Can I get coronavirus taking supplements from China?

Long-time readers know that my “go-to” sources for natural medicines (herbs, vitamins, and supplements) are ConsumerLab.com and Natural Medicines(TM). ConsumerLab has posted an answer to this question:

Many of the ingredients used in dietary supplements come from China.

Even supplements that are “made in the U.S.” may include ingredients from China, where the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is believed to have originated.

Due to temporary shutdowns of businesses in some areas of China, there may be disruptions in the supply of these ingredients from China.

There is no requirement for a dietary supplement to list the country of origin of its ingredients, so your question is a valid one. 

However, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the CDC), “In general, because of poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces, there is likely very low risk of spread from products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient temperatures.”

CDC adds, “Currently there is no evidence to support the transmission of 2019-nCoV associated with imported goods and there have not been any cases of 2019-nCoV in the United States associated with imported goods.” 

More needs to be learned about this new virus, but, currently, there is no reason to believe that you can catch it from a dietary supplement.

Problems that are more likely to occur with ingredients from China, as well as other parts of the world, relate to the quality of the ingredients and impurities such as lead and other heavy metals.

In 2017, for example, 71.4% of Chinese manufacturing facilities inspected by the FDA were out of compliance with regulations — but so were 61.5% of U.S. facilities, typically due to ingredient issues.

For this reason, all products that ConsumerLab reviews are tested for key compounds relating to their identity, and products that include significant amounts of whole herbs or minerals are tested for heavy metals. 

Be aware that many supplements are being promoted online to boost the immune system and prevent or treat the coronavirus, and some websites and social media posts are recommending taking dangerously high doses of certain vitamins and minerals.

Learn more about the evidence, and safety of supplements being promoted to fight COVID-19

© Copyright WLL, INC. 2020. This blog provides a wide variety of general health information only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from your regular physician. If you are concerned about your health, take what you learn from this blog and meet with your personal doctor to discuss your concerns.

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