Medical experts consider vitamin D as possible boost of protection against COVID-19
New research suggests an arsenal of vitamins commonly found in your medicine cabinet could help ward off COVID-19.
Vitamin D is known to help strengthen bones and the immune system, but medical experts say it may also help in the fight against COVID-19.
Research on this is being done at the East Virginia School of Medicine, where doctors are giving vitamin D to patients as part of their COVID-19 protocol.
"There is some data emerging that people who have adequate levels of vitamin D specifically are less likely to be infected or less likely to get a severe disease when it comes to COVID-19,” says Dr. Amesh Adalja, of Johns Hopkins Center for Health Safety.
Research also suggests that vitamin D combined with other supplements, such as vitamin C, zinc and quercetin, can help reduce your risk of contracting the virus.
Adalja says if you had to choose among supplements, vitamin D is the best choice.
"It's important to remember it's not every vitamin. There are people doing protocols with vitamin C and other vitamins, but it's really the strongest evidence vitamin D and it's for prevention," he says.
Medical experts recommend taking vitamin D once a day because some people are deficient in the mineral that supports muscle, bones and the immune system, especially during the winter months when there is less sun exposure.
"Normally we recommend 1,000 to 2,000 units, you can buy that over the counter, on a daily basis," says Dr. Purvi Parikh, of NYU Langone Health.
Even though recent findings are encouraging, doctors say immune boosting supplements shouldn't replace getting vaccinated, wearing a mask or following COVID-19 safety guidelines.
"People have to remember these are not quick fixes, these vitamins that you have to be taking along the way and weeks and months for it to have a dramatic impact,” says Parikh.
Before taking any vitamins or supplements, it's recommended you consult your doctor first.