As COVID-19 cases have swept the nation, millions of Americans have looked for ways to stay safe.
Masks, social distancing, and handwashing have been recommended by healthcare professionals, but many people have also sought out other potential preventative measures, including using vitamins to try to ward off the virus.
Sales of Vitamin D have spiked 42 percent since the pandemic began, as early research in the US and other countries appears to suggest a possible link between Vitamin D deficiency and more severe cases of COVID-19.
Arizona Medical Association president Dr. Ross Goldberg says he takes Vitamin D supplements, “I don’t think you’re wrong to take supplements to try to make sure our immune system is healthy. The healthier you are in general, the better you’re going to react to infection no matter what it is.”
Sunshine is the primary source of Vitamin D, but diet and supplements can all contribute to overall levels in your body. Low levels of Vitamin D are not uncommon in people who are obese and/or smoke. The CDC also lists those as underlying conditions that increase the risk for severe COVID-19 complications.
“It’s not a surprise that risk factors for one disease can be risk factors for other diseases,” says Dr. Goldberg. But he cautions, the data just isn’t there yet to prove, or disprove, a cause and effect relationship between Vitamin D deficiency and severe COVID-19 complications.
He also warns too much Vitamin D can be dangerous. “Like you can’t put more gas in your car when you fill the tank,” he says,
“Everything is a delicate balance of keeping your body in good condition and not overdoing it in one way or another.”