Vitamin D is important for bone and muscle health and also benefits the immune system to help fight off infection. You can get vitamin D from sunlight, through food, and by taking vitamin D supplements. Upper respiratory infections (such as laryngitis, sinus infections or bronchitis) are a common cause of illness in children and people older than age 70 years, especially in winter when there is less sunlight. Previous evidence has suggested that low vitamin D levels were most common in winter months and contribute to infections of the upper respiratory system (above the lungs). Recently, researchers from Australia compared monthly vitamin D supplementation with a dummy pill (placebo) in almost 22,000 adults to see if taking vitamin D changed risk of infection. Overall, vitamin D did not lower the number of upper respiratory infections. However, taking vitamin D decreased the time that people had symptoms by less than half a day. In another recent study, researchers concluded that taking daily vitamin D is safe and may help protect us from acute respiratory tract infections. We know that groups with low vitamin D levels (such as older adults and nursing home residents, and Black, Asian, and minority ethnic populations) are the same groups that have also been hit hardest by COVID-19. Further, more time spent indoors due to lockdowns caused concern that some people might not get enough vitamin D from sunlight. These new studies show the need for more research as there is still not enough information to recommend vitamin D to prevent COVID-19 and other infections.


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