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Article Published In Vol.10 (March-April 2022)

Use of Vitamin and Mineral Supplements in the Prevention and Treatment of COVID-19 in Tunisia

Pages : 154-160, DOI: https://doi.org/10.14741/ijmcr/v.10.2.9

Author : Halima Ben Hmad, Eya Gara, Sonia Ennaifer, Mongi Hassouna and Henda Jamoussi

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Background: Faced with a contagious virus such as Sars-CoV-2, Tunisians might be tempted to take dietary supplements (DS) to boost their immune systems and protect themselves from infection.

Objectives: The aim of this study was to evaluate the nutritional status of people who took DS either as a preventive or curative measure of COVID-19.

Methods: 160 patients were divided into 3 groups (G1: 83 people who had contracted COVID-19 and had taken DS during the attack, G2: 41 people who had been infected but had not taken DS, and G3: 36 people who had taken DS and had not contracted the virus. The dietary habits were assessed by a dietary history method and a validated food frequency questionnaire.

Results: Assessment of nutritional status showed the diet and DS did not adequately cover the requirements for some micronutrients. Intakes of magnesium, potassium, sodium, iron and vit B9 did not meet recommendations; however, intakes of vit C, vit D, vit B1 and zinc were excessive. The use of DS resulted in higher intakes of potassium, vitamin B9 and vitamin C in G1 than in G2. In addition, consumption of DS resulted in highly elevations (p<0.001) in vit B, magnesium, zinc, vit E, vit B9 and vit C in G1 compared to G3. Statistics also exposed highly differences (p<0.001). in intakes of potassium, vit B1, magnesium, zinc, vit E, vit B9, and vit C in G2 compared to G3.

Conclusion: The pandemic raises the stakes for DS consumers. But these products cannot replace a healthy, balanced diet, which is considered the basis for a well-functioning immune system.

Keywords:  Covid-19, vitamin D, vitamin C, zinc, dietary supplements.

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