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Can vitamin D protect you from COVID-19? Here’s what the latest research says

Clinical trials are underway to definitively determine whether consuming vitamin D helps reduce the risk of COVID-19. Studies suggest it might.

Can vitamin D protect you from COVID-19? Here’s what the latest research says
[Photo: Jonas Ferlin/Pexels]
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Can consuming vitamin D protect against COVID-19? Maybe. A series of studies now suggests that low vitamin D levels may correlate with higher rates of COVID-19 infections.

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The latest research is based on the Black Women’s Health Study, an ongoing 26-year study of 59,000 Black women. Researchers found that Black women with deficient levels of vitamin D had a 69% greater risk of COVID-19 infection. Women with low vitamin D levels and obesity were particularly at risk. The correlation held when controlling for other factors like education, socioeconomic status, and household size.

“Nearly one out of four people have vitamin D blood levels that are too low or inadequate for bone and overall health,” says lead author Yvette Cozier, associate professor of epidemiology at Boston University School of Public Health. “Our study provides another reason why adequate levels of vitamin D are important: The possibility of lowering risk of COVID-19 infection.”

Caveats: Research on the topic is ongoing, and one study on 449 COVID-19 patients in the UK Biobank found no correlation between vitamin D levels and COVID-19 incidence. Other studies, including one on 190,000 Americans, another on 489 patients, and one on the mean vitamin D levels across 20 European countries, have found a correlation. Clinical trials are underway to definitively determine whether consuming vitamin D helps reduce the risk of COVID-19.

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The research appeared yesterday in PLoS One.