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Vitamin D Supplements May Not Protect You From This, New Study Says

New research suggests the supplement may not be effective at protecting you from COVID-19 after all.
FACT CHECKED BY Cedrina Calder, MD, MSPH

Without a doubt, the most talked-about vitamin of last year was vitamin D. However, new research is now suggesting that the supplement may not be as effective at reducing someone's risk of contracting COVID-19 as previously thought.

At the start of the pandemic, you may recall experts pushed the use of vitamin D. This was because several observational studies showed that populations who were deficient in vitamin D were also at higher risk of experiencing adverse symptoms from COVID-19.

However, a recent genetic study, published in the journal PLOS Medicine, found that vitamin D supplementation may not protect against coronavirus infection.

Researchers at McGill University in Quebec, Canada focused on genetic variants that are associated with increased vitamin D levels. They discovered that people whose DNA contains one of these variants are also more likely to have higher vitamin D levels. Keep in mind, though, that environmental factors such as diet can affect these levels.

RELATED: The One Vitamin Doctors Are Urging Everyone to Take Right Now

So, how did the study work?

The researchers analyzed genetic variant data from 14,000 people who had COVID-19 and compared it to the same data from over 1.2 million people who didn't have the infectious disease.

This brings us to the next question . . .

What did they find exactly?

As it turns out, those who have one of these genetic variants, and are more likely to have higher vitamin D levels, didn't have a lower risk of coronavirus infection, hospitalization, or severe illness due to COVID-19.

Unfortunately, the findings from this study suggest that taking extra vitamin D—while beneficial for the immune system, bone health, and mood—isn't as effective at helping you combat COVID-19.

Still, taking vitamin D can provide a host of other health benefits, so be sure to check out 5 Amazing Benefits of Vitamin D, According to Experts.

Eat This, Not That! Editors
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