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Should people take vitamin D to ward off the new coronavirus?

Vitamin D
The Queen Elizabeth Hospital Foundation Trust
the University of East Anglia
Anglia Ruskin University
the European Journal of Endocrinology
The Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine
the University of Oxford
a Rapid Review

Petre Cristian Ilie
Lee Smith



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the United Kingdom
COVID-19 deaths?Dr

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Positivity     43.10%   
   Negativity   56.90%
The New York Times
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Vitamin D is one of the nutrients that are crucial to human health, on the whole.The human body naturally synthesizes this vitamin — in fact, a group of substances — through adequate exposure to sunlight.Only a few foods, such as egg yolks, can be a source of vitamin D, which means that people who have little access to sunlight may experience vitamin D insufficiency or deficiency.Stay informed with live updates on the current COVID-19 outbreak and visit our coronavirus hub for more advice on prevention and treatment.To prevent or address a lack of vitamin D, people can take vitamin D supplements under the guidance of a healthcare professional.Inadequate levels of vitamin D can cause problems in the bones, as well as issues such as hair loss and joint pain.Now, three researchers from the United Kingdom have put forward another idea: Could science link insufficient vitamin D with COVID-19 and, more specifically, COVID-19 deaths?Dr. Petre Cristian Ilie, from The Queen Elizabeth Hospital Foundation Trust in King’s Lynn, Dr. Simina Ștefănescu, from the University of East Anglia in Norwich, and Lee Smith, Ph.D., from Anglia Ruskin University in East Anglia present their preliminary study online in preprint form.In their study, the researchers first identified the mean levels of vitamin D for the inhabitants of 20 European countries.They then looked at whether they could find any associations between these and data around the number of COVID-19 cases in each country, as well as the number of COVID-19 deaths.The research team reports that, according to their observations, “the mean level of vitamin D in each country was strongly associated” both with a higher number of COVID-19 cases and with higher mortality due to the disease. “There was no evidence related to vitamin D deficiency predisposing to COVID-19, nor were there studies of supplementation for preventing or treating COVID-19.”The authors of the current research note, themselves, that their study faced limitations, including the fact they had no clear way of verifying the true number of COVID-19 cases in each of the countries.So, while it may be tempting to turn to an easily obtainable dietary supplement to help us keep SARS-CoV-2 at bay, it may be safer to hold off on the enthusiasm for now.For live updates on the latest developments regarding the novel coronavirus and COVID-19, click here.In this Special Feature, we explain what steps you can take right now to prevent infection with the new coronavirus — backed by official sources.There are many steps a person can take to help prevent the spread of coronavirus, including frequent hand-washing and social distancing.

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