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Oral co-supplementation of curcumin, quercetin and vitamin D3 as adjuvant therapy for mild to moderate symptoms of COVID-19 -Results from an open-label, pilot randomized controlled trial

Provisionally accepted
The final version of the article will be published here soon pending final quality checks
  • 1Ineos Oxford Institute for AMR Research, University of Oxford, United Kingdom
  • 2Department of Medicine, King Edward Medical University, Pakistan
  • 3School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Life Sciences, University College London, United Kingdom
  • 4Department of Cardiology, University of Murcia Hospital Universitario Virgen de la Arrixaca, Spain
  • 5School of Medicine, University of Dundee, United Kingdom

Background: Curcumin, quercetin, and vitamin D3, the common elements of human food, exhibit promising anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, antiviral and antioxidant pharmacological effects.
Objective: The present study aimed to investigate the potential therapeutic benefits of oral co-supplementation of curcumin, quercetin, and vitamin D3 as adjuvant therapy for early-stage of symptomatic COVID-19 infection in a pilot open label, randomized, controlled trial conducted at King Edward Medical University teaching hospital, Lahore, Pakistan.
Methods: 50 RT-PCR confirmed, mild to moderate symptomatic COVID-19 outpatients were randomized to receive the standard of care (SOC) (n=25) (control arm) or to a daily oral co-supplementation of 168 mg curcumin, 260 mg quercetin and 360 IU of vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol), combinedly referred as CQC as add-on to SOC (n=25) (CQC arm) for 14-days. The SOC include paracetamol with or without antibiotic (azithromycin). SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR test, COVID-19 associated acute symptoms and biochemistry including C-reactive protein (CRP), D-dimer, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), ferritin, and complete blood count (CBC) were evaluated at baseline and follow-up day 7.
Results: Patients who received the CQC adjuvant therapy were expeditiously tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 i.e. 15 (60.0%) vs 5 (20.0%) of the control arm, p=0.009. COVID-19 associated acute symptoms were rapidly resolved in the CQC arm i.e. 15 (60.0%) vs 10 (40.0%) of the control arm, p=0.154. Patients in the CQC arm experienced a greater fall in serum CRP levels i.e (median (IQR) 34.0 (21.0, 45.0) to 11.0 (5.0, 16.0) mg/dl as compared to the control arm i.e. 36.0 (28.0, 47.0) to 22.0 (15.0, 25.0) mg/dl, p=0.006. The adjuvant therapy of co-supplementation of curcumin, quercetin and vitamin D3 was well-tolerated by all 25 patients and no treatment-emergent effects, complications, side-effects, or serious adverse events were reported.
Conclusions: The co-supplementation of curcumin, quercetin and vitamin D3 may possibly have a therapeutic role in the early stage of COVID-19 infection including speedy negativity of SARS-CoV-2, resolution of acute symptoms and controlling of hyperinflammatory response. In combination with routine care, the adjuvant co-supplementation of curcumin, quercetin and vitamin D3 may possibly help in the speedy recovery from early mild to moderate symptoms of COVID-19. Further research is warranted.

Keywords: COVID-19, Curcumin, Quercetin, Vitamin D3, anti-inflammatory, antiviral

Received: 16 Mar 2022; Accepted: 27 Apr 2022.

Copyright: © 2022 Khan, Iqtadar, Mumtaz, Heinrich, Pascual-Figal, Livingstone and Abaidullah. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Amjad Khan, Ineos Oxford Institute for AMR Research, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom