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Doctors tout vitamin D as a COVID-19 defense

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Posted at 6:12 PM, Jan 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-14 22:11:11-05

While lots of us work hard to make sure our children get the vitamins and nutrition they need, new research shows it's even more important for adults.

Dawn Herron had heard about vitamin D deficiency, she just didn't think it affected her or her family much.

"I actually didn't realize that it was such a widespread problem. Kind of makes sense when you think about it with people more indoors than outside," said the College Station woman.

We've always looked to vitamin D for bone health and how it helps fight off depression and heart disease. But doctors say in the age of COVID-19, they're finding another very important benefit of this vitamin most of us don't get enough of.

”The latest data for COVID, for instance, looks like supplementation of vitamin D could very well help people do better if they get... if they get COVID,” said Dr. Greg Newman of Baylor, Scott & White's Marketplace Health Clinic in Waco.

He says. boosting our vitamin D levels seems to help fight off viruses, especially COVID-19.

”It seems to have some intricate involvement in this on a cellular level of helping to fight off the virus, both while it's active in ourselves and really maybe in preventing it from invading more cells,” said Dr. Newman.

He says as doctors gain more experience with this novel coronavirus, they've begun to see a pattern.

”When we look at evidence-based data that's coming out from across the world, vitamin D keeps coming out ahead for COVID," explained Dr. Newman.

Dr. Newman says adults may need to boost their vitamin D supplements, past the 800 milligrams a day recommendation by the CDC to about 2,000 milligrams a day. That plus getting a little more sun, he says, may make a difference in catching COVID-19 or not.

Herron certainly believes in doing it for her family.

”I send them out whenever it's nice out, and we try and get our vitamin D that way, fresh air. I can't emphasize enough how much my... my personal feelings about being... having your kids be outdoors is just good developmentally and health wise,” she said.

Now she knows it's especially important for adults too, especially in the age of COVID-19.