Background: Curcumin, quercetin, and vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) are common natural ingredients of human nutrition and reportedly exhibit promising anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, broad-spectrum antiviral, and antioxidant activities.

Objective: The present study aimed to investigate the possible therapeutic benefits of a single oral formulation containing supplements curcumin, quercetin, and cholecalciferol (combinedly referred to here as CQC) as an adjuvant therapy for early-stage of symptomatic coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in a pilot open-label, randomized controlled trial conducted at Mayo Hospital, King Edward Medical University, Lahore, Pakistan.

Methods: Reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) confirmed, mild to moderate symptomatic COVID-19 outpatients were randomized to receive either the standard of care (SOC) (n = 25) (control arm) or a daily oral co-supplementation of 168 mg curcumin, 260 mg quercetin, and 9 µg (360 IU) of cholecalciferol, as two oral soft capsules b.i.d. as an add-on to the SOC (n = 25) (CQC arm) for 14 days. The SOC includes paracetamol with or without antibiotic (azithromycin). Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) RT-PCR test, acute symptoms, and biochemistry including C-reactive protein (CRP), D-dimer, lactate dehydrogenase, ferritin, and complete blood count were evaluated at baseline and follow-up day seven.

Results: Patients who received the CQC adjuvant therapy showed expedited negativization of the SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR test, i.e., 15 (60.0%) vs. five (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., from (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., from 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 CQC was safe and well-tolerated by all 25 patients and no treatment-emergent effects, complications, side effects, or serious adverse events were reported.

Conclusion: The co-supplementation of CQC may possibly have a therapeutic role in the early stage of COVID-19 infection including speedy negativization of the SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR test, resolution of acute symptoms, and modulation of the hyperinflammatory response. In combination with routine care, the adjuvant co-supplementation of CQC may possibly help in the speedy recovery from early-stage mild to moderate symptoms of COVID-19. Further research is warranted.

Clinical Trial Registration: Clinicaltrials.gov, identifier NCT05130671.


This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) [http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/]. 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.

Cite as

Khan, A., Iqtadar, S., Mumtaz, S., Heinrich, M., Pascual-Figal, D., Livingstone, S. & Abaidullah, S. 2022, 'Oral Co-Supplementation of Curcumin, Quercetin, and Vitamin D3 as an Adjuvant Therapy for Mild to Moderate Symptoms of COVID-19-Results From a Pilot Open-Label, Randomized Controlled Trial', Frontiers in Pharmacology, 13, article no: 898062. https://doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2022.898062

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Last updated: 30 June 2022
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