Overview: In a study published in Aging Clinical and Experimental Research, researchers found a potential correlation between mean levels of Vitamin D and the number of cases and rates of mortality caused by COVID-19.
Article Citation: Ilie, P.C., Stefanescu, S. & Smith, L. The Role Of Vitamin D In The Prevention Of Coronavirus Disease 2019 Infection And Mortality. Aging Clin Exp Res(2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40520-020-01570-8
Abstract Link: View Here
Study Methodology: Systematic Review
Human or Animal Participants: Human
Who Does This Research Impact: This study can provide guidance about the potential protective factor of Vitamin D in treating individuals infected with COVID-19 and is particularly important for individuals who are presently deficient in Vitamin D.
How to Use this Info:
- Pay Attention to Vitamin D Levels: According to the U.S. National Academy of Medicine, the recommended daily dosage of Vitamin D should be 600-800 IU for the majority of individuals.
- Spend Time in the Sunlight: It is important to protect yourself from prolonged sun exposure; however, getting adequate doses of Vitamin D takes very little unprotected sun exposure. Health experts recommend 8 to 15 minutes of sunlight for those with lighter skin and possibly longer for those with darker skin.
- Take a Supplement: Most individuals can make sure they are getting the daily recommended amount of Vitamin D by taking a supplement. Between 1,000 and 4,000 IU is considered a safe dose for maintaining healthy levels of Vitamin D.
- Eat Fatty Fish and Seafood: Fatty fish and seafood are among the highest dietary sources of Vitamin D. Those highest in Vitamin D include wild salmon (farmed has been shown to have up to 25 percent less), mackerel, tuna, oysters, shrimp, sardines and anchovies).
- Consume Mushrooms: Mushrooms are the only complete plant-source of Vitamin D. Wild mushrooms such as maitakes have been shown to be higher than others in Vitamin D levels, but always make sure to carefully identify mushrooms to be sure they are edible.
- Consider Adding Fortified Foods to Your Diet: Because very few foods contain naturally high levels of Vitamin D, you can increase your levels by eating foods fortified with Vitamin D. Some of these foods are:
- Cow’s milk
- Plant-based milk alternatives (almond, hemp and soy)
- Orange juice
- Some cereals
- Certain types of yogurt
- Google Scholar: 10 articles appeared for the search, “COVID-19 and Vitamin D”
- PubMed: 19 articles appeared for the search, “COVID-19 and Vitamin D”
- The Possible Role of Vitamin D in Suppressing Cytokine Storm and Associated Mortality in COVID-19 Patients
- Epidemic Influenza And Vitamin D.
- Vitamin D Supplementation To Prevent Acute Respiratory Tract Infections: Systematic Review And Meta-analysis Of Individual Participant Data.
- Vitamin D And Influenza-prevention Or Therapy?
- Vitamin D Receptor Activation Regulates Microglia Polarization And Oxidative Stress In Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats And Angiotensin Ii-exposed Microglial Cells: Role Of Renin-angiotensin System.
- Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 In Lung Diseases.
- Current Vitamin D Status In European And Middle East Countries And Strategies To Prevent Vitamin D Deficiency: A Position Statement Of The European Calcified Tissue Society.
- Prevalence Of Hypovitaminosis D In Elderly Women In Italy: Clinical Consequences And Risk Factors.
- Is Vitamin D Deficiency A Major Global Public Health Problem?
- Aging Decreases The Capacity Of Human Skin To Produce Vitamin D3.
- Vitamin D Levels In Healthy Premenopausal Women: Association With Bone Turnover Markers And Bone Mineral Density.
- Racial Pigmentation And The Cutaneous Synthesis Of Vitamin D.
- Impaired Bone Marrow-derived Macrophage Differentiation In Vitamin D Deficiency.
- 1alpha,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 Is A Potent Suppressor Of Interferon Gamma-mediated Macrophage Activation.
- Angiotensin-converting Enzyme 2 Protects From Lethal Avian Influenza A H5n1 Infections.
- Age- And Gender-related Difference Of Ace2 Expression In Rat Lung
Are Results of this Study Consistent With Other Related Studies: A deficiency in Vitamin D is a major public health concern throughout the world in all age groups, but is of particular concern for those over 70 years of age. Vitamin D levels deteriorate with age from decreased sun exposure and cutaneous synthesis.
Previous studies have examined the role Vitamin D supplementation plays in protecting against acute respiratory tract infections. A 2017 meta-analysis revealed that patients who were Vitamin D deficient, often those over 70 years old, experienced the greatest benefit. Additional studies have demonstrated that Vitamin D plays numerous roles in the immune system response to infection, including impairing macrophages from maturing and producing antigens.
Limitations of Study: The major limitation of this study is that Vitamin D levels are not currently available for COVID-19 patients. Researchers relied on previously established links between Vitamin D and the immune response to respiratory tract infections. Based on these links, the researchers in this study were able to establish a correlation between Vitamin D levels and the rate of COVID-19 deaths; however, further research is needed to account for other factors through direct measurement of Vitamin D levels among COVID-19 patients.
References and Related Information:
- Vitamin D Levels May Impact COVID-19 Mortality Rates, Study Claims (Fox 5)
- Should People Take Vitamin D to Ward off the New Coronavirus? (Medical News Today)
- Vitamin D & Covid-19: The Evidence so Far (American Council on Science and Health)
- COVID-19: How to Boost the Immune System With Vitamins (DW)
- Low Levels of Vitamin D May Be Linked to Severe COVID-19 (News Medical Life Sciences)
- Coronavirus: Should I Start Taking Vitamin D? (BBC)
- Vitamin D and Coronavirus Disparities (Wall Street Journal)
- Tyler Perry Is Encouraging Black People to Increase Their Vitamin D During the COVID-19 Pandemic (Black Enterprise)
- Could Vitamin D Deficiency Be the Underlying Reason for COVID-19? (Patch)
- It Is Time to Take Seriously the Link Between Vitamin D Deficiency and More Serious COVID-19 Symptoms (The Telegraph)
- Fact Check: Vitamins C and D Are Not Used in ‘Conventional Treatment’ of Coronavirus (USA Today)