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Vitamin D helps protect against COVID-19, studies show.

The next several months will be difficult, especially if COVID-19 cases continue to rise. Two recent scientific studies offer a ray of hope. Vitamin D might help protect you from COVID-19, and it could reduce the severity of symptoms if you do get the disease.

The two studies—one from researchers at the University of Chicago Medicine (UCM) and one published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition (JACN)—look at vitamin D levels in COVID patients.

University of Chicago Medicine study.

Researchers examined COVID-19 patient records for recent vitamin D level tests. They found a statistical relation between vitamin D deficient (VDD) people and the likelihood of catching COVID-19.

“Patients who had vitamin D deficiency (< 20ng/ml) that was not treated were almost twice as likely to test positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus compared to patients who had sufficient levels of the vitamin,” according to the University of Chicago Medicine report on the study.

The Journal of the American College of Nutrition study.

Vitamin D deficient people are more likely to become infected with COVID-19, according to the JACN study. The study found the most severely ill COVID-19 patients had the lowest vitamin D levels.

“VDD (vitamin D deficiency) was the greatest in severe/critical cases (80%), compared with mild cases (36%),” according to the results of the study.

The study conclusion states, “While further confirmation is needed, vitamin D supplementation may have prevention or treatment potential for COVID-19 disease.”

Get outside.

Vitamin D deficiency is common in NW due to frequent gloomy weather, long nights/short days in winter. Vitamin D is important for bone health and also contributes to a strong immune system and cardiovascular system. Your skin makes vitamin D after exposure to the sun. But too much exposure could lead to skin problems, including cancer. Other sources of vitamin D include egg yolks, saltwater fish, liver, and supplements.

So, even in the winter months, when the sun is out, go take a walk. As you do, be sure to continue to practice physical distancing and wear your mask. Eat a healthy, balanced diet. And talk with your healthcare provider about whether vitamin D supplements are right for you.

And until a vaccine is widely available, keep working to keep you and your family safe:

For more on COVID-19, check out our website.

A couple walks along a path on a fall day.