This Vitamin Won't Protect You From Severe COVID, New Study Finds
New research found that using this as a treatment had no significant effect on patients.
Throughout the COVID pandemic, many experts have theorized that boosting one's immune system through simple methods like taking vitamins could help combat the coronavirus. Even White House COVID adviser Anthony Fauci, MD, has suggested taking certain supplements to boost your immune system amid the pandemic. But a new study has found that one highly regarded vitamin may not actually protect you from severe COVID like many had hoped. Read on to find out which vitamin was just proven to be ineffective against a severe case of the virus, and for one way to stay safe from COVID, see why Inhaling This Could Reduce Your Severe COVID Risk 90 Percent, Study Finds.
A new study says vitamin D won't protect you from severe COVID.
A new study out of Brazil published on Feb. 17 in the Journal of the American Medical Association has debunked the idea that vitamin D will make much of a difference for COVID patients. The researchers reviewed the cases of 240 hospitalized COVID patients who were not already receiving ventilation or ICU care. They were given either a single dose of vitamin D or a placebo between June 2 and Aug. 27. After looking at how their cases progressed, the researchers found that the supplement had no significant effect on moderate to severe coronavirus cases.
Both those who received vitamin D and those who did not reported an average hospital stay of seven days, meaning that using vitamin D as a treatment method for these patients did not seem to improve their illness. According to the study, there were no significant differences between the groups in terms of death, admission to the ICU, or the need for a ventilator either.
The study results "do not support routine administration of vitamin D in hospitalized patients with moderate to severe COVID-19," U.S. clinicians David Leaf, MD, and Adit Ginde, MD, wrote in a statement accompanying the study. And for more on what puts you at risk of having a serious case, If You've Had This Common Illness, You're More Likely to Die From COVID.
There was no harm in taking taking vitamin D, but another vitamin may produce adverse reactions.
While a single dose of vitamin D appeared to have no positive effect on the progression of hospitalized patients' COVID cases, it also didn't produce any negative side effects either. According to the study, there were no adverse events reported after patients received a single high dose of vitamin D, just one instance of vomiting.
However in another study published in JAMA Network Open on Feb. 12, researchers at the Cleveland Clinic found that COVID patients who took 10 days worth of high vitamin C doses reported gastrointestinal problems such as nausea, diarrhea, and stomach cramps. And for more on treatments that do seem to be working, check out This Common Medication Could Slash Your Risk of COVID Death, Study Says.
Another study found that vitamin C and zinc may not be helpful for those who already have COVID either.
The Cleveland Clinic study involved 214 COVID patients recovering at home. Researchers assigned some of them to take high doses of either zinc, vitamin C, or both supplements at random for 10 days, while other patients were not instructed to take supplements and were told instead to rest, hydrate, and take fever-reducing medications. However, the researchers saw "no significant difference" in the reduction of symptoms in those who took the supplements compared to those who didn't. And for more up-to-date COVID news delivered right to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
But taking vitamin D preventatively may make you less likely to catch COVID.
While vitamin D may not be a suitable treatment for COVID, previous studies have concluded that being deficient in vitamin D may be harmful amid the pandemic. A September study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that those with vitamin D deficiencies were 77 percent more likely to test positive for COVID than those who had adequate vitamin D levels. And an October study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism found that 82.2 percent of hospitalized COVID patients were deficient in vitamin D and had lower levels of vitamin D than those who were not infected with the virus. And for another surprising factor that puts you at risk, check out If You've Done This Recently, You're 70 Percent More Likely to Get COVID.