A new systematic review of observational and interventional studies examines the use of antioxidants in patients with COVID-19. Published in the Food Science & Nutrition journal, the results demonstrate highly beneficial roles for this class of micronutrients in reducing inflammation, ventilation requirement, hospitalization, intensive care unit admission, mortality, and other aspects of coronavirus care. Confirming that intravenous supplementation with vitamin C significantly decreases mortality from COVID-19 in severe cases, and that studies show vitamin D, selenium, and zinc similarly play positive roles in fighting the disease, the researchers conclude that antioxidants can improve clinical outcomes.
Authored by researchers from Iran and Canada, the systemic review investigates a total of 36 studies published between 2020 and 2022. Carried out in a variety of countries including the United States, China, Germany, Iran, India, the UK, France, Spain, Austria, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland, Israel, and Japan, the studies cover the Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon, Zeta, Iota, and Kappa SARS-CoV-2 variants. Pointing out that in spite of all medical advances in recent years COVID-19 is still posing significant threats to public health as well as the global economy, the researchers stress the importance of identifying new strategies for its management.
The results of this new review clearly demonstrate that vitamin C exerts favorable effects on clinical outcomes in COVID-19 patients. Interestingly, while the researchers did not find any relationship between serum vitamin C levels and mortality in patients with COVID-19, intravenous infusion of this micronutrient was shown to significantly decrease mortality in severe cases of the disease. This treatment approach was also found to reduce levels of inflammatory biomarkers in patients.
Vitamin D – a micronutrient only recently discovered to have antioxidant activity – was also shown to play key roles in improving COVID-19 clinical outcomes. Insufficient levels of vitamin D were found to be significantly related to the occurrence of COVID-19 manifestations such as fever, low levels of oxygen in body tissues, low levels of lymphocytes, and unconsciousness. Vitamin D status was similarly shown to be inversely associated with lung involvement and the requirement for ventilation in patients. One randomized controlled trial cited by the researchers showed that vitamin D supplementation significantly decreased intensive care unit admission. Overall, most studies analyzed in the review reported a beneficial role for vitamin D in favor of survival and against mortality.
For selenium, the researchers noted a positive relationship between the COVID-19 cure rate and levels of this antioxidant trace element measured in hair. Serum selenium deficiency was similarly shown to be associated with mortality risk. The researchers concluded that selenium may improve clinical outcomes of patients with COVID-19.
While zinc status was not shown to be significantly related to either hospitalization or intensive care unit admission in this review, the researchers noted that supplementation with zinc decreases hospitalization and intensive care unit admission. Zinc supplements were also shown to result in a significant reduction in ventilation requirement and an increase in the number of COVID-19 patients discharged from hospital to home. The review further noted an association between zinc deficiency and COVID-19 complications.
Other antioxidants whose beneficial roles are mentioned in this review include vitamin A, vitamin E, and alpha-lipoic acid.
Despite the sheer amount of scientific evidence that now exists showing micronutrients are effective against COVID-19, the majority of the mainstream media continues to peddle the pretense that no such studies actually exist. CNN has been particularly active in this respect, notably promoting a study claiming that vitamin C and zinc don’t lessen symptoms. Even as early as March 2020 the New York Times was already concluding that supplements probably won’t help in the fight against the coronavirus. With the publication of this latest systematic review, however, such statements have once again been exposed as demonstrably false.
The key beneficiaries from media attacks on dietary supplements are multinational pharmaceutical corporations and their shareholders. Pfizer, BioNTech and Moderna have recently been making $1,000 profit every second, contributing to total drug industry sales being expected to top $1.5 trillion this year. With pharmaceutical corporations being a major source of advertising revenue for the world’s media, it isn’t difficult to see what is driving the pro-drug industry bias in global news reporting. Time will tell whether or not the mainstream media is dying, as is often claimed, but if it is it only has itself to blame.