According to recent data, people with severe COVID-19 are more likely to have vitamin D deficiency.
Dr. Dale Bratzler with OU Medicine said this data comes from observational studies and the research is still too new to make any solid statements of benefits of vitamin D and COVID-19.
"The risk of severe COVID-19 in patients with vitamin D deficiency was about eight times higher than normal vitamin D levels,” Bratzler said.
But Bratzler said there are currently no studies at this point that say if we give vitamin D, we can prevent severe COVID-19.
"We don't know what else might be going on in those severe COVID-19 patients that might have caused their vitamin D levels to drop dramatically,” Bratzler said.
However, other research has proven vitamin D supplements to be beneficial to the immune system.
"Giving a vitamin D supplement, particularly if you're vitamin D deficient, can particularly reduce respiratory infections,” Bratzler said.
Other studies suggests that if you're deficient in vitamin D, your immune system doesn't work as well.
There are multiple ways to get vitamin D in your body. One is to go out in the sun, your skin produces vitamin D when you're out in the sunlight.
The other way is through your diet through food and supplements.
"There is really no way of knowing if you're deficient or not without having a blood test,” Bratzler said.
Bratzler said clinical trials are beginning to determine the true benefits of vitamin D and COVID-19.
But a warning, taking too much vitamin D can be harmful, as well. Bratzler recommends taking 600 to 2,000 international units per day.