FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Your daily dose of sunshine could help ramp up your immune system, and studies are ongoing to find out if vitamin D could be helpful in the fight against COVID-19.

“Vitamin D got a lot of press over the last few years about everything, not just osteoporosis and bones but mental health and feeling well,” said Dr. James Herd, the Chief Medical Officer at Baylor Scott & White All Saints Medical Center.

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A quick browse of Google reveals all sorts of articles about vitamin D and COVID-19.

Dr. Herd said while the exact relationship is still unclear, it does appear that patients with lower levels of vitamin D have a higher association with COVID-19.

“So there may be a protective effect of having a little bit higher vitamin D,” he said. “With my own patients personally I suggest even if they’re out in the sun, which is where you naturally make vitamin D through your skin and through sun exposure, try to get least 15 minutes a day of that, but also supplements.”

Clinical trials exploring the topic are ongoing both looking into vitamin D as prevention and treatment.

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Some observational studies have found a link to low vitamin D and a higher risk of testing positive, but at least one study found a high dose had no benefit for those who were already sick with moderate to severe COVID-19.

Dr. Herd said there’s no downside to taking an added dose.

Besides supplements and sunshine, you can up your vitamin D through foods as well.

Fish like salmon, sardines, swordfish and tuna are good sources.

You can also get small amounts from fortified milk, orange Juice and yogurt.

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Originally Posted 7/29/2021