Can Vitamin D Defeat COVID-19?
According to a new study published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, about 82 percent of hospitalized COVID-19 patients have vitamin D deficiency.
However, these researchers did not find any relationship between vitamin D concentrations or vitamin deficiency and the severity of COVID-19 disease.
Published on October 27, 2020, this study’s finding is important since vitamin D deficiency has been linked to a variety of health concerns, with research underway seeking to learn why the hormone impacts other systems of the body.
And various observational studies point to the beneficial effect of vitamin D, or serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) levels on the immune system, especially regarding protection against infections.
“One approach is to identify and treat vitamin D deficiency, especially in high-risk individuals such as the elderly, patients with comorbidities, and nursing home residents, who are the main target population for the COVID-19,” said study co-author José L. Hernández, Ph.D., of the University of Cantabria in Santander, Spain, in a release press release.
“Vitamin D treatment should be recommended in COVID-19 patients with low levels of vitamin D circulating in the blood since this approach might have beneficial effects in both the musculoskeletal and the immune system.”
The researchers found most COVID-19 patients at the Hospital Universitario Marqués de Valdecilla in Spain had vitamin D deficiency, with men having lower vitamin D levels than women.
Of the 216 COVID-19 patients, mean±SD 25OHD levels were 13.8±7.2 ng/ml, compared to 20.9±7.4 ng/ml in controls (p<0.0001). 25OHD values were lower in men than in women. 25OHD inversely correlate to serum ferritin (p=0.013) and D-dimer levels (p=0.027).
And, vitamin D-deficient COVID-19 patients had a greater prevalence of hypertension and cardiovascular diseases, raised serum ferritin and troponin levels, as well as a longer length of hospital stay than those with serum 25OHD levels ≥20 ng/ml.
In conclusion, no causal relationship was found between vitamin D deficiency and COVID-19 severity as a combined endpoint, or as its separate components, stated these researchers.
The manuscript received funding from Instituto de Salud Carlos III.
Previously, on September 3, 2020, a study published by the JAMA, reported a single-center, retrospective cohort study, found deficient vitamin D status was associated with increased COVID-19 risk.
In this cohort study of 489 patients who had a vitamin D level measured in the year before COVID-19 testing, the relative risk of testing positive for COVID-19 was 1.77 times greater for patients with likely deficient vitamin D status, compared with patients with likely sufficient vitamin D status, a difference that was statistically significant.
‘This finding suggests that randomized trials may be needed to determine whether vitamin D affects COVID-19 risk,’ concluded the JAMA study’s researchers.
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