Vitamin D supplementation reduces the risk of COVID-19 infection and the severity of the disease, if it is caught, research finds.
Professor Michael Holick, study co-author, said:
“Because vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency is so widespread in children and adults in the United States and worldwide, especially in the winter months, it is prudent for everyone to take a vitamin D supplement to reduce risk of being infected and having complications from COVID-19.”
A blood level of 30 nanogram per millilitre of vitamin D has been shown to protect patients with COVID-19 against complications and death, as well as reducing the risk of getting ill by a large amount.
According to a new study, COVID-19 patients with adequate levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D are less likely to have severe clinical problems from the illness.
These outcomes include hypoxia — poor oxygen supply to the body — being unconscious, and death.
25-hydroxyvitamin D is produced in the liver and it is a major form of vitamin D3 and vitamin D2.
Also, patients with a sufficient amount of vitamin D have higher levels of lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell which fights infection, and their blood shows a lower level of C-reactive protein, an inflammatory indicator.
Professor Holick said:
“This study provides direct evidence that vitamin D sufficiency can reduce the complications, including the cytokine storm (release of too many proteins into the blood too quickly) and ultimately death from COVID-19.”
The study examined 235 hospitalized coronavirus patients to see if serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels can change the severe clinical outcomes from the disease.
Vitamin D status, numbers of lymphocytes, and C-reactive protein were analysed from patient’s blood samples.
The patients were also checked for severity of the infection, breathing difficulties, unconsciousness and hypoxia.
The analysis showed that patients with a blood level of at least 30 ng/mL of 25-hydroxyvitamin D had a 52 percent higher chance of surviving the infection than those with lower levels of vitamin D.
Professor Holick, in a recent study, revealed that an adequate amount of vitamin D can lower the odds of becoming infected with COVID-19 by 54 percent.
Vitamin D sufficiency helps to overcome the coronavirus disease and other types of upper respiratory infections such as influenza.
Professor Holick pointed out:
“There is great concern that the combination of an influenza infection and a coronal viral infection could substantially increase hospitalizations and death due to complications from these viral infections.”
Vitamin D is a cheap but effective way to boost people’s immune system against the virus and can decrease health-related issues such as needing ventilatory support and immune system overactivity resulting in cytokine storm.
About the author
Mina Dean is a Nutritionist and Food Scientist. She holds a BSc in Human Nutrition and an MSc in Food Science.
The study was published in the journal PLOS ONE (Maghbooli et al., 2020).