September 21, 2021

Does vitamin D deficiency play a part in the severity of COVID-19?

In this outbreak of COVID-19, chaos has made home in every heart and mind ever since. It has led to a global public health crisis. Scientists and doctors around the world are picking out every tiny detail that can participate in the prevention as well as the severity of COVID-19.

Recently, Vitamin D levels have become the talk of the town when dealing with COVID-19. It might have crossed your mind that whenever you catch a cold or flu, your doctor prescribes you Vitamin D fortified foods or supplements. This is because Vitamin D has infection-fighting properties.

In this article, we will have a deep dive into Vitamin D’s link with COVID-19 infections.

Vitamin D 

Vitamin D is an essential nutrient and steroid hormone that your body needs to stay in good health. It is a fat-soluble vitamin that helps to absorb nutrients like calcium and phosphorus. Vitamin D is prepared naturally inside the body when your body is exposed to sunlight. Your skin absorbs the sun’s ultraviolet rays and utilizes them in vitamin D. However; there are other sources from which the deficiency of Vitamin D can be fulfilled. Such as foods that naturally contain Vitamin D, Vitamin D fortified foods, Vitamin supplements, et al.

Importance of vitamin D

Everyone these days is obsessing over glowing, bright, and juvenile skin. Trying out remedies, expensive skincare brands, and many other things to achieve it. But do you know that Vitamin D is the main factor behind those skin goals? Yes, vitamin D is more than just orange juice. 

Moreover, Vitamin D has other numerous important functions in our body. Perhaps its key role is nutrient absorption as well as facilitating healthy immune functioning. Moreover, it is vital for bone development and maintaining bone health. 

Correlation on vitamin D levels and increase of COVID infections

Vitamin D can reduce the risk of deadly infections such as COVID-19 through several bodily mechanisms such as cathelicidins and defensins. A 2020 study[i] elaborates that these mechanisms (cathelicidins and defensins) help lower viral infections and pro-inflammatory cytokines that cause inflammation in our lungs leading to chronic lung diseases and injuries. 

Another study[ii] provides evidence that Vitamin D has potential antimicrobial activity that concentrates on different mechanisms to reduce the risk factors of getting viral infections. 

Research[iii] narrates that the deficiency of Vitamin D is linked to an increase in the risk of several infections such as tuberculosis, influenza, HIV, and COVID-19.

Moreover, considering the seriousness of COVID-19, the nutrition factor is another reason that collaborates as a considerable factor. Therefore, getting proper nutrients such as vitamin D that plays a significant role in immune function should be balanced properly. 

Furthermore, recent studies have seen that COVID patients lack Vitamin D in them. This may be because the risk factors of developing vitamin D deficiency and getting infected by COVID-19 are somewhat identical. For instance, cold, flu, a poor diet, and pre-medical conditions such as heart, liver, lung, diabetes, kidney, etc. 

The fact that Vitamin D is itself an emerging risk factor for COVID-19 is still under observation. There still isn’t enough evidence that correlates Vitamin D and COVID-19 infections. No solid evidence-based data exists to verify these hypotheses. More research is needed to be sure. 

Is Vitamin D An Effective and Safe Treatment For COVID-19?

The protective factors of COVID-19 infections are still being found. Multiple studies suggest that increased vitamin D levels are said to protect against COVID-19 infections. How true is this statement? 

Vitamin D levels are associated with many confounding variables. It is the immunity factor that makes it a safe treatment for COVID-19.

According to the BBC News, in the UK, residents are advised to take vitamin D supplements in winter to avoid any kind of vitamin D deficiency so they can avoid viral infections. 

Studies[i]prove that Vitamin D is an effective treatment in reducing multiple infections. Either taken alone as a sole agent or in coordination with other antimicrobial agents.

Talking about Vitamin D supplementation, its effects on covid 19 infections remain controversial. Clinical studies and trials are yet needed to determine which dosage is the best depending on the condition of the COVID patient.

Vitamin D and Other Health Conditions

Besides COVID-19, if your body is lacking Vitamin D, you’re at risk of developing several chronic diseases. Following are the listed diseases that can arise or worsen due to Vitamin D deficiency.

Also, the above-mentioned health conditions can be a risk factor to worsen your condition if you’re facing COVID-19.

Other benefits of Having Adequate Vitamin D Levels

Following are some surprising benefits that come with balanced Vitamin D levels.

Getting rid of depression

Who thought a vitamin can help you get rid of depression? Well, Vitamin D is here to aid your mood and reduce depression. Researchers[i] have found that Vitamin D supplementation in high doses may have a beneficial effect on depressive patients.

Weight loss 

Overweight people now have another reason to be interested in uprising their vitamin D levels.

Because it can also help you lose weight. Balanced Vitamin D levels will keep your hormone levels in check and promote weight loss.

Clinical trials[i] prove that when obese women were given Vitamin D oral supplementations for 6 weeks, they resulted in reduced BMI and weight.

Strengthening oral health

Say goodbye to dental checkups! Vitamin D is here to save the day once again.

Vitamin D absorbs calcium for building better bone health. That calcium strengthens the hard outer bony shell of your tooth which is called tooth enamel. It acts as a defense against erosion, cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease.

The bottom line 

Vitamin D performs extremely important functions in your body. From tirelessly fighting viral infections to maintaining bone strength. It looks after your body quite well. In the case of COVID-19, some research suggests getting your Vitamin D levels balanced to adequate levels. This way, you’re less likely to be infected with deadly viral infections such as COVID-19.

[1]Grant, W. B., Lahore, H., McDonnell, S. L., Baggerly, C. A., French, C. B., Aliano, J. L., &Bhattoa, H. P. (2020). Evidence that vitamin D supplementation could reduce risk of influenza and COVID-19 infections and deaths. Nutrients, 12(4), 988.

[1]Youssef, D. A., Miller, C. W., El-Abbassi, A. M., Cutchins, D. C., Cutchins, C., Grant, W. B., &Peiris, A. N. (2011). Antimicrobial implications of vitamin D. Dermato-endocrinology, 3(4), 220-229.

[1]Taha, R., Abureesh, S., Alghamdi, S., Hassan, R. Y., Cheikh, M. M., Bagabir, R. A., …&Abdulkhaliq, A. (2021). The Relationship Between Vitamin D and Infections Including COVID-19: Any Hopes?. International journal of general medicine, 14, 3849.

[1]Youssef, D. A., Miller, C. W., El-Abbassi, A. M., Cutchins, D. C., Cutchins, C., Grant, W. B., &Peiris, A. N. (2011). Antimicrobial implications of vitamin D. Dermato-endocrinology, 3(4), 220-229.

[1]Jorde, R., Sneve, M., Figenschau, Y., Svartberg, J., & Waterloo, K. (2008). Effects of vitamin D supplementation on symptoms of depression in overweight and obese subjects: randomized double blind trial. Journal of internal medicine, 264(6), 599-609.

[1]Khosravi, Z. S., Kafeshani, M., Tavasoli, P., Zadeh, A. H., &Entezari, M. H. (2018). Effect of vitamin D supplementation on weight loss, glycemic indices, and lipid profile in obese and overweight women: a clinical trial study. International journal of preventive medicine, 9.

Follow Us on Facebook | Instagram

Leave a Reply