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Vitamin D could help protect against the most severe symptoms of COVID-19

A Tampa Bay chiropractor credits the over-the-counter supplement the experience his family had with the virus.

TAMPA, Fla. — More and more doctors are getting behind the idea of taking a simple over-the-counter supplement to help protect you from the most severe symptoms of COVID-19.

Not only that but the flu and colds as well.  

Tampa Bay chiropractor Dr. Scott Paton has been recommending vitamin D3  to his patients since early in the pandemic and he believes it helped protect his own family. 

On April 13, after doing quite a bit of research, Dr. Scott Paton posted a video on his Facebook page talking about the importance of vitamin D. 

Dr. Paton said he made the video because he wanted to talk about the research behind how vitamin D helps with acute upper respiratory infections.

"It's been helping a lot of my patients, I hope it helps you," Paton said.

Dr. John Sinnott from Tampa General Hospital and USF Health agrees. 

When the coronavirus hit the U.S., he tested his own vitamin D level and found it was low. 

 "I right away went on 4,000 units of vitamin D a day and within a week my levels were normal."

Dr. Paton's family takes their vitamin D every day.  

When his college-age son tested positive the first week of school, they all got tested.

 "Apparently we had it, and we didn't know we had it," Paton said.

 Paton said they had no symptoms whatsoever. He believes that's because of the vitamin D. He posted this update on his Facebook page in early September. 

 "This isn't me just saying take your vitamin D based on anecdotal evidence. This is researched evidence," Paton said. 

Dr. Sinnott agrees. He said when people ask him what they can do to prevent COVID-19 he tells them this: "you wear a mask, you socially distance, you wash your hands, you take vitamin D." 

Dr. Sinnott added people should not take Vitamin D if they have kidney stones. 

As far as thinking you are getting enough from the sun, you likely aren't. Sunscreen and clothing block the absorption of it and you would have to spend a significant amount of time in direct sunlight to get enough, which could be risky for other reasons.  

It's estimated more than half of adults in this country are vitamin D deficient.  Doctors know this is an important building block of the immune system and it's a simple fix, just take a supplement.

Finally, always talk with your doctor before starting any supplements.

RELATED: Are you getting enough vitamin D?

RELATED: Doctor: New COVID-19 rapid tests will benefit Florida if used properly

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