Dietary supplements to reduce symptom severity and duration in people with SARS-CoV-2: study protocol for a randomised, double-blind, placebo controlled clinical trial
COVID-19 has caused morbidity, hospitalisations and deaths worldwide. Despite four approved vaccines for COVID-19 in Canada, there is still a need for effective treatments, especially for people in the community. Vaccine efficacy is not 100% and long-term efficacy is still unknown. Furthermore, there are challenges to herd immunity including vaccine hesitancy and underlying conditions preventing vaccination. We aim to explore if the nutrients vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin K2 and zinc are an effective treatment option for outpatients diagnosed with COVID-19. The primary outcome is the difference in participant-reported overall health; secondary outcomes include the effect on health status, symptom severity and duration, frequency and length of hospitalisations and mortality.
Methods and analysis
This study is a two-arm, parallel-group, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase III randomised controlled trial. 200 patients will be recruited remotely from COVID-19 test centres in Ottawa, Canada associated with The Ottawa Hospital. Overall health will be measured using the EuroQol Visual Assessment Scale; health status will be measured using the EuroQol 5-dimension 5-level questionnaire; symptom severity and duration will be measured using an independently developed questionnaire; analyses will use an area under the curve approach and compare mean scores using unadjusted t tests. Study data will be recorded on electronic case report forms using the Research Electronic Data Capture platform. An independent data safety and monitoring board will perform ongoing review of the study for feasibility and safety.
Ethics and dissemination
This study has received ethical approval from the research ethics boards of the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine and the Ottawa Health Sciences Network, as well as regulatory approval from the Therapeutic Products Directorate and Natural and Non-Prescription Health Products Directorate of Health Canada. Results will be published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal with open access.