While vitamin D and zinc do play an important role in the body’s immune system, they are “absolutely not” a miracle cure for Covid-19, health officials stated during a press conference on Friday.
“Since the beginning of the epidemic, all kinds of wild stories have been circulating, suggesting that certain vitamins and minerals would offer protection against Covid-19, often with a focus on vitamin D and zinc,” said virologist and interfederal Covid-19 spokesperson Steven Van Gucht.
“Those two indeed play an important role in our immune system, but they are absolutely no miracle cure for Covid-19,” he said, adding that many people do have a relative vitamin D deficit.
“This is certainly the case for older people, people with dark skin, some vegetarians and pregnant women,” Van Gucht explained. “Two-thirds of people over 65 have a deficit.”
“These deficits are usually more pronounced at the end of winter and in early spring,” he said, adding that our skin produces them under the influence of sunlight, which is usually very scarce during that period.
Some studies show an association between low vitamin D and zinc levels and a severe case of Covid-19, but Van Gucht stressed that this only concerns an association, and that a causal link between the two has not yet been demonstrated.
“The people who typically have low vitamin D levels, such as old people who do not get out often, are usually also those who are at increased risk of a severe case of Covid-19,” he said.
Supplements containing vitamin D and possibly zinc can be useful to strengthen people’s defences and enhance their diet, especially for the elderly. “For the treatment of Covid-19 itself, however, they have no proven benefit.”
The Brussels Times