Dietary Supplements for COVID-19

Gerard E. Mullin, Berkeley Limektkai, Lin Wang, Patrick Hanaway, Loren Marks, Edward Giovannucci

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a highly contagious infectious disease that can rapidly escalate to respiratory failure and death. It has infected millions of people worldwide. The trajectory of this disease continues to progress in some areas of the United States and worldwide. The Institute for Health Metrics now predicts a resurgence of infections in the fall of 2020. The pathogenesis of COVID-19 includes an inflammatory phase with either resolution or the potential to accelerate to a cytokine storm, characterized by high interleukin (IL)-6 and other inflammatory markers. COVID-19 is a condition without a gold-standard treatment. The US Federal Drug Administration (FDA) issued an emergency use authorization for remdesivir in severe cases of COVID-19, which shortened the recovery time in hospitalized patients with lower respiratory tract infection in one study. Although several vaccine trials are underway, no vaccines are available for primary prevention of COVID-19 at this time. Dietary supplement sales have dramatically risen during the COVID-19 pandemic despite depressed economic conditions. Commonly used immune-modulating dietary supplements, including vitamin D, ascorbic acid, zinc, and melatonin, are reviewed in this manuscript highlighting biological plausibility for salutary benefit against COVID-19. Ongoing clinical trials recruiting subjects at the time of this writing are provided for each dietary supplement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
Number of pages17
StatePublished - 2021

Publication series

NameAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
ISSN (Print)0065-2598
ISSN (Electronic)2214-8019


  • COVID-19
  • Cytokine storm
  • Inflammasome
  • Melatonin
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D
  • Zinc

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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