Vitamin D Deficiency May Increase COVID-19 Risk

In a retrospective study 489 patients were included whose vitamin D level was measured before being tested for COVID-19. It was concluded that patients who had vitamin D deficiency were twice as likely to test positive for COVID-19. Vitamin D is essential for the proper functioning of the immune system. Previously, vitamin D supplements have shown to lower the risk of viral respiratory tract infections.

In the study, the patients were considered as deficient if their most recent serum vitamin D level within a year and before COVID-19 testing was < 20ng/mL for 25-hydroxycholecalciferol. Overall, 15% of patients tested positive for COVID-19. Amongst the vitamin D deficient patients, 19% tested positive for COVID-19. Amongst the patients who were not vitamin D deficient, 12% tested positive. This study implicated that vitamin D might have some role to play in reducing the incidence of COVID-19.

Innate immunity is stimulated by vitamin D and it also affects the metabolism of zinc. Vitamin D modulates the immune function through the effects on T-cells and the dendritic cells. This could promote viral (COVID-19) clearance and reduce the inflammatory response. Lower interleukin-6 levels were also correlated to higher vitamin D levels, which could control the cytokine storm in COVID-19. This could decrease the symptomatic presentation in COVID-19.

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