When the pandemic threat of COVID-19 became evident in the first week of March 2020, sales of zinc supplements and vitamin C skyrocketed. However, these supplements may not exactly be the best way to prevent you from being sick, according to Dr. Caroline Apovian of Boston Medical Center.
The truth is, aside from 70% Isopropyl Alcohol, washing hands with soap and water is the best way to fight this virus, or any virus and bacteria for that matter.
At best, vitamins, greens, sunlight, and exercise will give you peace of mind that you have done your part to maintain a healthy body—ready to fight infection. The point is fresh fruits, as a source of Vitamin C and antioxidant, is matchless.
What the experts say: No evidence Vitamin C helps treat COVID-19
There is no scientific research supporting the claim that taking high doses of vitamin C could help prevent or cure COVID-19. Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization. Of course, drugs like Hydroxychloroquine are a different story.
But wait, there’s more—keep those Vitamin C tablets going—it may come in handy!
Vitamin C was a clear answer to scurvy in the early 1900s. Scurvy was directly linked to pneumonia, a side effect of COVID-19.
Hydroxychloroquine war, does it really work for COVID?
Alfred Hess research
American pediatrician Alfred Hess extensive studies on scurvy, said, Pneumonia, lobular or lobar, are one of the most frequent complications [of scurvy] and causes of death and ‘secondary pneumonia, usually broncho-pneumonic in type, are of common occurrence, and in many, [scurvy] epidemics constitute the prevailing cause of death.’ [Cornell]
As a result, some German and US physicians proposed that vitamin C would be beneficial in the treatment of pneumonia in the 1930s.[Pubmed]
Cochrane Library study on Vitamin C
A systematic review published in the Cochrane Library, which examined the role of vitamin C supplementation in preventing and treating pneumonia, found inclusive but important results.[NCBI]
The trials found a statistically significant benefit of vitamin C supplementation on at least one clinically relevant outcome. The possible effect of vitamin C on the risk of respiratory infections in physically stressed people is also highly relevant.
Immediate practical conclusions cannot be drawn from the studies. However, the findings suggesting the benefit of vitamin C against lung infections are essential, and further studies should be done.
The effects of vitamin C on respiratory infections indicate that it is not limited to preventing and treating scurvy but has other respiratory benefits as well.