A new study by the University of Surrey disputes the theory that high doses of vitamin D can help fight COVID-19 and avoid severe symptoms, BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health reported.
A group of international researchers from the US, the UK, and Europe agree that there is simply not enough evidence that vitamin D is effective in preventing or treating COVID-19 and its severe symptoms. The authors of the study especially warn against taking high doses of vitamin D as a means of protection against COVID-19.
“An adequate level of vitamin D in the body is crucial to our overall health, too little can lead to rickets or the development of osteoporosis but too much can lead to an increase in calcium levels in the blood which could be particularly harmful,” says lead study author Professor Sue Lanham-New, Head of the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Surrey, in a release.
The research team checked all available evidence on the effects of vitamin D on viral infections and found no evidence that high doses of vitamin D could help fight COVID-19. In any case, taking too much vitamin D will lead to complications in many cases. They suggest that these claims touting the benefits of vitamin D against COVID-19 were based on inadequate research.
Professors Carolyn Greig and Martin Hewison from Birmingham University, are also co-authors on the paper.
Professor Greig says: “Most of our vitamin D comes from exposure to sunlight, however for many people, particularly those who are self-isolating with limited access to sunlight during the current pandemic, getting enough vitamin D may be a real challenge. Supplementing with vitamin D is recommended but should be done under the current UK guidance.
“Although there is some evidence that low vitamin D is associated with acute respiratory tract infections, there is currently insufficient evidence for vitamin D as a treatment for COVID-19 and over-supplementing must be avoided as it could be harmful.”