Saturday, January 16 2021
Can Vitamin D Supplements Really Protect You From COVID-19?
Lately, there has been a lot of talk in the media, and especially on social media, about the benefits of taking Vitamin D supplements as protection against coronavirus. And while there are signs that Vitamin D supplements might offer some protection, there is not enough evidence to show definitively that it does, according to the National Institutes of Health.
The reason Vitamin D is thought to protect against COVID-19 is that it is generally known to be beneficial to your immune system. Additionally, there is research that shows that people who have lower Vitamin D levels are more likely to test positive for COVID-19. Some studies have even found that mortality rates from COVID-19 tend to be higher in countries that are farther from the equator where people are exposed to less sunlight, which is necessary for the body to produce its own natural Vitamin D. Although other factors, such as spending more time indoors due to colder weather, could also contribute to these high mortality rates.
Still, while these observations are prompting more studies, none of it proves that Vitamin D either prevents you from getting COVID-19 or reduces the severity of symptoms for people who are infected. That said, many physicians are advising patients to take a Vitamin D supplement because research has shown that 41% of adults in the U.S. have a Vitamin D deficiency and the overall health benefits are well established.
If you are considering taking a Vitamin D supplement, it's a good idea to discuss it with your physician first. A good rule of thumb is to not exceed 4,000 IU per day without your doctor’s permission. Taking too much Vitamin D can cause a condition known as Vitamin D toxicity. This can result in a buildup of excess calcium in the blood and cause symptoms like nausea and vomiting, along with other more severe symptoms.
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