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Coronavirus: Multivitamins and probiotics may have a 'protective effect' against covid

CORONAVIRUS vaccine rollout starts in less than 24 hours, marking the beginning of the end of the pandemic. While the long and arduous process of inoculation gets underway, data suggests taking multivitamins and a couple of other supplements may offer some protective benefits. Coronavirus vaccine distribution is ‘chaos’ says professor There is finally a glimmer of light at the end of the very long and dark tunnel that is 2020. The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is set to be deployed to over-80s, healthcare workers and care home residents from tomorrow. The development marks a decisive shift in the fight against coronavirus, signalling the beginning of the end. Vast logistical obstacles abound, however. Until all groups are effectively inoculated (a goal that is months away by the most optimistic estimates), finding ways to mitigate the threat posed by contracting coronavirus remains a top priority. A sweeping analysis of data submitted by users of ZOE COVID Symptom Study app, suggest supplementation may plug the gap in the meantime. Researchers behind the app asked users to tell them about the supplements they have been taking during the pandemic. READ MORE: Coronavirus update: Medical expert reveals 'food is medicine' in the fight against COVID We will use your email address only for sending you newsletters. Please see our Privacy Notice for details of your data protection rights. With 1.4 million users taking part, it constitutes the biggest study to date on vitamin supplementation and COVID-19 risk. “We looked for any correlations between taking supplements and reporting testing positive for COVID-19 using a PCR or serology test, or having symptoms predictive of COVID, said lead researcher Dr Cristina Menni. She continued: “We found that multivitamins, vitamin D, omega-3, and probiotic supplements all had a small protective effect against testing positive for the virus,” she says. “By contrast, we saw no protective effect at all for the other supplements we looked at like vitamin C, garlic, and zinc.” DON'T MISS Hair loss treatment: Green tea could prevent balding and support hair growth [TIPS] Type 2 diabetes warning: The 'so-called' brown bread that could be raising blood sugar [INSIGHT] How to live longer: Four habits to implement in your life to boost longevity by 10 years [ADVICE] However, when Cristina and her team broke down their results according to gender, an interesting pattern emerged. “We found that multivitamins, vitamin D, omega 3, and probiotic supplements all modestly helped protect women, but we didn’t see the same consistent protective effect for men. That was a surprising result,” said Cristina. Cristina explained that the supplements may offer more protection for women because of the differences in immune systems between males and females. “It may also be down to reporting bias, with one gender reporting their supplementation more accurately, or another factor that we haven’t been able to adjust for,” she suggested. It is worth nothing that while the study found a small correlation between supplements and reduced COVID-19 risk, this doesn’t confirm that supplements are actually responsible. According to the researchers, people who take vitamins and other supplements may also be more likely to take better care of their overall health and engage in steps to avoid the virus, like wearing masks and frequent hand washing. This so-called ‘healthy bias’ could explain why people who took supplements were less likely to catch the virus, they said. “If our results were only a reflection of the healthy bias effect, we would expect to see an effect from all the supplements we looked at, but we only see a protective effect from multivitamins, vitamin D, omega-3 and probiotics,” said Cristina. One of the most robust strategies against catching coronavirus and spreading it remains symptom awareness. According to the NHS, the main symptoms to watch out for are a high temperature, a new, continuous cough and a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste. "Most people with coronavirus have at least one of these symptoms," explains the health body.

Reference : Express.co.uk