You’ve seen the hack-job headlines by now.
After all, they’ve been EVERYWHERE, hyped up by some folks in mainstream medicine with the help of their news industry cronies. A new study claimed to find that vitamin C and zinc do zip for the COVID-19 infection.
The conclusion? Supplements don’t work for coronavirus.
Well, no kidding. Let’s face it, there’s not much that does “work” for COVID-19. Otherwise, the deadly infection wouldn’t have now claimed half a million American lives.
But here’s the REAL truth. Some things could potentially help with symptoms making a difference in some cases. And, despite those headlines, that could include natural therapies.
So let me cut through the bull and tell you what’s REALLY going on here. Because once you dig down to get beneath the media hype and breathless headlines, you won’t find an honest-to-goodness objective study sitting at the bottom.
You’ll find something that looks like it had an agenda. And an agenda NEVER leads to good science.
How bad is this COVID study? Let me count the ways…
This study was so flawed it’s hard to find a place to begin.
First, they only recruited HALF of the intended number of coronavirus patients for the study. Second, they cut it off early, claiming “futility” as COVID-19 patients weren’t helped by the supplements… or so it seemed.
And third, as the Council for Responsible Nutrition noted in its critique, the patients in the supplement group DID achieve the intended 50 percent reduction in COVID symptoms 1.2 days faster than “usual” care. In MY book, that alone is a win. And I may be going out on a limb here, but I’m betting those folks who recovered faster appreciated it too.
That difference wasn’t enough to be considered “significant,” statistically speaking. Except it never had a chance to reach significance because the study DIDN’T have enough people and was CUT OFF early.
And if that’s not enough of a red flag, wait, there’s more. In fact, you have to wonder if someone had an ax to grind and was practically trying to make the supplements fail. They gave the vitamin C patients 8,000 mg via oral supplements then had the nerve to point out that these folks suffered from nausea, diarrhea, and stomach cramps.
No kidding! If I wanted to give people diarrhea ON PURPOSE, I’d suggest 8,000 mg per day of oral vitamin C. It’s not merely a risk. That’s just what happens. And, in fact, it usually starts above 2,000 mg of vitamin C orally.
Your stomach simply can’t handle those levels. And any doctor or scientist worth his salt should know this. This is why high-dose C is typically given intravenously. That way, it bypasses the stomach and goes right into the blood, avoiding those disturbing side effects.
Supplement hot takes miss the point
Yet the mainstream media took the bait. They celebrated this as “proof” that vitamins not only didn’t help with COVID-19, that they might even hurt.
A piece on the medical website Medscape… a site your doctor almost certainly reads… sneered: “I think we need to just accept the fact that it’s pretty unlikely that a cure for COVID is sitting in our closets.”
The trouble with that hot take is no one has even remotely suggested ANY supplement could be a “cure for COVID.” That’s just ridiculous.
But, some doctors on the front lines have used supplements as complementary approaches believing they may help, along with drug interventions. Plus, there’s no denying that some promising research has suggested that certain nutrients have the potential to help alongside standard treatment.
How supplements could potentially help with COVID-19
Pretending to not understand the concept of complementary therapies makes it easier to attack any natural interventions. But here’s the real truth: Vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc, and fish oil have all been found in early research to have the potential to improve symptoms or outcomes in some cases.
And some – like D – may even cut the risk of developing the infection (emphasis on “may”). One study last year found that folks with a confirmed and diagnosed D deficiency were 77 percent more likely to develop the COVID-19 infection.
Intravenous vitamin C treatments were thought to be so promising for helping with the infection that even some mainstream doctors and hospitals have used them. And another recent study found patients admitted to the hospital for coronavirus with higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids were 75 percent less likely to die.
But the larger point is even more important here. None of these things are “weird” herbal remedies or “folk” medicine. They’re affordable and safe. And they’re essential nutrients that you need even without the coronavirus spreading like wildfire out there.
Many people, especially seniors, aren’t getting enough of them even by mainstream standards. And if they can even potentially give you a leg up against this infection, I’m betting most of us would prefer to give them a try.
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