Vitamins and Minerals that May Help with Viral Infections
Despite everything you may have read on the internet, nothing has been proven to cure or prevent COVID-19. The best way to protect yourself from the Coronavirus is to practice social distancing1 and not come into contact with someone that has been infected. You should also make sure that you get enough sleep, exercise daily, eat healthy, and find ways to reduce stress.
With that being said, here are three essential vitamins and minerals that could have potential health benefits if taken daily (not excessively):
When your body is deficient in iron, it can make you more vulnerable to infections. Vitamin C may help your body absorb iron 2 from the foods you eat. Vitamin C is vital to the function of leukocytes (white blood cells that can help fight off infections), and it may boost your overall immune system3.
Taking 500 mg of Vitamin C (twice daily) before the signs of the common cold may slightly reduce the duration of the virus, but there isn’t enough evidence that proves that it will help once symptoms have developed.
Many people are reading that taking higher doses (5,000 mg) of Vitamin C may help your body battle against the fight against COVID-19, but this information is false and has been banned on platforms such as Facebook, Youtube, and Twitter. Vitamin C, when taken in large doses, can cause gastric distress, diarrhea, and other harmful reactions 4.
Vitamin D may help reduce the risk of respiratory infections and viruses such as influenza A in children and adults that are deficient 5. If you don’t get enough sun daily, it is recommended that you take a supplement or eat foods that are high in Vitamin D.
To maintain healthy levels of Vitamin D, make sure to get enough sun daily: At least three times a week for about 30 minutes and making sure to safely expose your hands, arms, legs, and face. You can also find Vitamin D in some milks and plant-based milks.
At this time, there is no evidence that Vitamin D can cure or prevent the coronavirus, but taking a Vitamin D supplement may be a safe, preventative measure to help protect your body from respiratory infections in general.
Zinc will not provide any benefits to people unless they are deficient, which is most common in elderly people that have trouble absorbing this essential trace element. Vegetarians and people taking certain medications, such as those that reduce stomach acid and ACE inhibitors on a long-term basis, may also be deficient in Zinc.
One study suggested 6 that Zinc may help improve your chances of avoiding a respiratory tract infection. During the study, elderly patients in France that were deficient in selenium were given 100 mcg per day (two times the daily requirement).
If you are deficient in Zinc, you may want to consider increasing your daily intake of foods that are rich in the mineral or taking a supplement.
To make sure you are getting enough of these essential vitamins and minerals, we recommend consuming a healthy diet and taking one of the NATURELO Multivitamin supplements daily.
3. Vitamin C and immune function., 2009 Feb;32(2):49-54; quiz 55-6