Women, take note: A reduced risk of a positive COVID-19 test may be as close as your medicine cabinet.
New research show taking vitamin D, probiotics, omega-3 supplements or multivitamins may lessen women’s risk of testing positive for the virus that causes COVID-19.
Using health data from more than 370,000 people in the United Kingdom, researchers focused on two groups: about 175,000 people who took supplements and approximately 200,000 who didn’t. Those who took supplements were found to have a lower risk of COVID-19 infection that ranged from 9% for vitamin D to 14% for probiotics.
The protective effects were noted among women of all weights and ages. No such protective effects were found among men, and researchers are unclear about that disparity. The findings also held true across several countries. With some exceptions, those in the study group from Sweden and the United States showed similar patterns.
The study also made clear which supplements had no protective effects against the virus. Those include vitamin C, zinc and garlic.
While noting that the data were self-reported and the effects were modest, researchers said the findings were significant. Larger clinical trials are needed to support therapeutic recommendations. The findings were published in The BMJ, a peer-reviewed journal published by the British Medical Association.
The supplements alone might not directly help ward off COVID-19. In fact, there is little known evidence that nutritional supplements have any therapeutic value by themselves. But they boost your immune system, which helps prevent infections in the first place.
When it comes to protecting yourself from COVID-19, any help is welcome.