Trial to test if Vitamin D protects against Covid

2020/10/15 17:43

Today's Vocabulary

1. deformity (n)    
the situation in which a part of the body has not developed in the normal way or with the normal shape

2. evidence (n)
one or more reasons for believing that something is or is not true

3. definitive (adj) 
not able to be changed or improved

4. prick (v)
to make a very small hole or holes in the surface of something, sometimes in a way that causes pain

5. boost (v)  
to improve or increase something

6. deficient (adj
not having enough of

7. accessible (adj)
able to be reached or easily gotten

Trial to test if Vitamin D protects against Covid

Scientists are looking for volunteers to take part in a trial to see if taking vitamin D can give the immune system a boost against Covid. People who join would be sent pills in the post to take daily for six months if a finger-prick test shows they are deficient in the “sunshine vitamin”.

UK residents are already advised to consider taking supplements over winter when vitamin D levels can dip. That is to improve general health, not specifically to stop infections.

Vitamin D deficiency is more common in older people, in people who are overweight, and in black and Asian people – all of the groups who are at increased risk of becoming very ill with CovidThe trial, led by researchers from Queen Mary University of London and funded by Barts Charity, will use higher doses of vitamin D than regular supplements. 

Principal investigator David Jolliffe said the trial “has the potential to give a definitive answer” to the question of whether vitamin D offers protection against Covid. “Vitamin D supplements are low in cost, low in risk and widely accessible; if proven effective, they could significantly aid in our global fight against the virus,” he said.

Vitamin D is important for healthy bones, teeth and muscles. A lack of it can lead to a bone deformity illness called rickets in children, and a similar bone weakness condition called osteomalacia in adults. There are also suggestions that vitamin D boosts the immune system and helps fight off infections.

The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) says studies on using vitamin D for treating or preventing chest infections showed insufficient evidence to recommend it for this.


  1. Do you think exposure to sunshine is dangerous?
  2. Do you take vitamin D supplements? Do you think they work?
  3. Do you think dark, sun tanned skin looks healthy?

“Sunlight is essential to the body's ability to absorb calcium from the food you are eating. Make sure you receive adequate vitamin D every day through sunlight. About fifteen to twenty minutes of sun on the face and hands is usually enough for most of us.”

Sharon Gannon