Can vitamins and/or supplements provide hope against coronavirus?

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Sarah M Michienzi PharmD, Melissa E Badowski PharmD

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Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-COV-2) quickly became a global pandemic and has been responsible, so far, for infecting 5.8 million and claiming the lives of more than 350,000. While certain medications initially garnered attention as potential treatment options, further studies failed to demonstrate great promise but did demonstrate the need to reduce the cytokine storm experienced by patients with this potentially life-threatening virus. Unfortunately, there is no cure on the horizon, but members of the medical community are beginning to evaluate the potential role of vitamins and supplements as potential treatment options or addition to other treatments. The goal of this narrative review is to evaluate current and ongoing clinical trials of vitamins and supplements, alone or in combination with each other or other therapies, for the treatment of coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19).

Keywords: coronavirus, COVID-19, SARS-COV-2, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus, supplement, 2019-nCOV, 2019 novel coronavirus, vitamin.

Citation: Michienzi SM, Badowski ME. Can vitamins and/or supplements provide hope against coronavirus? Drugs in Context 2020; 9: 2020-5-7. DOI: 10.7573/dic.2020-5-7

Contributions: Drs Michienzi and Badowski both developed the concept for this manuscript and equally contributed to the research, analysis, and writing of the manuscript and development of tables and figures. Both named authors meet the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) criteria for authorship for this article, take responsibility for the integrity of the work as a whole, and have given their approval for this version to be published.

Disclosure and potential conflicts of interest: The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest. The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) Potential Conflicts of Interests form for the authors is available for download at:

Acknowledgements: The authors thank Dr Edwin Le, PharmD, Dr Samona Rawal, PharmD, and Dr Tiffany Wu, PharmD, for their assistance with reviewing available literature and studies.

Funding declaration: There was no funding associated with the preparation of this article.

Copyright: Copyright © 2020 Michienzi SM, Badowski ME. Published by Drugs in Context under Creative Commons License Deed CC BY NC ND 4.0 which allows anyone to copy, distribute, and transmit the article provided it is properly attributed in the manner specified below. No commercial use without permission.

Correct attribution: Copyright © 2020 Michienzi SM, Badowski ME. Published by Drugs in Context under Creative Commons License Deed CC BY NC ND 4.0.

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Correspondence: Melissa E Badowski, MPH, 833 S. Wood, MC886, Room 164, Chicago, IL, 60612, USA.

Provenance: invited; externally peer reviewed.

Submitted: 14 May 2020; Peer review comments to author: 18 May 2020; Revised manuscript received: 28 May 2020; Accepted: 29 May 2020; Publication date: 22 June 2020.

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