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Does Vitamin D Protect Against COVID-19?

JoAnn E. Manson, MD, DrPH


We've known for a long time that it's important to avoid vitamin D deficiency for bone health, cardiometabolic health, and other purposes. But it may be even more important now than ever. There's emerging and growing evidence that vitamin D status may be relevant to the risk of developing COVID-19 infection and to the severity of the disease.

Vitamin D is important to innate immunity and boosts immune function against viral diseases. We also know that vitamin D has an immune-modulating effect and can lower inflammation, and this may be relevant to the respiratory response during COVID-19 and the cytokine storm that's been demonstrated.

There are laboratory (cell-culture) studies of respiratory cells that document some of these effects of vitamin D. There's also evidence that patients with respiratory infections tend to have lower blood levels of 25-hydroxy-vitamin D.


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