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December 2022

COVID-19: The Latest on Zinc, Vitamin D

We’ve learned a lot about treating COVID-19 over the past year. But there’s still a lot of confusion on the use of supplements. Zinc and vitamin D remain the most talked about nutrients – here’s what the latest evidence says.

The evidence on vitamin D is becoming more complex and unclear. Most research has been conducted on hospitalized patients – and unfortunately a lot of the evidence is limited by poor study design. When it comes to outpatient use, there’s some early evidence that taking vitamin D supplements might be linked with less severe COVID-19 symptoms. But not all studies agree. This link might also be due to other factors, such as age and comorbidities. For now, recommendations remain the same – continue to encourage patients to maintain adequate vitamin D levels. Taking 400-1000 IU (10-25 mcg) daily of a USP-verified supplement may be appropriate for those who are unable to spend 15-30 minutes in the sun each day.

As for zinc, a meta-analysis of a small number of studies suggests that treating hospitalized patients with zinc by mouth or by IV may be associated with a reduced risk of death. But taking zinc by mouth still doesn’t seem to speed up recovery from COVID-19 in non-hospitalized patients. For patients battling COVID-19 at home, continue to recommend maintaining adequate nutrient intake through foods. Taking zinc supplements doesn’t seem to help.

There’s also some new evidence available on resveratrol and ozone therapy. One small clinical trial shows that taking a specific resveratrol supplement by mouth four times daily doesn’t reduce the risk of hospitalization or pneumonia when compared to placebo. As for ozone therapy – evidence on using nebulized ozone or ozone autohemotherapy is mixed. It’s also unclear if ozone therapy improves long-COVID symptoms.

Review our recently updated monographs on zincvitamin Dresveratrol, and ozone therapy to dive into the details on each. We’ll continue to update you as we learn more.

The information in this brief report is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions. Copyright © 2023 Natural Medicines Inc. Commercial distribution or reproduction prohibited. Natural Medicines is the leading provider of high-quality, evidence-based, clinically-relevant information on natural medicine, dietary supplements, herbs, vitamins, minerals, functional foods, diets, complementary practices, CAM modalities, exercises and medical conditions. Monograph sections include interactions with herbs, drugs, foods and labs, contraindications, depletions, dosing, toxicology, adverse effects, pregnancy and lactation data, synonyms, safety and effectiveness.