Fortification of immunity with vitamin supplements is another preventative measure worth considering.
By: Kalindi Mishra
Though the preventative measures of vigorous sanitization, wearing face masks, and social distancing have become our new normal, it is worth noting that the regular consumption of vitamin supplements bolsters the immune system in its defense against COVID-19 ( aka SARS-CoV-2).
A decrease in the severity of symptoms occurred in people who consumed vitamin D, multivitamins, omega-3-fatty acids, or probiotics. Statistics obtained from 327,720 app users in the UK show that probiotics decrease the risk of infection by 14 %, multivitamins by 13 %, omega-3-fatty acids by 12%, and vitamin D by 9 % .
Upon exposure to the sun- and without layers of sunscreen- our bodies are capable of producing sufficient quantities of vitamin D in a time frame ranging from five to ten minutes.
Vitamin D offers the body two benefits, among many, especially in light of the pandemic: (1) the immune system abilities to fight and reduce infection from bacteria and viruses; (2) a fortified immunity safeguards the body by enlisting its defense mechanism to suppress potential inflammatory infections.
For instance, those deficient for those of 70 years of age or younger 600 IU of vitamin D each day is recommended, while 800 IU of the sunshine vitamin should be taken by those over the age of 70. Furthermore, regular intake of vitamin-D fortified food, such as cereals, milk, and cheese maintains stable levels of supplement within the body.
175,652 of the 327,720 total, have been consuming supplements since the pandemic began. Out of 175,652, only 6% of supplement consumers, in other words, there are 10,508 COVID-19 positive; 6.6. % Of non-users (13,013) tested positive for the virus.
However, despite these trends, it is important to recognize that these results come from observational cases rather than trials. “ Our research is an observational study and not a clinical trial, so we can’t make strong recommendations based on the data we have,” says Dr. Cristina Menni, Senior Researcher at the School of Life Course Sciences, King’s College London.
“Until we have further evidence about the role of supplements from randomized controlled trials, we recommend following the [National Health Service] guidelines on vitamin usage as part of a healthy, balanced diet,” she notes.
Harvard Health of Harvard Medical School recommends a routine of regular rest accompanied with hydration throughout the day for those diagnosed but un-hospitalized. Any medications used during this time, even painkillers and cold/flu syrup, should be recorded to monitor recovery.
Making it a habit to be sure to list the ingredients of every medication-prompt documentation makes monitoring easy for you and those around you! In the early days of the pandemic, the World Health Organization ( WHO) suggested consumption of acetaminophen instead of ibuprofen to alleviate fevers as well as any accompanying aches and pains, though it is clear as of late that either medication is effective in doing so.
Needless to say, the ever-evolving nature of information is bound to create a sense of confusion amongst people, but it is clear that a dose of acetaminophen within the standard 24-hour threshold of 3,000 milligram per day, remains the most advisable initial choice when mild symptoms arise.
Additional treatment options were introduced by the FDA in November 2020, granting usage of two monoclonal antibody treatments : bamlanivimab, developed by Eli Lilly, along with an alternative of casirivimab combined with a dose of imdevimab, developed by Regeneron.
These two treatments have been recommended to non-hospitalized adults and children above the age of twelve displaying moderate symptoms. When these measures are practiced in conjunction with the official protocol, we all individually contribute to the collective well-being of our area at large.