COVID-19, Can Vitamin D Help Against The Disease?

COVID-19 Susceptibility
Credit: LiveScience

COVID-19 is influencing the lives of people around the globe. However, certain factors account for increasing the risk of the disease. Scientists have been suggesting vitamin D supplements during pandemic conditions. Vitamin D is essential for good bone and teeth health, as well as a vital element for the absorption of calcium. However, researchers have credited the vitamin for performing various functions, for instance boosting the immune system.

A review by the BMJ gives information on whether vitamin D consumption prevents acute respiratory infections or not. The study had 11,000 study participants. The findings confirm the role of vitamin D supplements in protecting against acute respiratory tract infections.

Researchers are working tirelessly to discover an association between vitamin D intake and recovery from coronavirus. 

Why choose a Vitamin D supplement?

A 2017 study makes it evident that vitamin D serves a role in the protection against the novel virus. The research enlightens that adequate vitamin D levels aid in fighting the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Thus, preventing various respiratory tract infections like COVID-19.

ALSO READ: COVID-19: Research Confirms the Need to Add Vitamin D and A to Diet

People with dark skin tone possess more melanin, who are residents in the Northern latitudes and lack adequate vitamin D levels.  

On exposure to sunlight, a metabolite of cholesterol converts into an inactive form of vitamin D, particularly ultraviolet B (UVB light). This inactive-form of vitamin D further gets chemically modified in the liver and the kidneys.

Melanin protects the cells from UVB light. Therefore, the darker an individual is, the more UVB light is required to meet the desired levels of vitamin D. 

According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, about 17.5% of Black study participants are more prone to vitamin D deficiency in the United States. 

Recent research states that black people are more likely to die of COVID-19 than white people.

Digging To Explore More

In June, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence stated that there is a lack of evidence supporting the consumption of vitamin D supplements for treating COVID-19.  

Furthermore, in August, the University of Glasgow put forward the findings of their research. The study involved 341,484 participants who took vitamin D supplements. Out of these, 656 individuals become victims of COVID-19. And 203 lost their lives. 

Thus, the study declares there lies no association between the vitamin D intake and treatment of COVID-19. 

Vitamin D and COVID-19 Complications

A study report in Medical News Today states that vitamin D levels in a group of COVID-19 patients who require hospitalization. The findings states, only 32.8% of the 235 patients possess sufficient levels of Vitamin D.

Moreover, the findings make it evident that vitamin D levels are correlated with the severity of COVID-19. 

Furthermore, the study was on a small scale thus lacks considering various confounding factors, which may impact on the severity of the novel virus.

Thus, the demand rises to conduct the study on a larger parameter. Moreover, randomized clinical trials are essential to look into further details.

COVID-19 Impact On Skin Color 

Research shows that people with racial backgrounds are more prone to the novel virus. In the Northern climates, people with darker skin tone lack adequate levels of vitamin D in their bodies. 

ALSO READ: Healthy Lifestyle Helps In Fighting COVID-19

Moreover, there is a demand for a further hypothesis to confirm the extent of the influence of vitamin D level and skin color on developing COVID-19.

The scientists look forward to conducting a study on the African American and Hispanic populations. Due to the high level of vitamin D and bear a disproportionate burden of morbidity and mortality from coronavirus.

Moreover, scientists blame genetics and health conditions for increasing the risk to COVID-19. However, Dr. Winston Morgan suggests there is a lack of evidence suggesting that genes are responsible for building immunity in an individual. 

Furthermore, there is enough evidence suggesting structural racism as a leading factor in why marginalized communities are hit hard by COVID-19.

Tiffany Green states that racialized class and occupational factors in the United States are fundamental factors contributing to the exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Furthermore, she emphasizes the intake of a healthy diet, ensuring adequate consumption of vitamin D to boost immunity. 

Adeena Tariq Lari
The author is a graduate of dental surgery from the Dow University Health Sciences, Karachi. She has an academic background in content writing as well as English literature, giving her an edge in the field. Adeena is always curious about physical and mental health. She is always passionate about research and delivering high-quality reliable content to users.