New research found that getting vitamin D is linked to a lower risk of severe coronavirus infections and severe symptoms such as confusion, loss of consciousness, shortness of breath and death.
People who get enough vitamin D have a 52% lower risk of dying from Covid-19 than those who are deficient in the so-called “vitamin” of the Sun, “they revealed.
This is a study carried out by the Boston University School of Medicine in the USA, where scientists wondered what makes a person more likely to get COVID-19. Lack of vitamin D was determined by measuring the element ’25-hydroxyvitamin D’ in the blood, according to a new study of more than 190,000 people led by Michael F. Holick, PhD, MD, an American endocrinologist, specialized and recognized in the field of Vitamin D, Professor of Medicine, Physiology and Molecular Biophysics at the Boston University Medical Campus.
Sunlight is our most important source of vitamin D (Photo: Shutterstock)
Vitamin D plays a crucial role in the immune system – the body’s defense system – and can fight inflammation. These characteristics highlighted by the research team can make it a key player in the body’s fight against coronavirus. From years of researching this compound, a lack of vitamin D is known to affect both the innate and adaptive immune systems, and incorporating it may play a role in protecting against respiratory infections. Previous small studies have suggested a relationship between vitamin D deficiency and the risk of COVID-19 infections and mortality, but the studies were primarily based on geographic trends in vitamin D status and COVID-19 infection rates in individual patients place.
In this context, three important studies analyzed the effects of isolation on health and the importance of vitamin D, which needs exposure to the Sun and outdoors to be properly incorporated into the body and concluded that there is sufficient scientific evidence to determine that the deficiency of this compound ‘from the sun’ increases the risk of contagion.
This new retrospective study, which was published on the PLOS ONE medical site, showed a strong correlation between the highest blood levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D and the lowest rates of positivity for SARS-CoV-2, especially in patients who lived in predominantly African-American and Hispanic ZIP codes.
Fish such as salmon, trout, halibut, mackerel, sturgeon, swordfish and cod, herring, sardine and tilapia provide vitamin D (Image courtesy of Shutterstock)
“We evaluated more than 190,000 blood samples from patients of all ethnicities and ages infected with COVID in all 50 states in the United States. We observed that the higher the patient’s blood level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D, up to 55 ng / mL, the lower their risk of becoming infected with the coronavirus. People of color have been particularly affected by COVID 19, ”said Dr. Holick.
According to the endocrinologist and his team, patients living in predominantly African American and Hispanic neighborhoods were more likely to have vitamin D deficiency and a higher risk of contracting the infection. “We found that patients who were vitamin D deficient – blood level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D less than 20 ng / ml – had a 54% higher positivity rate compared to those who had sufficient vitamin D – blood level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D of at least 30 ng / mL- and that to achieve a blood level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D of at least 30 ng / mL, the Endocrine Society guidelines of the United States recommend that infants, children and adults receive 400-1000 IU (International Units), 600-1000 IU and 1000-1500 IU of vitamin D per day, respectively, while obese adults require 2- 3 times more vitamin D, ”explained Holick.
Lack of vitamin D was determined by measuring the element ’25-hydroxyvitamin D ‘in the blood (Image courtesy Reuters / Phil Noble)
“This simple and inexpensive intervention of taking vitamin D can significantly help reduce the risk of infection by this deadly virus,” concluded the lead researcher on the scientific paper.
Holick and his team have discovered that people who don’t get enough vitamin are much more likely to become seriously ill, develop sepsis, or even die after contracting the coronavirus.
Because vitamin D deficiency is common in people with other diseases that increase coronavirus risks, it is impossible to say exactly how many lives would be saved if we all got our daily dose of the sun vitamin. But it is known that about 42 percent of the US population is deficient in vitamin D. If that rate were true for the more than 203,000 Americans who died of coronavirus, perhaps about 85,000 would have done better with it. improved levels of vitamin D, the researchers exemplified.
Some 190,000 people participated in the study (Image courtesy Reuters / Dylan Martinez)
Among the 190,000 people who participated in the study, those with sufficient levels of vitamin D in their blood were less likely to have dangerously low blood oxygen levels and were more likely to be conscious when they arrived at hospitals.
Patients with low vitamin D levels were 46% more likely to need to be intubated or to develop acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), the lung failure condition that is fatal to many COVID-19 patients.
According to data from Johns Hopkins University, the world is approaching one million deaths from COVID-19 (Image courtesy EFE / Ernesto Guzman Jr./Archivo)
Patients with vitamin D deficiency also had higher levels of C-reactive protein, a likely early marker of the severe new coronavirus, and low white blood cell counts, a bad sign for their immune systems.
Overall, 74 percent of the patients, who were between the ages of 30 and 90, developed severe COVID-19. But the rate among people with enough vitamin D was lower: About 64 percent had a serious illness. All patients under 40 years of age included in the study survived COVID-19. But 16.3 percent of those in their 40s or older – 38 people – eventually died of coronavirus.
Although no one in the study under the age of 40 died, deaths were more common among people with vitamin D deficiency (below the black line) of all ages. Although no one in the study under the age of 40 died, deaths (red) were more common among people with vitamin D deficiency (below the black line) of all ages (Public Library of Science US)
That included just 9.7 percent of those with sufficient vitamin D levels, while 20 percent of those with low levels of the vitamin died.
Furthermore, those with particularly high levels of vitamin D (40 ng / ml) had the lowest risk of death, with only 6.3 percent of that group dying.
Where do you get vitamin D?
Sunlight is the most important source of vitamin D. The reaction of ultraviolet light with cholesterol triggers the production of the vitamin. But people with darker skin have more melanin, which makes it harder for the skin to absorb UV rays and for vitamin D to be produced. Vitamin D can also be absorbed through diet, although in smaller doses, in certain diets. , by eating the following foods:
- Fish: salmon, trout, halibut, mackerel, sturgeon, swordfish and cod, herring, sardine and tilapia
- Mushrooms or mushrooms: portobellos and chanterelles
- Milk: includes low-fat milk, low-fat chocolate milk, soy milk, almond milk, and rice milk
- Yogurt: most types and flavors
- Hard-boiled egg
- Fortified orange juice
- Fortified cereals