Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts is to conduct a study on vitamin D influence on the novel coronavirus. It will test to see if vitamin D from natural sunlight can reduce the coronavirus symptoms. Further will higher content of the vitamin in our body reduces the chance of getting infected by the virus.
Dr JoAnn Manson at Brigham and Women’s Hospital is also the principal investigator of the Vitamin D for COVID-19 (VIVID) study. Manson says there will no harmful side effects to taking high doses of vitamin D for the process.
“Vitamin D supplementation is a promising approach to preventing severe COVID-19 illness and the need for hospitalisation, as well as for preventing transmission of the infection to household members,” she adds.
“We need randomised trials to test vitamin D for these purposes, and our VIVID trial will fill these knowledge gaps,” Dr JoAnn Manson said referring to the study which is currently enrolling patients.
Process of the VIVID study
- The study will include people of age 30 and above from around the country who have been tested positive for the coronavirus within the previous five days.
- A total of 2,700 participants will take either a high dose of vitamin D or a placebo pill for four weeks. They will be observed continuously to see any reduction in the severity of the symptoms and risk of hospitalisation or death after taking the supplements.
- The study also aims at observing whether vitamin D supplements can lower the risk of becoming infected. Hence the participants are advised to enrol a household member who is not positive for the virus.
- No travel or clinic visits are required as the trial is conducted entirely remotely.
Several other studies are also being conducted on the same. Boston University Dr Michael Holick’s study found that people who had low levels of vitamin D had 54% higher COVID positivity compared to those with adequate levels of vitamin D in the blood.
Also Read: 8 Reasons Women Need to Increase Vitamin D Consumption
Vitamin D: a natural cure?
“There is lab and clinical evidence that vitamin D boosts our immune system to help fight off infections,” Manson said. She further added that the best established benefits of this vitamin are for bone health. Manson quotes the main sources of this supplement as sunlight, fatty fish and fortified cereals and dairy products.
The vitamin has several other qualities that can prevent and cure other ailments too. Studies show that it can reduce excessive inflammation. Since vitamin D promotes the immune system, it can help reduce susceptibility to infections and immune-related disorders. Vitamin D deficiency even increases the risk of respiratory diseases, including tuberculosis and asthma.
Also Read: Study Shows Low Levels Of Vitamin D Lead To An Increased Risk of COVID-19