Can supplements help during the pandemic?

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DENVER (KDVR) — A number of clinical trials are underway to see if vitamin D, vitamin C or zinc can help prevent or treat COVID. There is no conclusive evidence yet, but doctors have some recommendations. 

Dr. Ian Tullberg with UCHealth says zinc won’t cure a viral infection like coronavirus, but it is possible that it could help with common symptoms.

“Is taking zinc actually really boosting your immune system? Is it boosting these properties? And there is some evidence that it actually might be. Unfortunately, right now there’s still lots of research that needs to be done to see really the proper regimen,” Tullberg said. 

Tullberg says lozenges are the way to go, and he recommends 75 to 100 milligrams of zinc a day.

“Start that within 24 hours of when you actually start having symptoms of any kind of upper respiratory tract infection, maybe a little sniffle something like that. Start it then, and then take it the duration of the illness, then stop,” Tullberg said. 

And what about vitamin D? According to recent research from the Cleveland Clinic, higher rates of COVID infection and death in areas where people have lower levels of vitamin D in their system have been shown.

So, if someone is deficient, it’s possible a vitamin D supplement could be beneficial.

“If you can get those levels up where they should be, then your immune system is going to be working properly,” Tullberg said.

But, he says the most important thing you can do is make healthy choices year-round.

“Make sure that you are doing those things to decrease your stress levels. Make sure that you are doing those things to eat at least somewhat healthy, and to exercise regularly. Thats what’s really going to get you your biggest bang for your buck,” Tullberg said.

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