In a new study, researchers found that vitamin C and zinc supplements don’t help COVID-19 patients recover from their illness.
Giving one or the other, or a combination of both, to patients didn’t strongly reduce the severity or duration of their COVID-19 symptoms.
The research was conducted by a team at Cleveland Clinic’s Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute.
Zinc is important for immune function, and vitamin C is an antioxidant shown to boost the immune system.
Before the study, there was no research to support supplemental therapy for the prevention or treatment of patients with COVID-19
In this study, the team assessed how 214 adults with confirmed COVID-19 infection responded to either: 10 days of zinc gluconate (50 milligrams/mg), vitamin C (8,000 mg), both, or usual care.
The patients in this study weren’t hospitalized, but they received outpatient treatment.
The study was conducted from April to October 2020. It was halted early because there were no differences between the four groups of patients.
The team says not all patients with COVID-19 require hospital admission and compared to those being treated in a hospital setting, they are more likely to be seeking out supplements that could help them.
While vitamin C and zinc could benefit the immune system, they proved ineffective as a treatment when clinically compared to standard care.
One author of the study is Dr. Milind Desai, the director of clinical operations.