Does the "sun vitamin" help against Covid-19?
Photo: Iryna Veklich / Getty Images
Since the beginning of the pandemic, theses have been wafting through the net that taking vitamin D could offer protection against Covid-19.
The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) has now published a statement on this.
In it, the experts warn against taking the pills without first seeking advice from experts.
"Higher dosages should only be carried out under medical supervision and taking into account the individual vitamin D status," says the message.
If you do not adhere to it, you risk the formation of kidney stones or kidney calcifications.
There are also cases of acute kidney failure as a result of uncontrolled ingestion on one's own initiative.
With regard to the coronavirus, the BfR writes: There are indications that an inadequate vitamin D level is associated with an increased risk of acute respiratory infections.
Covid-19 is one of these infections.
The data situation for the disease is "still uncertain".
In particular, it has not yet been possible to show that people who are well supplied with vitamin D benefit from an additional dose.
A general recommendation on preventive measures is therefore »currently not justifiable«.
A good supply of vitamin D can best be achieved through the skin's own synthesis - through exercise and outdoor sports.
It is also advisable to eat fatty sea fish such as herring or salmon once or twice a week.
Risk groups could benefit
According to the opinion, a special group are people who live in nursing homes.
Many old people hardly move outdoors, and their bodies produce less of the vitamin anyway due to their age.
For this group, a daily vitamin D intake of up to 20 micrograms should be “considered”.
According to the BfR, it can also make sense for other groups to use food supplements.
This includes people who can rarely move outdoors, for example because of restricted mobility or chronic illnesses, as well as those who only step outside the door "with their bodies completely covered" for religious reasons.
After all, people with dark skin also belong to the risk group.
Due to the high content of the skin pigment melanin, they can produce less vitamin D than people with light skin.
Anyone who wants to use a preparation despite the restrictions mentioned should not exceed a daily dose of 20 micrograms (800 international units).
The BfR writes that no health damage is to be expected up to this limit.
In other words: even if this amount doesn't necessarily help - at least it doesn't do any harm.
jpz / dpa