With the Omicron variant of Covid-19 rapidly spreading across the globe — even to those who are fully vaccinated — now is a good time to revisit the best ways to stay healthy. Of course, getting vaccinated, wearing a mask, and maintaining social distance are the best tools we have for lowering the risk of contracting Covid and its variants. But taking your daily vitamins could help, too — and a study from earlier this year found that taking certain supplements, specifically if you’re a woman, could keep you from getting sick.
For the study, researchers from King’s College London analyzed data from 1.4 million users of the COVID Symptom Study app in the U.K., the United States, and Sweden — 68 percent were female. Participants answered questions about their intake of dietary supplements, took COVID-19 tests, and reported their symptoms and results.
According to the results, 175,652 participants in the UK reported using supplements regularly since the beginning of the pandemic. Out of all the people in the study, 10,508 tested positive for the coronavirus.
The researchers found that four supplements across all the countries were associated with reduced risk of getting the virus — probiotics, multivitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin D. Furthermore, the researchers broke down the numbers by sex and found that this reduced risk was found exclusively in women. While this came as a surprise, the researchers suggest that this may be because women have more robust immune systems than men. This means their immune defenses get more of a boost from supplements.
The researchers did caution that because this was an observational study, we can’t necessarily conclude that taking supplements will prevent you from contracting Covid. However, their findings do support other research that suggests that more of certain vitamins and minerals may boost your immune system.
As per CDC recommendations, the best ways to protect yourself from the virus are getting vaccinated, wearing a mask, and practicing safe social distancing guidelines. If you think you’ve been exposed, get a Covid test as soon as possible and quarantine until you get the result. With these efforts, we’re hopeful that 2022 can bring a return to normalcy and good health for all!