The Truth About Vitamin D

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Can vitamin D keep you healthy, or is staying out of the sun more important? Here's the truth about vitamin D. Can vitamin D keep you from getting sick? Yes. Some people think one reason we're more likely to get sick in the winter is lower vitamin D levels from staying inside more. Studies have shown that a healthy level of vitamin D in the body does lower the risk of upper respiratory infections like colds and flu. Ask your doctor if you need a supplement, though. There are plenty of ways to get it through food.

Isn't it best to get vitamin D from the sun? No. Tanning increases your risk of skin cancer. You can get all the vitamin D you need through food or a supplement if your doctor recommends it, so slather up with sunscreen when you're headed outside.

Does vitamin D protect you from COVID-19? Maybe. There is emerging evidence that healthy vitamin D levels may make infections with COVID-19 less likely and less severe, but it's too soon to tell if this is really true. Talk to your doctor if you are at risk for vitamin D deficiency. You might be at risk if you're older, have darker skin, are obese, homebound, or have certain illnesses.

But if vitamin D is so good for me, I should take a lot, right? No. Taking mega doses of vitamin D is not proven to help. More studies are needed. And rushing out to fill up on supplements can cause more harm than good.