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Article

Patients’ Behavior Regarding Dietary or Herbal Supplements before and during COVID-19 in Saudi Arabia

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Department of Clinical Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia
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Pharmaceutical Care Department, AlNoor Specialist Hospital, Ministry of Health, Makkah 24241, Saudi Arabia
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Basic Sciences Department, College of Science and Health Professions, King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Jeddah 22384, Saudi Arabia
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King Abdullah International Medical Research Center, Jeddah 22384, Saudi Arabia
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Pharmacoeconomics Research Unit, College of Pharmacy, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia
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Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, College of Pharmacy, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia
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Department of Pharmacognosy, College of Pharmacy, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia
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General Directorate of Clinical Excellence, Ministry of Health, Riyadh 11176, Saudi Arabia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Equal contribution.
Academic Editor: David Berrigan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(10), 5086; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18105086
Received: 13 April 2021 / Revised: 9 May 2021 / Accepted: 10 May 2021 / Published: 11 May 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion)
The use of traditional medicinal plants in Saudi Arabia stems mainly from consumers’ belief in prophetic medicine. This study was conducted to explore changes in patients’ use of dietary or herbal supplements among individuals infected with COVID-19 before and during infection and the association between herbal or dietary supplements and hospitalization. A cross-sectional, questionnaire-based study was conducted enrolling symptomatic patients who had recently recovered from COVID-19. Data were collected through phone interviews, and McNemar’s test was used to investigate changes to consumption of dietary or herbal supplements before and during infection. Multivariable logistic regression was used to investigate the association between supplements use during patients’ infection and hospitalization. A total of 738 patients were included in this study, of whom 32.1% required hospitalization. About 57% of participants were male with a mean age of 36.5 (±11.9) years. The use of lemon/orange, honey, ginger, vitamin C, and black seed among participants significantly increased during their infection. In contrast, patients using anise, peppermint, and coffee peel before their infection were more likely to stop using them during their infection. In addition, using lemon/orange (p < 0.0001), honey (p = 0.0002), ginger (p = 0.0053), vitamin C (p = 0.0006), black seed (p < 0.0001), peppermint (p = 0.0027), costus (p = 0.0095), and turmeric (p = 0.0012) was significantly higher among nonhospitalized patients than hospitalized ones. However, in the multivariable logistic regression, only use of vitamin C (OR = 0.51; 95% CI 0.33–0.79), peppermint (OR = 0.53; 95% CI 0.31–0.90), and lemon/orange (OR = 0.54; 95% CI 0.33–0.88) was associated with significantly lower odds of hospitalization. The study reveals that patients’ consumption of dietary or herbal supplements changed in response to their COVID-19 infection, with hospitalized patients having a lower likelihood of using these supplements. Because some supplements were associated with lower odds of hospitalization, these supplements or their bioactive components should be further investigated as feasible options for COVID-19 treatment. View Full-Text
Keywords: COVID-19; dietary; herbal; supplements; Saudi Arabia; behavior; hospitalization COVID-19; dietary; herbal; supplements; Saudi Arabia; behavior; hospitalization
MDPI and ACS Style

Aldwihi, L.A.; Khan, S.I.; Alamri, F.F.; AlRuthia, Y.; Alqahtani, F.; Fantoukh, O.I.; Assiri, A.; Almohammed, O.A. Patients’ Behavior Regarding Dietary or Herbal Supplements before and during COVID-19 in Saudi Arabia. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 5086. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18105086

AMA Style

Aldwihi LA, Khan SI, Alamri FF, AlRuthia Y, Alqahtani F, Fantoukh OI, Assiri A, Almohammed OA. Patients’ Behavior Regarding Dietary or Herbal Supplements before and during COVID-19 in Saudi Arabia. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(10):5086. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18105086

Chicago/Turabian Style

Aldwihi, Leen A., Shahd I. Khan, Faisal F. Alamri, Yazed AlRuthia, Faleh Alqahtani, Omer I. Fantoukh, Ahmed Assiri, and Omar A. Almohammed. 2021. "Patients’ Behavior Regarding Dietary or Herbal Supplements before and during COVID-19 in Saudi Arabia" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 10: 5086. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18105086

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