Former U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Tom Frieden recommends increasing vitamin D levels as a precaution against COVID-19 in an article published yesterday by Fox News.
“As we race to develop effective treatments and a vaccine against COVID-19, people are looking to reduce their risk of getting sick. One thing that might help is as obvious as the sun in the sky and as close as your medicine cabinet – Vitamin D,” Frieden wrote.
“For now, go outside and get some sun – but make sure you follow social distancing guidelines to avoid close contact with other people, and don’t go out if you’re ill or can’t go out safely. Taking a walk will also help you get physical activity and alleviate cabin fever. Eat healthy foods that contain or are supplemented with Vitamin D. Take a daily multivitamin supplement (but don’t double the daily dose just because you’re worried). […] As we continue to work to mitigate the impact of COVID-19, anything we can do to strengthen our resistance is a step in the right direction.”
While we don’t yet know how vitamin D impacts the coronavirus specifically, the sunshine vitamin’s benefit to the immune system in general is widely noted. There is also evidence that vitamin D is protective specifically against respiratory illnesses, which COVID-19 is classified as. In his article, Frieden says vitamin D has been shown to reduce the risk of respiratory infection and other viruses like influenza and tuberculosis. He also notes that this information is particularly important because more than 40 percent of U.S. adults are vitamin D deficient — potentially putting them at elevated risk.
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