Do immune-boosting supplements like vitamin c or zinc help combat COVID-19?

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(WSYR-TV) — If you or a loved one are trying to recover from COVID-19, you might reach for those immune-boosting supplements, like vitamin C or zinc but a new study shows that those supplements aren’t going to be much help.

The study suggests the popular immune health supplements are no match for novel coronavirus.

“In this randomized control trial, which is the purest form of science out there, what we were able to show is that zinc, or vitamin C, or the combination of the two, did not reduce disease severity in outpatients that are affected by COVID-19,” said Dr. Milind Desai of the Cleveland Clinic,

Cleveland Clinic researchers studied about 200 people fighting mild to moderate coronavirus at home. They wanted to see if vitamin C and zinc had any impact on reducing severity or duration of infection.

The participants took higher doses of the supplements than you’d get over the counter. And even despite the large doses, results showed the supplements didn’t lessen symptoms or the duration.

Doctors say the best way to treat a mild case of COVID-19 is still the old fashioned way, by staying hydrated, getting plenty of rest, and using over-the-counter medicines to help ease symptoms.

It’s also important to monitor your fever and breathing. If you notice any signs of distress, get help.

“Recognizing signs of deterioration, recognizing signs where you’re not improving after a few days, those are crucial,” said Dr. Desai

Doctors recommend calling your medical provider or going to the emergency room if you have COVID-19 and severe shortness of breath, confusion, or any symptom you can’t care for at home.

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