Since COVID-19 arrived in our lives, there’s been a lot of chatter about whether we should be taking additional vitamin D to help prevent or even treat it. The vitamin – also referred to as the sunshine vitamin because our bodies make it when exposed to the light – is especially important in autumn and winter when people tend to spend less time outdoors.
During the winter months, many are advised to take vitamin D supplements to keep bones and muscles healthy and support general health. But in the context of COVID-19, can it be of additional help? Health experts are cautious about making a clear link. In June 2020, Paul Chrisp, director of the Centre for Guidelines at the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence in the UK, said: “While there are health benefits associated with vitamin D, our rapid evidence summary did not identify sufficient evidence to support the use of vitamin D supplements for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19.”
This was after close analysis of five studies into coronavirus and vitamin D. “We know that the research on this subject is ongoing, and Nice is continuing to monitor newly published evidence,” Chrisp added.
An observational study by the UK’s Covid Symptom Study app suggests taking vitamin D supplements could play a small role in reducing the risk of COVID-19 in women but not men. But further clinical trials were needed, researchers said.