The Vitamin Deficiency Linked To Long COVID

Long COVID is more likely to be seen in those who have lower levels of this hormone.

Long COVID is more likely to be seen in those who have lower levels of this hormone.

Patients with low levels of vitamin D who had recovered from coronavirus are at greater risk of developing long COVID.

Post-COVID syndrome, also known as long COVID is a condition that affects some people after the initial illness.

These patients may experience health problems and wide-ranging symptoms that could last for more than 3 months.

Several studies suggest that the condition affects between 50 to 70 percent of hospitalised COVID-19 patients.

Some of these patients experience severe symptoms leading to intubation and mechanical ventilation.

Vitamin D deficiency has been suggested as a risk factor, but its impact on long COVID has not been checked before.

The study measured vitamin D levels in patients with COVID-19 at the beginning of their admission and 6 months after leaving hospital.

The results showed that patients with long COVID had lower levels of 25(OH) vitamin D than those who had fully recovered.

Lower 25(OH) vitamin D levels was observed more frequently in those patients with neurocognitive symptoms such as brain fog, confusion, poor concentration, and forgetfulness.

Professor Andrea Giustina, the study’s lead author, said:

“Previous studies on the role of vitamin D in long COVID were not conclusive mainly due to many confounding factors.

The highly-controlled nature of our study helps us better understand the role of vitamin D deficiency in long COVID, and establish that there is likely a link between vitamin D deficiency and long COVID.”

The next step for the research team is to find out whether vitamin D supplements can lower the odds of post COVID-19 syndrome.

Professor Giustina said:

“Our study shows that COVID-19 patients with low vitamin D levels are more likely to develop long COVID but it is not yet known whether vitamin D supplements could improve the symptoms or reduce this risk altogether.”


The study was published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (Filippo et al., 2023).

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