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Association between COVID-19 vaccine side effects and history of nutritional supplement intake and body mass index (BMI): a retrospective study

Setayesh Ebrahimian (Student Research Committee, Shoushtar Faculty of Medical Sciences, Shoushtar, Iran)
Shirin Amini (Department of Nutrition, Shoushtar Faculty of Medical Sciences, Shoushtar, Iran)
Zahra Aghoun (Student Research Committee, Shoushtar Faculty of Medical Sciences, Shoushtar, Iran)

Nutrition & Food Science

ISSN: 0034-6659

Article publication date: 8 September 2022

Issue publication date: 28 February 2023




As the development and vaccination of the COVID 19 vaccine is accelerating worldwide, it is important to investigate the ways to improve immunity and immune responses to vaccines. This study aims to investigate the association between history of nutritional supplements intake and body mass index (BMI) in the severity of COVID-19 vaccine side effects after vaccination.


A total of 465 vaccinated participants with the Sinopharm vaccine (females and males in the 18–65 age range) participated in the study. Anthropometric measurements were taken on the first visit. In addition, nutrient supplement history and demographic information were collected. Moreover, the participants’ phone numbers were collected and they were contacted. Participants were asked to report if they experienced systemic (whole-body) and/or local side effects after vaccination, in the following eight days. Then, participants were grouped into four categories: no symptoms (n = 232), mild symptoms (n = 121), moderate symptoms (n = 55) and severe symptoms (n = 57).


There was a significant difference between the consumption of nutritional supplements by different groups of participants in the last six months (considering the severity of the symptoms) (p < 0.001). The odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for the incidence of side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine increased in the Q3 of BMI (range 22.94–26.34) in Modes 2 and 3: [OR: 1.85, (95% CI: 1.14– 3.00), p-for trend = 0.08] and [OR: 1.89, (95% CI: 1.16– 3.09), p-for trend = 0.09] based on logistic regression models.


In this study, the history of nutrient supplement intake affects the severity of side effects after the vaccination with COVID-19. Furthermore, based on logistic regression models, side effects were more prevalent in the BMI range 22.9–26.3 when compared to BMI < 20.2 so further study is necessary.



Thank you to the Vice Chancellor for Research at Shoushtar Faculty of Medical Science for your support.

Funding: The Vice-Chancellor for Research Affairs of Shoushtar Faculty of Medical Sciences funded this study (grant number: 400000036).

Author Contributions: S.A. contributed to the conception, design, analysis, and interpretation of the data, and drafting and revising of the manuscript. S.E. participated in designing the research, collecting the data, and writing the first draft of the manuscript. Z.A. contributed to designing the research and collecting the data. The final version of the manuscript was approved by all authors before submission.

Ethical approval: According to the guidelines of the 2013 Helsinki Declaration, the research protocol was approved by the Medical Ethics Committee at the Shoushtar faculty of medical science (Registration No: IR.SHOUSHTAR.REC.1400.026).

Availability of data and material: A reasonable request should be made to the corresponding author to obtain the datasets generated and analyzed.

Compliance with ethical standards:

Conflict of interest: The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Consent to participate: Each participant signed a consent form before participating in the study.


Ebrahimian, S., Amini, S. and Aghoun, Z. (2023), "Association between COVID-19 vaccine side effects and history of nutritional supplement intake and body mass index (BMI): a retrospective study", Nutrition & Food Science, Vol. 53 No. 3, pp. 608-617.



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