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VERIFY: Does vitamin D help protect you against the coronavirus?

Yes, research shows there is some evidence vitamin D may help protect you. But that doesn't mean you should hoard all the supplements.

WASHINGTON — QUESTION: Is there evidence vitamin D could help protect you against the coronavirus?

 

ANSWER: Yes, research shows there is some evidence vitamin D may help protect you against the coronavirus.

 

SOURCES:

A study out of Northwestern University

The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

The National Center for Biotechnology Information

PROCESS:

With stay-at-home orders slowly being relaxed, there’s still a lot of concern about the coronavirus as we head back into the world.

Typically, supplements are one way to get an edge and stay ahead of any sickness. So to verify new claims going around about vitamin D and coronavirus, our team of researchers looked at the above sources, plus others.

First, the study led by a team at Northwestern University looked the level of vitamin D in patients with coronavirus. Researchers say early results show that in countries with high mortality rates – like Italy, Spain and the U.K. – patients had lower vitamin D levels than patients in countries with lower death rates.

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“Several groups we have identified which have high risk of mortality from COVID-19 such as African Americans or the elderly, most of them do have very low levels of vitamin D,” Dr. Vadim Backman, a Professor of biomedical engineering, medicine and molecular genetics at Northwestern University, told CBS News.

We know vitamin D is helpful for the immune system. Other studies and clinical trials – noted by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health – have shown it can reduce the odds of getting acute respiratory tract infections. 

Additionally, the National Center for Biotechnology Information, says people at risk of COVID-19 should consider taking vitamin D3 and that higher doses might be useful if you’re infected.

Ultimately, we can verify – yes, research shows there is some evidence vitamin D may help protect you against the coronavirus.

But before you grab all the vitamin D supplements you can, keep something else in mind.

Dr.  Backman says he doesn’t believe these results show we should be pushing vitamin D on everyone. The research group says there’s a lot more research that still needs to be done.

Plus, the National Institutes of Health has warned too much vitamin D can damage the heart, blood vessels, and kidneys.

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