Role of dietary supplements in the continuous battle against COVID-19.

School of Healthy Aging, Aesthetics and Regenerative Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, UCSI University, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Phytotherapy research : PTR. 2024;(2):1071-1088


A sudden outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic was a big blow to the world community on every level. Created by a novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, which was previously unknown to the human immune system. The expert opinion almost immediately united on the fact that the most effective way of fighting the pandemic would be by building immunity artificially via a mass immunization program. However, it took about a year for the approval of the first vaccine against COVID-19. In the meantime, a big part of the general population started adapting nutritious diet plans and dietary supplements to boost natural immunity as a potential prophylactic strategy against SARS-CoV-2 infection. Whether they originate from mainstream medicine, such as synthetic supplements, or traditional herbal remedies in the form of single or poly-herbs, these supplements may comprise various components that exhibit immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial characteristics. There is a substantial body of predictions and expert opinions suggesting that enhancing one's diet with dietary supplements containing additional nutrients and bioactive compounds like vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids, phytochemicals, and probiotics can enhance the immune system's ability to develop resistance against COVID-19, although none of them have any conclusive evidence nor officially recommended by World Health Organization (WHO). The current review critically acclaims the gap between public perception-based preference and real evidence-based study to weigh the actual benefit of dietary supplements in relation to COVID-19 prevention and management.

Methodological quality

Publication Type : Review