The 2 Vitamins Dr. Fauci Says You Should Take to Boost Immunity
The infectious disease expert is recommending this to keep your immune system healthy.
Your immune system is responsible for fighting off viruses, but it can only do so properly if it is strong and healthy. And with the coronavirus still spreading, it's more important than ever to make sure your immune system is in tip-top shape. That's why Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), recommends two vitamins you should take to boost your immunity: vitamin C and vitamin D.
"If you're deficient in vitamin D, that does have an impact on your susceptibility to infection. I would not mind recommending—and I do it myself—taking vitamin D supplements," Fauci said during an Instagram Live interview with actor Jennifer Garner on Sept. 10.
And research backs up Fauci's suggestion. After all, a study published on Sept. 3 by the Journal of the American Medical Association found that having a vitamin D deficiency increases your risk of testing positive for the coronavirus by nearly 80 percent. This was after studying 489 subjects, 60 percent of whom had adequate vitamin D levels. Out of that 60 percent, only 12 percent had the virus. But among the among the 25 percent of patients with a vitamin D deficiency, 22 percent tested positive.
Another study found that vitamin D could even help those already infected with the virus. The report, published in The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, found that patients treated with a high dose of vitamin D were significantly less likely to be hospitalized in the intensive care unit (ICU) than those who were not.
But Fauci also mentioned vitamin C in his interview. "The other vitamin that people take is vitamin C because it's a good antioxidant, so if people want to take a gram or two, at most, of vitamin C, that would be fine," he said.
There is more research on the direct link between the coronavirus and vitamin D than on the relationship between COVID and vitamin C. However, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) does note that vitamin C "plays an important role in immune function," so making sure you have enough of this vitamin is most likely for the best. The NIH recommends that most healthy adults have a vitamin D intake of 15 micrograms each day and around 75 to 90 milligrams of vitamin C per day.
Keep in mind that there are some things Fauci doesn't recommend. During the interview, Garner asked Fauci if spinach, elderberry, or other supplements could help keep one's immune system healthy as well. Fauci said, "The answer, to the dismay of many, is no." And for more advice from the nation's leading infectious disease expert, check out Dr. Fauci's Top 10 Tips to Keep You Safe From COVID-19.