CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Some people are turning to supplements and non-medical ways to prevent illness like COVID-19, but physicians warn those could cause long-term problems.
“It’s really important that people know that there are no vitamins or supplements that are going to prevent you from getting COVID-19 or will cure you if you get COVID,” Roper Express Care ‘s Dr. Melissa Ellis-Yarian said.
She said she doesn’t mean vitamins and supplements aren’t a good thing.
“There’s certainly a place for things like vitamin C and vitamin D, that are really important for other processes in our bodies and helpful for boosting our immune system, which helps us fight off infection,” Ellis-Yarian said. “But they will not prevent COVID.”
Another product you might hear about is called colloidal silver.
“People have been touting colloidal silver for a long time that it can cure all kinds of things,” Ellis-Yarian said. “The latest thing is now COVID. That is incorrect.”
The National Institutes of Health describe it as “tiny silver particles in a liquid that is sometimes promoted on the Internet as a dietary supplement.”
“Colloidal silver can interfere with absorption of other medications you may be taking, especially antibiotics. It can also at certain levels cause harm to kidneys or give you headaches or stomach aches. And in some extreme cases where people have taken way too much colloidal silver, it can actually turn your skin blue.”
Yes, you read that right: blue skin from the silver building up.
The condition is called Argyria. It’s a “bluish-gray discoloration of the skin, which is usually permanent,” the NIH said.
The FDA has active lawsuits against companies claiming colloidal silver as a cure-all, including for COVID.
“I know people feel afraid. They want a sense of control. But I’m telling you colloidal silver is not the answer,” she said.
She says the real answers are not a mystery: Vaccines, masks and social distancing.
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