Dietary and nutritional supplements are on everyone’s minds as the COVID-19 pandemic is causing people to reconsider how their interactions impact their health. Social distancing and routine handwashing are the best ways to reduce your risk of contracting the virus, however, questions have been arising about the role diet and nutrition plays during a pandemic. While pharmaceutical companies are working on vaccines and new drugs to combat COVID-19, previous clinical research is being studied to understand the link between nutrition and immunity.
Study Results on Nutrition and Infection
It’s not the first time that researchers have evaluated how specific nutrients are related to infections. Several examples have been found in previous clinical studies in which nutrition plays a role in the risk and severity of infections:
- Zinc: This component of enzymes in the body plays an important role in your body’s immune response to infections. Clinical studies have shown that taking zinc supplements can lower the potential risk of acute respiratory infections, shorten the duration of flu-like symptoms, and improve the rate of recovery.
- Vitamin C: This vitamin improves the functions of enzymes, and acts as an antioxidant to limit inflammation and tissue damage due to immune responses.
- Vitamin D: Clinical studies have shown that taking vitamin D supplements has the positive side effects of lowering the potential risk of acute respiratory tract infections. It also reduces the number of flu symptoms and improves recovery time.
Research studies for vitamins and supplements in 2020 include:
- Multivitamins: researchers are taking a closer look at how people take multivitamins and what potential benefits they actually have.
- Herbal supplements: clinical studies are taking a closer look at the ingredient labels of herbal supplements.
- Probiotic supplements: observational studies are taking a closer look at whether probiotic supplements actually improve gut health, aid in weight loss, and protect against gum disease as previously thought.
- Folic acid: too much and too little of this B vitamin can be a problem.
- Vitamin K: research is on the incline to learn more about the potential benefits of this lesser-known vitamin.
- Omega-3: previous clinical studies have shown mixed results on the use of omega-3 supplements and researchers are focusing on its potential benefits on heart health.
- Melatonin: observational studies are re-examining if melatonin — which is naturally produced in the brain — actually promotes sleep, prevents insomnia, and helps overcome jet lag.
- Turmeric and curcumin: these natural supplements have become popular in immune health regiments, but researchers wonder if they deserve the hype.
- Magnesium: while magnesium supplements can lower blood pressure, prevent heart disease, and strengthen bones, it may not be right for everyone.
- Zinc: clinical studies have shown zinc plays a positive role in colds, but it may depend on what kind and the dosage you take.
- Garlic: the fragrant herb is thought to help lower cholesterol and reduce blood pressure, but researchers are wondering if garlic pills are worth it.
- Good Manufacturing Practices: all supplement manufacturers in the United States are required to follow Good Manufacturing Practices enforced by the US Food and Drug Administration, but it doesn’t necessarily make supplements more reliable.
- Quality of life: researchers want to know if supplements are really necessary for health and wellness and whether they do more harm than good.
Researchers are always looking for better ways to formulate medications and new treatments for medical conditions. Clinical trials are conducted on new products and medications to determine their efficacy in treating medical conditions. Biological products are often tested in human clinical trials on study participants who have completed the informed consent process.
According to Leading Edge Health, the propriety polyherbal formula in Erectin could be a new treatment that helps men achieve better erections. The Erectin Clinical Study used male human subjects who didn’t have any underlying medical conditions affecting their erection quality. The human volunteers who received the formula and not the placebo experienced positive results and no side effects.
With nutrition and immunity on the tips of everyone’s tongues, 2020 has certainly put the spotlight on clinical studies for supplements.