Can vitamin D impact COVID-19-related hospitalizations?
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact our everyday lives, it’s essential to consider the impact of our daily vitamin and nutrient intake on our overall health. As we look to improve our personal health habits, vitamin D has emerged as one vitamin that could prevent and lessen the severity of COVID-19.
Our modern lifestyle, working indoors, and changing our diet have resulted in lower levels of vitamin D in many populations worldwide. One review article in Nature suggests that in the European population alone, approximately 40% of individuals would be classified as vitamin D deficient.
With this backdrop in mind, recent research surrounding COVID-19 positivity rates and infection severity has examined a possible connection to vitamin D levels. Here’s what we know about vitamin D and COVID-19 immunity so far.
Can vitamin D deficiency affect the severity of COVID-19?
In one study that compared hospitalized patients with a population control group, blood serum vitamin D levels were observed to be lower in hospitalized COVID-19 patients. This finding, coupled with others like it, suggests that vitamin D deficiency could play a role in the severity of the disease.
Can vitamin D affect whether or not I test positive for COVID-19?
A separate analysis of patient data compared to population controls showed that “SARS-CoV-2 positivity is strongly and inversely associated with circulating 25(OH)D levels, a relationship that persists across latitudes, races/ethnicities, both sexes, and age ranges.” The study indicates that when vitamin D deficiency exists, infection is more likely.
When we consider this alongside what studies are also finding regarding increased severity of illness, it’s important to consider your vitamin D status.
Will vitamin D deficiency increase risk of testing positive for COVID-19?
Vitamin D deficiency has been strongly associated with increased risk for COVID-19, according to recent research from the University of Florida. According to the study, patients with vitamin D deficiency were 4.6 times more likely to be positive for COVID-19 than patients with no deficiency (P < 0.001).”
In addition, patients with vitamin D deficiency were 5 times more likely to be infected with COVID-19 than patients with no deficiency after adjusting for age.
Can vitamin D supplements help prevent COVID 19?
Vitamin D supplementation is certainly not a cure-all solution, but understanding your vitamin D level can help you understand if you are vitamin D-deficient. Supplements are an inexpensive and low-risk dietary option that was shown in one study to potentially reduce severity of illness in elderly populations.
While further study is needed, the safety of vitamin D supplementation has been well documented and there is no evidence to suggest that it would worsen cases of COVID-19. However, there are some medical conditions where taking vitamin D can cause adverse effects.we always recommend a discussion with your primary care physician before taking any supplements.
While vitamin D isn’t a miracle cure for COVID-19, emerging evidence has revealed potential impacts on COVID-19 hospitalizations and COVID-19 immunity. While we wait for more research, don’t wait to find out your vitamin D levels. Order your at-home vitamin D test kit, and take control of your health during the pandemic.
Note: This is a brief overview of emerging evidence and should not be taken as treatment advice or treatment recommendations for any individual or specific medical condition. The strategies reviewed may not be appropriate for you. For any treatment advice or consideration we strongly suggest discussions with your personal healthcare professionals.