The Vitamin That Could Halve COVID Risk

More evidence that this vitamin protects people against severe COVID-19 infection, hospitalization, and death.

More evidence that this vitamin protects people against severe COVID-19 infection, hospitalization, and death.

A study on nearly half a million people in the UK found that UVB radiation strongly protects people against COVID-19 hospitalization and death.

The sun’s Ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation is the key for the production of 25-OHD known as calcifediol, the active form of vitamin D.

The study looked at the protective effect of ambient UVB radiation on individuals before COVID-19 infection.

The results showed that vitamin D produced in the skin from exposure to UVB radiation (vitD-UVB) was strongly and inversely associated with COVID-19 hospitalization and death.

Past studies suggest that vitamin D deficiency increases the risk of viral and bacterial respiratory infections.

During the pandemic several studies have found a strong link between vitamin D deficiency and coronavirus infection.

However, factors such as obesity, being elderly, and chronic conditions have been linked to lower levels of vitamin D and so higher severity of COVID-19.

The study shows that vitamin D status comes from both genetic predisposition and lifestyle factors.

Previous studies have failed to show the link between vitamin D and COVID-19 using genetic data.

This may be related to the fact that UVB radiation from the sunlight, which is the main source of vitamin D for most people, was overlooked.

Professor Lina Zgaga, the study’s co-author, said:

“Our study adds further evidence that vitamin D might protect against severe COVID-19 infection.

Conducting a properly designed COVID-19 randomized controlled trial of vitamin D supplementation is critical.

Until then, given that vitamin D supplements are safe and cheap, it is definitely advisable to take supplements and protect against vitamin D deficiency, particularly with winter on the horizon.”

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.

According to another study, a sufficient level of vitamin D could halve the risk of catching coronavirus and protect COVID-19 patients from the worst of the disease.

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 Scientific Reports (Li et al., 2021).


Get FREE email updates to PsyBlog

Hello, and welcome to PsyBlog. Thanks for dropping by.

This site is all about scientific research into how the mind works.

It’s mostly written by psychologist and author, Dr Jeremy Dean.

I try to dig up fascinating studies that tell us something about what it means to be human.

Get FREE email updates to PsyBlog. Join the mailing list.