Having sufficient vitamin D levels is linked to a lower risk of COVID-19 infection, new research finds.
Healthcare workers with low levels of vitamin D were more likely to be infected.
Low vitamin D levels were linked to a reduced production of antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2 infection.
The conclusions come from a study of 392 healthcare workers in the UK.
Just over half had antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, showing they had been infected with the virus.
Those low in vitamin D were more likely to report pains and body aches and symptoms of fever when they had the disease.
Almost 17 percent were deficient in vitamin D, with higher prevalence among Black, Asian and ethnic minority workers.
Professor David Thickett, study co-author, said:
“Our study has shown that there is an increased risk of COVID-19 infection in healthcare workers who are deficient in vitamin D.
Our data adds to the emerging evidence from studies in the UK and globally that individuals with severe COVID-19 are more vitamin D deficient than those with mild disease.
Finally, our results, combined with existing evidence further demonstrates the potential benefits of vitamin D supplementation in individuals at risk of vitamin D deficiency or who are shown to be deficient as a way to potentially alleviate the impact of COVID-19.”
Previous studies have also suggested that vitamin D deficiency makes people vulnerable to coronavirus infection.
Vitamin D is crucial for the immune system: it improves the body’s defence response against infections, helps avert respiratory infections, and reduces the need for antibiotics.
A sufficient level of vitamin D could halve the risk of catching coronavirus and protect COVID-19 patients from the worst of the disease, according to another recent study.
The study was published in medRxiv (Faniyi et al., 2020).