This article is a part of a series by The Better India to share verified information about COVID-19 care. While several posts on various aspects of fighting COVID-19 are being circulated on social media and messaging services like WhatsApp, we urge you not to trust unverified content. To separate fact from fiction, we will be sharing the videos and content with doctors and experts and bring you their responses with scientific research-backed information.
Dr Vikas Maurya, Director Pulmonology, Fortis Hospital, Shalimar Bagh, has been treating COVID-19 patients since the beginning of the pandemic in December 2019.
He speaks about the use of various multivitamins, Omega-3 capsules and the importance of including proteins in our diet.
1. Should I start taking multivitamins on a regular basis?
Dr Maurya: No, it is not as if consuming these multivitamins decreases the probability of contracting COVID-19. These are just immunity boosters. One can certainly contract COVID-19, even if you remain in good physical health. There is no relationship between consuming the multivitamins and contracting COVID-19.
However, there is a possibility that you could get a mild form of COVID-19 or become asymptomatic because of being in good physical health.
2. For how long should I continue the course?
Dr Maurya: Ideally, there is no point of starting any multivitamin course before contracting COVID-19. One should continue to focus on eating healthy and nutritious food. Ensure that you have a balanced meal and include ample amounts of proteins and vegetables in your daily diet. If this is taken care of, then you would not need to consume any multivitamin or focus on any external source of nourishment.
3. Does a low Vitamin D reading mean I am prone to testing positive?
Dr Maurya: No. In India, a majority of us have a lower than normal Vit D level because one does not spend ample time outdoors in direct sunlight. It is important for us to maintain good Vit D levels, though, for various other functions of the body. It does not, however, have any correlation with the transmission of COVID-19. This is essential for the metabolic activity of the body and for good bone health too.
4. What is the role of probiotics in COVID-19 management? What would be a good source of natural probiotics?
Dr Maurya: During the course of treatment for COVID-19, patients are given many different drugs, which may include antivirals. To ensure that the gut health remains good, probiotics may be prescribed. It has no other bearing on COVID-19 management as such. With respect to the Indian diet, curd is a great natural source of probiotics, which may be included in one’s meals.
5. What is the role of Omega-3 in COVID-19 management? Should I take them once I test positive or even before?
Dr Maurya: This is yet another immunity booster, and I would not say that it has any significant impact on COVID-19 management. When a patient is being treated for COVID-19, we usually prescribe these as supplements to avoid the development of any deficiency.
Please reach out to your medical practitioner before you start any medication. This is not to be treated as a prescription.
(Edited by Yoshita Rao)