Vitamin D Supplements A Good Idea For Wyomingites This Winter

Sep 11, 2020

People living at high latitudes like Wyoming don't get enough vitamin D from the sun in the winter.
Credit Kevin Vandivier

Taking a vitamin D supplement may be a good idea as the summer comes to an end. Medical experts say it can provide a boost to your immune system, and may even help your body fight the coronavirus.

"It's not going to prevent you from getting COVID by any means, but if you do become exposed to it then it's going to at least make your body set up to handle it," said Enette Larson-Meyer, a professor of Nutrition and Dietetics at Virginia Tech. "Your immune system is more primed and more set up to handle whatever pathogen it encounters if you have adequate vitamin D status."

Larson-Meyer said in the summer, going outside for 10 to 30 minutes at noon twice a week will get you all the vitamin D you need. But in the winter, she said people living at high latitudes especially don't get enough sun.

"No matter how good your status was, vitamin D status did drop over the winter months," Larson-Meyer said. "If you are able to get out in the sun that's great, but anybody in the winter, particularly living in Wyoming, needs to take a vitamin D supplement over the winter months."

Larson-Meyer also said older adults are more likely to be vitamin D deficient.

Have a question about this story? Please contact the reporter, Ashley Piccone, at apiccone@uwyo.edu