OVER the counter supplements can slash the risk of women catching Covid by up to 14 per cent, research suggests.
UK sales of the multivitamins have almost doubled since the start of the pandemic.
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Key nutrients, such as vitamin D and zinc, are thought to boost the immune system and potentially protect against Covid.
King's College London quizzed 372,720 Brits about their use of dietary supplements during the first wave of the crisis.
Researchers found taking probiotics cut infection risk by 14 per cent, while multivitamins reduced chances by 13 per cent, omega-3 pills by 12 per cent and vitamin D by nine per cent.
But the effects were almost entirely shown in women, with no significant impact on men’s risk.
Experts also found no Covid benefits for those taking vitamin C, zinc, and garlic tablets.
The data, published in the journal BMJ Nutrition Prevention & Health, also looked at supplement use in the U.S. and Sweden.
Regular consumers saw their risk plummet by up to 37 per cent in these smaller studies.
Commenting on the findings, Professor Sumantra Ray, from NNEdPro Global Centre for Nutrition and Health, said: “We know that a range of micronutrients, including vitamin D, are essential for a healthy functioning immune system.
"This, in turn, is key to prevention of, and recovery from, infections.
“But to date, there is little convincing evidence that taking nutritional supplements has any therapeutic value beyond maintaining the body’s normal immune response.”
In 2016, Brits spent £906 million on food supplements.
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