Vitamin D is most often recognized for its role in bone health, but low vitamin D status has been associated with a number of autoimmune, cardiovascular, and infectious diseases.
A study conducted by scientists from Bar Ilan University and the Galilee Medical Center in Israel revealed that having good levels of vitamin D reduces the risk of death or serious illness from covid -19.
This retrospective study examined whether there is a relationship between the serum level of vitamin D and the severity and mortality of the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.” Among hospitalized covid-19 patients, vitamin D deficiency prior to infection was associated with increased disease severity and mortality,” concluded research published by Plos One.
Vitamin D is most often recognized for its role in bone health, but low vitamin D status has been associated with a number of autoimmune, cardiovascular and infectious diseases due to its role as an essential immune mediator, the study said.
Epidemiological risk factors for vitamin D deficiency include increased skin pigmentation, low sun exposure, wearing clothing that covers the skin, and a diet low in fish and dairy products.
Studies have previously shown that social habits in specific ethnic groups and a preference for wearing long clothing outdoors are independent risk factors for vitamin D deficiency, particularly among women.
The study categorized patients’ vitamin D levels as: deficient (below 50 nmol/L or 20 ng/ml), insufficient (50 nmol/L to 75 nmol/L or 20-29.9 ng/ml) , adequate (75–99.75 nmol/L or 30–39.9 ng/mL) and high normal (equal to or greater than 187.5 nmol/L or 40 ng/mL).”From the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, establishing vitamin D deficiency as a risk factor was the goal of many researchers. It was the subject of much debate in the general public and in multiple medical journals,” the study said.
The scientists noted that the study contributes to a continuously evolving body of evidence suggesting that a patient’s history of vitamin D deficiency is a predictive risk factor associated with a worse clinical course of COVID-19 and mortality.