Health and Nutrition through the Pandemic

Aside from getting vaccinated as doses are made available, here are some simple but vital health tips we must follow to keep the Covid-19 virus at bay.

Urgent Vitamin/ Mineral Dosing Schedule For Adults

Vitamin D: There is good data that Vitamin D deficiency can worsen complications related to Covid-19. It is recommended that one measures Vitamin D levels before starting supplements. But in my experience, most Indians, especially vegetarians, are deficient in this vitamin, and I suggest any brand like Calcirol or D Rise etc, 60,000 international units (IU) once a week for five weeks and then once a month for five months. Non-vegetarians may check lab levels of Vitamin D first and then start. An excess of this vitamin can be harmful, so follow this dosing schedule strictly.

Vitamin C: Take 500 mg chewable tablet once daily for a month and then once weekly for life.

Vitamin A: Take 25000 IU (one soft gel) daily for one week, then twice weekly for a month, and lastly once weekly for five months.

Vitamin B Complex plus Zinc: Buy any brand such as Becozinc, one capsule daily for a month, then once a week for life. After completing the monthly dose, start Becosule plus—one capsule daily for life. This also adds minerals lost due to RO water usage.

Zinc is a very important mineral for different metabolic pathways and even more important for its role in the immune system and inflammatory responses. In short, it may have a crucial role to play in the body’s defense against respiratory viruses. Zinc deficiency is common — hence the need to supplement it with medicines. Several nutritional sources of Zinc are available and will be highlighted in later presentations, but the need of the hour is a reliable medicine to build it up immediately.

I have chosen an appropriate combined higher dosage for cover and then a maintenance dose for long duration, based on daily recommended allowances based on Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA). Please do not overdose. Fat-soluble vitamins, ie Vitamins A and D, can accumulate in excess doses and become toxic.

  1. Anatoly V. Skalny et al. “Zinc and respiratory tract infections: Perspectives for COVID-19 (Review). (n.d.).” Spandidos Publications.
  2. Carr, Anitra C & Rowe, Sam. “The Emerging Role of Vitamin C in the Prevention and Treatment of COVID-19”. Published online: 21 October 2020.
  3. Lim, Guan Yu. “Singapore Covid-19 study: Vitamin B12, D and magnesium supplementation reduces severity in older patients”. Nutraingredients Asia. Published online: 29 June, 2020.
  4. Masterson, Danielle. “Covid-inspired study links high vitamin A, E, and D intake to fewer respiratory complaints.” Nutraingredients US. Published online: 04 November, 2020.
  5. Rastogi A, Bhansali A, Khare N, et al. “Short term, high-dose vitamin D supplementation for COVID-19 disease: a randomised, placebo-controlled, study (SHADE study)”. Postgraduate Medical Journal. Published online: 12 November

Dr Mukundan Seshadri

Dr Mukundan Seshadri is lead consultant, cardiovascular and thoracic surgery, at Manipal Hospital, Whitefield, Bangalore. He has an organic farm in Prakashapuram, Kodaikanal.

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