Which Vitamins Can Shield From Coronavirus?

Vitamin and mineral deficiencies make your body vulnerable

Part Two

Leafy Greens

Leafy Greens

The B-complex vitamins are water‐soluble and work as part of coenzymes. Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) contributes to the energy metabolism of all cells. Vitamin B2 deficiency often occurs among American elderly. Vitamin B2 and UV light effectively reduced the titer of Middle East Respiratory Virus (MERS‐CoV), which is a coronavirus, in human plasma products. Vitamin B3, also called nicotinamide, could enhance the killing of Staphylococcus aureus. Moreover, vitamin B3 treatment significantly inhibited neutrophil infiltration into the lungs with a strong anti‐inflammatory effect during ventilator‐induced lung injury.

“A shortage of B vitamins may weaken host immune response; they should be supplemented to the virus‐infected patients to enhance their immune system,” say researchers in the Journl of Medical Virology. “Therefore, B vitamins could be chosen as a basic option for the treatment of COVID‐19.”


Orange Juice

Orange Juice

Vitamin C is also called ascorbic acid, which means “no‐scurvy acid.” Vitamin C is best known for its role in the synthesis of collagen in connective tissues and, in fact, makes all tissues healthier and resistant to infection, supports immune functions and protects against infection caused by coronaviruses. Vitamin C increased the resistance of chick embryo tracheal organ cultures to avian coronavirus infection. Vitamin C may also function as a weak antihistamine agent to provide relief from flu‐like symptoms such as sneezing, a running or stuffy nose, and swollen sinuses.

Three human controlled trials reported that there was significantly lower incidence of pneumonia in vitamin C‐supplemented groups, suggesting that vitamin C might prevent the susceptibility to lower respiratory tract infections under certain conditions. The COVID‐19 had been reported to cause lower respiratory tract infection, so vitamin C could be one of the choices for easing the symptoms.


Vitamin D is a nutrient and hormone that is synthesized in our body with the help of sunlight. In addition to its role in maintaining bone integrity, it also stimulates the maturation of immune cells. Adults who are housebound, institutionalized, or do night work may have vitamin D deficiency, as do many elderly people who have limited exposure to sunlight.

COVID‐19 was first identified in winter 2019 and has mostly affected middle‐aged to elderly people. The virus‐infected people might have insufficient vitamin D. In addition, the decreased vitamin D status in calves had been reported to cause the infection of bovine coronavirus. Therefore, vitamin D could work as another therapeutic option for the treatment of this novel virus.

Vitamin E is a lipid‐soluble vitamin containing tocopherols and tocotrienols. It binds to free radicals as an antioxidant. Vitamin E deficiency intensifies the effects of coxsackievirus B3 (a kind of RNA virus) infection in mice.

In addition, the decreased vitamin E and D status in calves also caused the infection of bovine coronavirus.

See Part Three: These minerals protect against viral infections

ReferencesZhang L, Liu Y.Potential interventions for novel coronavirus in China: A systematic review.J Med Virol. 2020 May;92(5):479-490. doi: 10.1002/jmv.25707. Epub 2020 Mar 3.
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