Can Vitamin D help protect you against Covid-19?

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Evidence from randomised controlled trials suggests regular vitamin D supplementation may help protect against acute respiratory infections.

A meta-analysis brought together results from 25 trials with more than 10,000 participants who were randomised to receive vitamin D or a placebo. It found vitamin D supplementation reduced the risk of acute respiratory infections, but only when it was given daily or weekly.

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Seriously ill people also tend to have vitamin D deficiencies—so higher COVID risk may be associated with their illnesses (not vitamin D).

Studies assessing intensive care unit patients have reported high rates of deficiency even before COVID-19. A study found a strong association between vitamin D concentrations and clinical complications (acute respiratory insufficiency, acute liver failure, and infections).

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Vitamin D levels do not seem associated with the higher risk of death from COVID-19 associated with BAME populations.

A 2020 review has found that lower vitamin D levels, among other factors, in black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) populations did not account for the disparity in coronavirus deaths within the community.

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Vitamin D may help prevent serious respiratory illnesses, due to its positive effects on the immune system and cytokines (immune molecules).

A 2020 report by Professor Rose Anne Kenny at Trinity College Dublin suggests that Vitamin D might help improve the health of 'shielding' groups—those who are more at risk of developing a serious illness if they catch COVID-19.

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