London: A UK university has begun a major study of the potential link between vitamin D and protection against the coronavirus.
The Coronabit Trial will be attended by scholars from Queen Mary University of London to ask if elevated vitamin D levels can reduce the risk of winter respiratory infections, including the coronavirus.
Funded by the British hospital fund Barts Charity, the project aims to avoid the need for direct contact and test more than 5,000 people who receive vitamin D supplements by mail.
“There is increasing evidence that vitamin D may reduce the risk of respiratory infections,” said Adrian Martineau, the lead researcher for the study.
“Vitamin D deficiency is more common in all groups at high risk of coronavirus disease, including the elderly, overweight, blacks and Asians.”
The project’s senior researcher, Dr. David Joriff, said the study could help the world fight a pandemic.
“Vitamin D supplements are low-cost, low-risk, and widely available. If proven effective, they can significantly support the global fight against the virus,” he added.
The National Institute for Health and Care Technology said in June that there was insufficient evidence to conclude that vitamin D supplements were effective against the coronavirus.
Vitamin D is often referred to as “sunshine vitamin” because it is produced by the body when exposed to sunlight.
Maintaining healthy levels of calcium and phosphate keeps bones, teeth and muscles in good condition.
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