October 3, 2022


For First-Rate Health

Can vitamins protect you against the Delta variant? Experts weigh in.

The Delta variant has continued to spread throughout the U.S., prompting the public to look for the best ways to prevent themselves from getting the highly transmissible strain of the coronavirus.

Health organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) advise people to get vaccinated against COVID as their first line of defense.

But many people have searched for alternative means of protection not recommended by health officials, including the horse dewormer drug ivermectin, the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, and even vitamins.

Many people take nutritional supplements such as vitamin C or zinc to boost their immune systems.

But according to the Mayo Clinic, “these supplements are unlikely to affect your immune function or prevent you from getting sick.”

Dr. Sandra Adams, a professor of biology and virologist at Montclair State University, told NJ Advance Media Thursday that vitamins cannot boost a significant enough immune response to prevent you from getting COVID “or any of its variants.”

“Vitamins cannot prevent infection from the Delta variant,” Adams said. “Vitamins cannot interfere with any stage in the replication of the SARS-CoV-2 virus or any of its variants, nor would vitamins be sufficient to boost the immune response to prevent the onset of illness.”

The Delta variant is currently responsible for 99{5dfd1de9da59c0c38ca6720e3c60aa45adf7724498a16e1572e038fdc81a6ae9} of all COVID cases, according to the CDC.

Davidson Harmer, professor of Global Health and Medicine at Boston University Schools of Public Health and Medicine, has spent decades researching the interactions between nutrition and infection and how micronutrients are important for immune function.

Harmer told Newsweek while taking vitamins and minerals is important for maintaining immune function, there is no evidence that taking vitamins will protect an individual from catching COVID-19.

“There is evidence that vitamin D deficiency is associated with increased risk of becoming infected with SARS-CoV-2 [The virus that causes COVID-19], Harmer told Newsweek. “However, the limited studies that have evaluated vitamin D supplements to try to avoid infection have not shown any benefit.”

Related stories about the Delta variant and COVID:

When can kids under 12 get vaccinated against COVID?

The Delta variant symptoms to look out for if you are fully vaccinated

Unvaccinated people 11 times more likely to die from COVID, CDC says

Is it safe to get a flu shot and a COVID vaccine at the same time?

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Katherine Rodriguez can be reached at [email protected]. Have a tip? Tell us at nj.com/tips.