COVID-19 Expert Database

Question

Does Vitamin D help prevent or treat COVID-19?

Last modified on 6 August 2020

What our experts say

It is too early to tell whether or not Vitamin D can help treat COVID-19. As of now, Vitamin D has not been tested for its effectiveness in treating COVID-19 patients, so there is no evidence that it can prevent or treat the virus. A recent study looked at data from 20 European countries and noted that in places where more people had cases of Vitamin D deficiency, they also had higher rates of COVID-19 cases and deaths. While this study suggested a possible relationship between lower levels of Vitamin D and poor COVID-19 health outcomes, there is no evidence that Vitamin D levels actually caused more cases or deaths related to COVID-19.

Other studies have noted potential links between low Vitamin D levels and COVID-19, but no consensus has been reached on what the potential impact of the vitamin is on the virus. Researchers are now working on several studies to determine if Vitamin D can be effective in treating COVID-19.

Do you need more context? Help is at hand. Ask our experts a question →

Context and background

Vitamin D is an essential nutrient, which means your body needs it but cannot make it on its own. This is why people have to get their Vitamin D from foods like salmon or egg yolks, supplements, or from spending short amounts of time in the sun. Vitamin D helps ensure your body’s immune system and its cells are working well so they can respond to infections and viruses. In addition to its help in retaining calcium levels in the body and promoting bone health, Vitamin D can also potentially reduce cancer cell growth, help minimize inflammation, and help control infections. However, there is no evidence that Vitamin D can prevent or treat COVID-19, despite its other benefits in the body.

Data

Glossary Terms

Source of the question

Social Media

Country question was sourced from

USA

Topics

Calcium Vitamin D prevention treatment homeopathic

Does this answer vary depending on where you live?

No

Does this answer vary depending on your race, ethnicity, age, sex or other demographic factors?

No

Resources

  1. Lancet review on Vitamin D and COVID-19 outcomes (The Lancet)
  2. Aging Clinical and Experimental Research study on Vitamin D and the prevention of COVID-19 (Aging)
  3. BMJ study on Vitamin D and COVID-19 (BMJ)
  4. Pre-print study of patterns of COVID-19 mortality and Vitamin D (SSRN)
  5. Pre-print study on the possible role of Vitamin D and cytokine storms in COVID-19 (Medrxiv)
  6. Harvard review of Vitamin D (HSPH)
  7. Journal of Investigative Medicine review of Vitamin D and the immune system (JIM)
This database is updated regularly.
Catch up on weekly highlights from award-winning journalist and medical doctor, Dr. Seema Yasmin, by subscribing to our newsletter.

We base our COVID-19 expert contextualizations on information provided by internationally-recognized health organizations, public health researchers and infectious disease experts. Because information in epidemics is constantly being updated, our content is up to date based on the date and time they are published. If you’re looking for medical advice, please contact a healthcare provider, and be sure to review the World Health Organization website for more information about COVID-19.

The data and content on this website are available free of charge under a CC BY-SA license. If you make any additions, transformations, or changes to the dataset please remember to share these under the same license. We would also appreciate you letting us know.