In recent days, some claims about vitamin D have been in the news, these included headlines in which the deficient level of this vitamin is related to an increased risk of get the infection and with an increase of risk of hospitalization due to COVID-19. In some cases, coming to the conclusion that the vitamin would have a protective effect against the virus.
Deficiency of vitamin D it is a global health problem, with a reported prevalence of up to 50% of the population. There are two sources of this vitamin for humans: its intake and its activation in the skin by means of ultraviolet radiation or sunlight. Foods with a sufficient supply of vitamin D are scarce, so the most important source comes from the synthesis induced by sunlight.
The main function of this vitamin is the regulation of metabolism football, mainly in charge of ensuring the absorption of this from the diet, which will then be essential for bone formation.
In recent years, it has been linked to deficiency of vitamin D with numerous health problems. exist studies and reports that associate it with dermatological diseases, cardiovascular diseases, alterations of the immune system and the endocrine system.
For this reason, there is a growing interest in the study of the therapeutic benefits that the supplementation of vitamin D in all these pathologies. Now, at the moment, there is no unequivocal evidence to show its benefits in any of these areas. A concrete example of this is the association of vitamin D with psoriasis, a very prevalent dermatological disease. This association was and continues to be widely studied, but so far no clear relationship has been found
The hypotheses raised about the possible protective effect that vitamin D would have in COVID-19 infection have, for the most part, a basis or foundation in publications that link vitamin D deficiency with an increased risk of contracting respiratory infections and with its relationship with the regulation of immune system. Like any hypothesis, it is necessary to test it, and that is what many researchers in many countries of the world try to do. However, there is not enough evidence to confirm this association.
Vitamin D is a accessible resource and that it does not present risks to the health of patients. This is why, in my opinion, its study and supplementation, despite not being sufficiently proven, should be encouraged.
* Maria Walker. Professor of Dermatology at the Faculty of Biomedical Sciences of the Austral University and a staff physician of the Dermatology Service of the Austral University Hospital (MN 140031 – MP 59492).