Recent studies have found a link between low vitamin D levels and an increased risk of COVID-19 infection, but they don’t prove that the vitamin is protective.In the absence of a COVID-19 cure or vaccine, scientists are investigating whether vitamin D can reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection or the severity of the disease. But although some recent studies have suggested a link between low vitamin D levels and a higher risk of catching the disease, experts say it’s not enough to prove that vitamin D itself protects against the disease, or if other factors are playing a role. One study, published Sept. 3 in JAMA Network Open, found that the risk of COVID-19 infection in people with vitamin D deficiency was nearly two times higher than in people with sufficient levels of the vitamin. These associations don’t prove that vitamin D deficiency causes increased COVID-19 risk, said Adrian Martineau, who studies respiratory infections and immunity at Queen Mary University of London, and , who was not involved with either study. “But it’s suggestive and it’s enough to justify doing further research to find out whether or not there is a true cause-effect relationship,” Martineau told Live Science. According to a meta-analysis by Martineau, first published in 2017 in the journal BMJ and updated to include more recent studies this July on the preprint server medRxiv, vitamin D supplementation reduced the risk of acute respiratory tract infections in general compared with a placebo.
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