Efficacy of Nutraceuticals (Probiotics or Prebiotics or Synbiotics) in the Prevention or Treatment of Covid -19: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Nutraceuticals have generated an interest among clinicians for their applicability in the prevention and treatment of many ailments. Literature suggests the possible role of nutraceuticals in Covid-19. However, substantial uncertainty related to their safety and efficacy still exists.

The purpose of this study was to assess the efficacy and safety of nutraceuticals in preventing or treating Covid-19. Researchers searched electronic databases, registries, websites, and e-libraries of development agencies. This study included randomized controlled trials (RCTs), quasi-experiments, pre-post studies, and other experimental study designs.

After screening 481 studies, researchers found that analysis of five revealed one study with ‘low risk’ and four studies with ‘some concerns’ regarding bias. The findings of the study indicated that nutraceuticals did not significantly reduce Covid-19 mortality; their effect on hospitalization duration was uncertain. Furthermore, this study assessment found no substantial evidence of increased adverse effects with probiotic use (RR 0.11, 95% CI 0.01 to 1.89, P = 0.13). Importantly, none of the studies investigated nutraceuticals’ preventive effects or their role in mitigating Covid-19 severity. There is limited evidence available on the use of nutraceuticals (Probiotics, Prebiotics, or Synbiotics) for the treatment and prevention of Covid-19. Further, conducting methodologically robust RCTs with large population samples is recommended.

Keywords: Covid-19, Probiotics, Nutraceuticals, Mortality, Days of Hospitalization

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/23311932.2024.2330183