Health

Vitamin D3 can protect against fatal COVID-19 infection: Study

Testing and supplementation of vitamin D3 remains insufficient, says report

 
By Taran Deol
Published: Tuesday 14 December 2021
Vitamin D3 can provide protection against serious COVID-19: Study Photo: iStock

The new omicron variant of the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) has brought the question of vaccination efficacy back in focus, pushing health experts to acknowledge the need to look beyond vaccine immunity.   

Patients with sufficiently high D3 serum levels preceding the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) were highly unlikely to suffer a fatal outcome, showed a recent study published in PubMed, a search engine that scans medical databases. 

The study was based on two sets of meta-analysed data: One on the long-term vitamin D3 levels from 19 countries and another on 1,601 hospitalised patients — 784 of whose vitamin D3 levels were measured within a day after admission and 817 whose vitamin D levels were known beforehand. 

Both confirmed an inverse correlation between vitamin D levels and COVID-19 death rate. 

The importance of vaccines is repeatedly underlined through the research, which recommended “combining vaccination with routine strengthening of the immune system of the whole population by vitamin D3 supplementation to consistently guarantee blood levels above 50 nanograms per millilitre”. 

This has multiple advantages that go beyond health benefits, the study noted, adding: 

From a social and political point of view, it will lower the need for further contact restrictions and lockdowns. From an economical point of view, it will save billions of dollars worldwide, as vitamin D3 is inexpensive, and together with vaccines, provides a good opportunity to get the spread of SARS-CoV-2 under control.

Widespread vitamin D deficiency was recorded before the COVID-19 pandemic began. The study attributed this shortfall to modern lifestyle that is “far from optimal with respect to nutrition, physical fitness, and recreation”.

There is enough evidence available that outlines the link between vitamin D3 and its role in regulating our immune system, according to the paper written by three German scientists.

Moreover, vitamin D3’s effectiveness in curing several diseases, especially acute respiratory distress syndrome that is also a COVID-19 after-effect, is well-known. 

It has also been recorded that vitamin D3 effectively suppresses “the progression of inflammation by reducing the generation of inflammatory cytokines”. Cytokine release syndrome, also known as “cytokine storm”, causes multiple organ damage — a key cause of death in late stage COVID-19 cases.

Yet, testing and supplementation of vitamin D3 remains insufficient, the report highlighted.

After rickets — a condition that softens bones — in the 19th century, “SARS-CoV-2 pandemic is becoming the second breakthrough in the history of vitamin D3 association with disease”, the scientists wrote.

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