Researchers at the University of Chicago want to find out if vitamin D supplements can help fight African-American COVID-19.
Dr. David Melzer, director of hospital medicine at UChicago Medicine and principal investigator for the next two studies, said the health effects are not well understood, but blacks usually have lower levels of vitamin D than whites. I did.
Newly published research A person led by Melzer found that when vitamin D levels were higher than experts currently consider to be sufficient for overall health, the risk of infection, especially in blacks, was reduced.
In the wake of that data study, Melzer is recruiting volunteers for two human trials to better understand the relationship between the immune system and the boost of vitamin D by supplements. Meltzer wants to focus on racial differences and see if raising vitamin levels reduces the risk of infection and the severity of the disease.
The benefits of taking vitamin D to prevent COVID-19 have caused controversy in the medical community.Some doctors warn that there are too many vitamins Harmful to health..Nonetheless, attention to last year’s coronavirus-related research Driven sales Of vitamin D supplements in a pandemic.
Melzer argues that there are unanswered questions about vitamin D, especially because it is related to the overall health of blacks, especially to combat infections. One of the benefits of vitamin D is bone strength, a factor that helps prevent osteoporosis, but previous studies have shown that bone density is between racial groups, even when vitamin D levels are lower in blacks than in whites. It won’t be dramatically different, Melzer said.
What is not well understood is the role that black vitamin D levels play in boosting the immune system, which is another benefit of vitamin D.
“It was much more difficult to define the effects on the immune system,” Melzer said in an interview. “Even if you have enough vitamin D for bone health, you don’t necessarily have the right amount of vitamin D for your immune system.”
Sources of vitamin D include supplements and fatty fish. Exposure to the sun also helps the body make its own vitamin D, but it can also mean low levels during the winter in cold weather locations like Chicago.
One U.S. government-supervised U of C study will conduct lab tests of people taking low-dose supplements and the highest levels of safety. Other studies include online self-reporting. In each trial, half of the participants receive vitamins and the others receive placebo. Meltzer hopes to attract 2,000 people in each trial and will hire them in the next two months. Researchers want racially diverse groups, but research is open to everyone.
Melzer acknowledges that the study is likely to end sometime after the COVID-19 pandemic weakens, at least according to current projections.
“We’re doing this not only for the current pandemic, but for the next pandemic,” he said.
Brett Chase’s environmental and public health reports were made possible with a grant from the Chicago Community Trust.
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