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Study to test if Vitamin D can reduce coronavirus severity and transmission

Brigham and Women's hospital is conducting a nationwide study to prove Vitamin D's effectiveness related to COVID-19.

Vitamin D boosts our immune system and new research suggests it's *levels may affect a person's chance of actually getting COVID-19 and recovering from it.  To test the hopeful theory, Brigham and Women's hospital is doing a nationwide study and needs your help!

The VIVID study is looking for 1500 people age 30 and older who have just received a positive COVID-19 test result to participate.  They also need 1200 of their household members who are not infected to join the study.  This will allow them to see whether Vitamin D can lower the risk of others in the house from getting the virus.  There is no travel required and all pills and supplies will be mailed to the participant's home.

The Vitamin D for COVID-19 (VIVID) study is a clinical trial that is evaluating whether taking vitamin D supplements can reduce the severity of symptoms related to a diagnosis of COVID-19. It is also studying whether vitamin D supplements reduce the chances of becoming infected with the novel coronavirus, if you have been exposed to someone in your household who received a positive test for COVID-19.

Dr. Rui Wang is an associate professor at Harvard Medical School who is helping with the study.   "Participants will take the pills for 4 weeks and will complete an online questionnaire about their health status, symptoms to monitor disease progression," she said. 

She says Vitamin D can do 2 things:  Help boost our bodies' natural defense against viruses and bacteria and help prevent an exaggerated inflammatory response, which has been shown to contribute to severe illness in some people with COVID-19.

So does this mean we should be running out immediately to buy vitamin d in bulk?

The PA Department of Health has this question on their website: Is a high dose of vitamin D effective in preventing or treating COVID-19?  Their answer:   "While several studies have found an association between low levels of Vitamin D and COVID-19, associations are not always causative. Therefore, there is currently no scientific evidence that high doses of Vitamin D will effectively prevent or treat COVID-19."

It will still be months before their research study is complete, but Dr. Wang says if you believe you are Vitamin D deficient, it doesn't hurt to take supplements.

Unfortunately, many people are deficient and don't even know it.  A simple blood test at your doctor can tell you for sure.  For more information on being a participant in the VIVID study, click here. 

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