Evaluation of dietary supplementation and/or herbal food consumption habits and common beliefs on their effectiveness during the COVID-19 pandemic

Kalkuz Ş., GÖKTAŞ Z.

Medicine, vol.102, no.21, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 102 Issue: 21
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1097/md.0000000000033883
  • Journal Name: Medicine
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Since 2020, COVID-19 has affected the entire world. Various dietary supplements/herbal foods are recommended to protect against and/or treat COVID-19 through social media and conventional media platforms, although their effects are unproven. Hence, this study aimed to investigate dietary supplementation and/or herbal food consumption habits intended to protect against and/or treat COVID-19, as well as common thoughts and beliefs about these products during the COVID-19 pandemic. This cross-sectional study was conducted as an online survey via the "SurveyMonkey" platform between June and December 2021. Participants were invited to participate in the study via social media (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp) and the questionnaire was administered online. A total of 1767 participants were confirmed to be eligible. Overall, 35.3% used dietary supplements/herbal foods for protection against COVID-19 and 67.1% used them for treatment. Most believed that certain dietary supplements/herbal foods have an effect on the prevention and treatment of COVID-19. According to the COVID-19 infection status, participants differed in their opinions regarding the protective effects of vitamin D supplementation against COVID-19 (P = .02). It is important to raise public awareness of this issue and to avoid the unnecessary use of dietary supplements before sufficient evidence has been presented.