By Staff

BOSTON (CBS) — A trial at Brigham and Women’s Hospital will study a “promising approach” to treating the coronavirus: taking Vitamin D. Researchers have started enrolling participants to see whether taking Vitamin D3 supplements can reduce the severity of illness in COVID-19 patients.

The Vitamin D for COVID-19 (VIVID) trial will involve 1,500 newly diagnosed coronavirus patients, plus 1,200 close household contacts who will take Vitamin D for about a month. Researchers will look at whether taking the supplement lowered the risk of hospitalization or death, and if it reduced the chances of close household contacts getting infected.

READ MORE: New England Living: Glassblowing at The Bubble Factory

“Vitamin D supplementation is a promising approach to preventing severe COVID-19 illness and the need for hospitalization, as well as for preventing transmission of the infection to household members,” said Brigham Dr. JoAnn Manson, a Vitamin D expert who is leading the study. “We need randomized trials to test vitamin D for these purposes, and our VIVID trial will fill these knowledge gaps.”

Vitamin D is acquired from exposure to the sun, certain foods like fatty fish and supplements.

READ MORE: Trial to begin for Armando Barron, New Hampshire man accused of killing wife's co-worker, forcing beheading

In October, a study out of Iran found that having adequate levels of Vitamin D may improve the outcome of hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Researchers there looked at the Vitamin D levels of more than 200 patients and found that sufficient levels of the vitamin were associated with less severe cases of the virus. Those patients were also more likely to have blood markers indicating a positive immune response.


MORE NEWS: Brookline school teachers end one-day strike with new deal Staff