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Indian Vitamin Sales Shot Up Nearly 100% in 2020 as Interest in Boosting Immunity Peaked

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Feb 9, 2021

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Image Credit: Irving Penn

Indians bought more than 500 crore pills of zinc, vitamin C, and multivitamins in 2020 to boost their immunity amid the global pandemic, according to data released by the research wing of the All India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists (AIODC).

AIODC, which comprises more than 8.5 lakh chemists across India, found that sales of vitamin C supplements grew by 110% compared to 2019, sales of zinc supplements grew by 93%, and multivitamin sales grew by 20%. And for the first time, in October 2020, sales of a multivitamin overtook sales of diabetes medication.

“The categories have seen a jump due to the outbreak of Covid. The concept of stronger immunity has gained importance last year, and for the first time, the sales of health supplements such as zinc, Vit C and D3 has posted record sales [sic],” Rajiv Singhal, general secretary of AIOCD, told the media.

However, research has yet to conclusively prove that vitamin or zinc supplements can offer protection against Covid19.


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Still, there is an upside, even if the direct effects of vitamin supplements on Covid19 aren’t known. These sales show Indians are becoming more conscious about preventative health measures, experts say, and any unknown nutritional deficiencies they may have been living with may be addressed.

“Due to the pandemic, the focus of the population has shifted to holistic health…. In a country like India, where issues related to nutritional deficiency were always present widely, the surge in sale of all these supplements is understandable. However, the trend will have a positive impact over the health of Indian population in the long term,” Dr. Rashid Gouri, a senior resident at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), told The Print.

However, these supplements, as well as herbal products like honey, turmeric and kadha, which are believed to boost immunity, must only be taken in moderation, experts have warned.

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Written By Devrupa Rakshit

Devrupa Rakshit is an Associate Editor at The Swaddle. She is a lawyer by education, a poet by accident, and a painter by shaukh. She has her own podcast called #DateNightsWithD on Spotify. You can find her on Instagram @devruparakshit.

  1. Pravin Shah

    As we were forced into the pandemic, we needed to maintain our immunity and the other precautions to avoid getting infected by the virus. So every one of us was focusing on healthy vitamins which helped in boosting our immunities.
    This interest in boosting immunity was the major reason to shot up the sales of vitamins in 2020. Thank you for sharing this information with us and letting everybody know about it. Keep sharing.

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