Woman using supplements and orange slices

Environmental Health:

Certain Supplements May Help Prevent and Mitigate Coronavirus

Margaux Thieme-Burdette April 18, 2020

Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been many questions surrounding supplements and COVID-19.

Will they have some effect on the coronavirus? Will they boost our immune systems to fight off the illness or lessen the severity? Are they safe and effective?

The overall concern with supplements and COVID-19 flutters around a lack of evidence, as we’ve only just begun to learn about this new pathogen.

However, the lack of evidence should not be used as a barrier to dismiss potential methods of prevention – especially when they are generally seen as safe and noninvasive, with little risk of side effects.

To alleviate any unease, simply to talk to your health care practitioner to ensure they won’t interact with other medications you may be taking. Further reasons to check in before taking any combination of supplements:

  • Proper dosage according to your age, sex, weight, location, genetics, and health condition. An excess of certain vitamins or minerals can cause adverse reactions
  • Correct pairings of vitamins and minerals. Vitamin D, for example, needs a certain level of magnesium to be properly metabolized in the body
  • Address deficiencies to enhance your overall health
  • Recommendations for high quality supplement brands

The below combination of supplements is the recommended approach by Dr. Paul Marok, MD with the Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS), based on the best and most recent literature, including the Shanghai Management Guideline for COVID.

EVMS states that while there is very limited data, the following “cocktail” may have a role in the prevention and/or mitigation of COVID-19 disease, especially amongst the most vulnerable citizens in our community; i.e. those over age 60 and those with multiple chronic conditions.

  • Vitamin C + Quercetin
    • 500 mg vitamin C with 250-500 mg quercetin, twice/day
  • Zinc
    • 75-100 mg zinc acetate, gluconate, or picolinate, once/day
    • Zinc lozenges are preferred
    • After 1-2 months, reduce dose to 30-50 mg/day
  • Vitamin D3
    • 1000-4000 u vitamin D3, once/day
    • Optimal dose unknown
  • Melatonin
    • 3 mg slow release melatonin, once at night
    • Increase dose as tolerated to 1-2 mg per night

Please visit the EVMS COVID website for updated versions of this protocol.

Eating a colorful, nutrient-dense diet full of whole foods, staying well-hydrated, and getting adequate sleep at night are other vital ways to help, in conjunction with the above supplement cocktail. These seemingly simple (though sometimes challenging) lifestyle practices can help optimize immune system function to better defend against pathogens.

Despite the uncertainty surrounding the novel coronavirus, there are still many ways to take a proactive approach in preventing the spread and keeping your body strong and healthy. As always, keep doing your own research and stay up-to-date on new insights and your local situation.

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