intervention is 100% available and effective for all current and future variants. We do not provide medical advice. Before taking any medication, consult a qualified physician who can provide personalized advice and details of risks and benefits based on your medical history and situation. FLCCC and WCH provide treatment protocols.
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