8 In 10 hospitalized patients with Covid-19 coronavirus were vitamin D deficient: new study


Researchers in Spain found 82 percent of hospitalized patients with Covid-19 were vitamin D deficient in a new study released today. They studied vitamin D levels in 216 patients admitted to hospital for Covid-19 treatment in March of this year, finding that 8 out of 10 patients were considered clinically deficient.

The work published today in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism also looked at a control group of 197 people who lived in the same geographic area and were similar to the Covid-19 patient group in age and gender. Among these people, 47% were vitamin D deficient.

However, it is important to point out that the conclusions of this study are correlative, not causal, which means that it cannot be concluded that vitamin D deficiency was directly responsible for an increased chance of being hospitalized with Covid-19. However, there is other evidence to suggest that vitamin D may be useful in protecting hospitalized individuals from adverse outcomes.

Vitamin D is essential for bone health, but it is also believed to have beneficial effects on the immune system with some evidence that having enough vitamin D can provide some protection against respiratory tract infections.

Vitamin D deficiency is common, with a 2011 study estimating 41.6 percent of U.S. adults to be deficient. However, this number varies greatly by race with 82.1% of black Americans deficient and 69.2% of Hispanic Americans. Vitamin D can be produced naturally from exposure to sunlight and is found in some foods, including oily fish, fortified eggs and milk, and plant-based milk substitutes.

Last month, a study by Boston researchers found that patients over the age of 40 were more than 50% less likely to die from infection if they had sufficient levels of vitamin D. However, the most recent study from Spain was unable to conclude any link between vitamin D deficiency and disease severity. So the information on any vitamin D benefits for Covid-19 is still somewhat inconclusive.

In some parts of the world, especially where sunlight hours are limited during the winter, supplementing with vitamin D is routinely recommended by doctors. So, everyone should start taking vitamin D now even if it’s unclear if it could help with Covid-19? Well, not necessarily. It is important to note that too much vitamin D can be toxic and can even interact with some medications. So, if in doubt, consult your doctor to find out if it is recommended and safe to take vitamin D supplements.


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