New question: Vitamins and other supplements

June 5, 2020

This article has not been updated recently

This week, the COVID Symptom Study app has been updated to include a question surrounding the use of vitamins and supplements.

This data will shed more light on whether or not supplements might affect immunity and hospitalisation due to COVID-19 infection. All app users will be asked if they have been taking any of the following vitamins or other supplements regularly (more than 3 times a week on average) for more than 3 months:

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D
  • Omega-3 or fish oil
  • Zinc
  • Garlic
  • Probiotics
  • Multi-vitamins and minerals
  • Other (please specify)

Why are we conducting this research?

We know that vitamins play a central role in helping our immune systems protect against infection and fight disease. However, there is currently no good evidence to support the idea that taking vitamins and minerals as supplements will prevent you from catching infections like COVID-19.

Taking vitamin D is just one example of a potential intervention that has been suggested to help fight the novel coronavirus. There is some evidence to suggest that higher vitamin D levels in the body may be associated with better clinical outcomes of COVID-2019 patients, however most of these studies are observational. It remains unclear whether vitamin D supplementation promotes better clinical outcomes for these patients, or if low vitamin D is just a marker of poor health. Some researchers suggest that until we have better evidence, everyone should take small amounts of vitamin D by default due to its low cost and relative safety.

There are numerous claims about the potential benefits of many other vitamins and supplements too. What’s clear is that we need more data from well-designed randomised controlled trials and large population studies to better understand whether or not supplementation has any beneficial effect.

Download the COVID Symptom app from and log your health daily to aid this important research. ‍

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