Does vitamin D protect against coronavirus?
Whether vitamin D can protect against COVID-19 disease has been debated so far. The following article summarizes previous findings on the protective effect of vitamin D on coronavirus.
Vitamin D deficiency is widespread
Especially in winter, many people suffer from vitamin D deficiency, mainly because vitamin D is usually made up of the skin’s sun rays, and the lack of sunlight in winter can lead to a deficit. In addition, what is called the skin’s ability to synthesize vitamin D unfortunately decreases with age, which improves vitamin D deficiency in the elderly.
Get vitamin D through your diet
In addition to sunlight, the diet you eat is an important source of vitamin D. Some high-fat foods, such as salmon, tuna and liver, contain vitamin D. There are also special foods fortified with vitamin D. These include, for example, margarine, mushrooms and chanterelles. However, only a small percentage of the daily requirement of vitamin D is covered by food.
Free distribution of vitamin D supplements?
In England, health authorities plan to distribute vitamin D supplements for free to more than 2.5 million vulnerable people this winter. These are mostly people from nursing homes. This year it’s more important than ever for people to take vitamin D because most people spend less time away. Therefore, the government has decided to give vitamin D to people who are clinically very weak, explained Dr. England Public Health Alison Tedstone told the BBC news channel.
Vitamin D protects muscles and bones
Vitamin D is especially important for bones and muscles, but it also has a preventive effect against respiratory infections. If there is a deficiency, it may be logical to take vitamin D supplements. In this context, however, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) warns against overdose. This, for example, can cause nausea and severe kidney, heart and circulation problems.
COVID-19: Patients are deficient in vitamin D.
Beginning in April 2020, a study showed that people with COVID-19 often have vitamin D deficiency. Another study linked to the University of Cantabria in Santander found that 82.2% of people with COVID-19 were deficient in vitamin D. In the control group of people without coronary artery disease, however, the value was only 47.2 percent.
Reasons for increased risk
The researchers said people with vitamin D deficiency have a higher prevalence of high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. In addition, affected individuals would increase serum ferritin and troponin levels and have a longer hospital stay than people with ≥20 ng / ml 25OHD levels.
However, researchers at the University of Cantabria have stated that they have not found any link between vitamin D concentrations or vitamin deficiency and the severity of the disease.
The effect of vitamin D on respiratory infections?
Vitamin D is known to be beneficial for bones, so it is often prescribed to prevent osteopenia. Research only in Asian children has shown that vitamin D can also modulate certain immune functions in respiratory infections.
This may suggest a link between vitamin D and COVID-19. However, experts believe it is too early to say that vitamin D protects against COVID-19. Currently, several research groups around the world have found that people with vitamin D deficiency are more likely to have COVID-19 disease. However, this is not conclusive evidence of a causal relationship.
Results of further research
Another study found that children with COVID-19 had a lower average vitamin D level than a control group of healthy children. However, children without chronic disease did not participate in the study. The results, however, suggest that vitamin D levels may be associated with the onset of COVID-19.
Serious COVID-19 disease, accompanied by vitamin D deficiencies?
Researchers at the German University of Hohenheim have analyzed the results of 30 studies that looked at COVID-19 and vitamin D. He found that the risk of serious COVID-19 disease with lower vitamin D levels was higher than for people with normal vitamin D values.
However, the researchers noted that the deficiency of existing vitamin D is linked to several other pre-existing conditions, which may affect the risk of COVID-19. (as)
Author and source information
This text is in accordance with the requirements of medical literature, medical guidelines and current research and has been verified by medical professionals.
- BBC: Covid: 2.5 million free vitamin D tablets for the weak in England (veröffentlicht 20.11.2020), BBC
- Robert Koch Institute: Answers to the Robert Koch Institute Frequently Asked Questions About Vitamin D (January 25, 2019), RKI
- Ali Daneshkhah, Vasundhara Agrawal, Adam Eshein, Hariharan Subramanian, Hemant K. Roy, Vadim Backman: The Vitamin Role of the possible role of Cytokine Storm and Associated Mortality in COVID-19 Patients, medRxiv-en (veröffentlicht 30.04.2020), medRxiv .
- José L Hernández, Daniel Nan, Marta Fernandez-Ayala, Mayte García-Unzueta, Miguel A Hernández-Hernández et al .: Status of Vitamin D in Hospitalized Patients with SARS-CoV-2 Infection, in Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (Version 27.10) .2020), JCEM
- Kamil Yılmaz, Velat Şen: Is COVID – 19 children at risk of vitamin D deficiency ?, Pediatric Pulmonology (veröffentlicht 05.10.2020), Pediatric Pneumology
- Hans K. Biesalski: Vitamin D Deficiency and Co-morbidities in COVID-19 Patients – A Deadly Relationship ?, NFS Journal (Veröffentlicht Volume 20, August 2020, pp. 10-21), NFS Journal.
This article is for general guidance only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. It cannot replace a doctor’s visit.