Remember when your parents constantly reminded you to drink your milk so you can build strong bones? Well, turns out vitamin D has another trick up its sleeve -- lowering the risk of getting COVID-19.
A new study out of the University of Chicago worked to examine whether the last vitamin D status before COVID-19 testing is associated with COVID-19 test results.
Researchers found that people with untreated vitamin D deficiencies were 77% more likely to test positive for the coronavirus.
The research team looked at 489 UChicago Medicine patients whose vitamin D levels were measured within a year before being tested for COVID-19.
“Vitamin D is important to the function of the immune system and vitamin D supplements have previously been shown to lower the risk of viral respiratory tract infections,” Dr. David Meltzer, Chief of Hospital Medicine at UChicago Medicine and lead author of the study told The Weather Channel. “Our statistical analysis suggests this may be true for the COVID-19 infection.”
Vitamin D has a list of benefits, including supporting lung function and cardiovascular health. The vitamin also helps promote healthy bones and teeth and supports immune, brain and nervous system health.
Another way to get ample amounts of vitamin D is from the sun -- and there is plenty of that in the Sunshine State.
Health experts warn that showering in sufficient sunlight isn’t the best way to get your body to produce vitamin D. Instead, the vital nutrient can be obtained by foods, such as egg yolks, cheese, fortified cereals, juices and mushrooms.
The study is relatively new and researchers warn that more clinical trials are needed to better support the findings. The authors also say that people should not rely on vitamin D alone to protect them.
Read the full study titled Association of Vitamin D Status and Other Clinical Characteristics With COVID-19 Test Results here.