HOUSTON, Texas (KPRC) — Several recent studies have looked at the impact of vitamin D and zinc on COVID-19.
One study of 489 people found that those who had a vitamin D deficiency were more likely to test positive for the virus.
Another study found that of 50 people with COVID-19 in the hospital, only one needed ICU treatment after being given high doses of vitamin D.
President Donald Trump received a mixture of vitamin D and zinc along with a number of other promising experimental drugs when he had the coronavirus.
According to the National Institutes of Health, because of the suspected benefits, availability and cheap cost, they’d like to find something this simple can cure or prevent coronavirus, but the truth is, it’s not proven yet.
“They can help the immune system identify pathogens in the body, so helping the immune system recognize the virus in the body and they also are part of the immune system and the mechanism that blocks the viruses from being able to get into the cells,” says registered dietitian Erin Gussler.
Between working inside and wearing sunscreen, most people do not soak up enough sun to make it. You can increase your intake of it by eating liver, egg yolks, butter and oily fish.
You can also ask your doctor for a blood test to see if you need vitamin D supplements.
Vitamin D and zinc are the main ingredients in a lot of cold medicine.
“Research is really supporting that zinc supplementation does reduce the severity, the frequency and the duration of the common cold,” Gussler said. “And obviously the research isn’t quite out there on COVID but we can extrapolate that it does have a lot of immune benefits.”
Gussler says that if you are not sick, only take zinc in a multi-vitamin, not in large amounts. Too much zinc could cause a copper deficiency which can lead to anemia.