COVID-19 Supplements: New Study Shows Vitamin D Could Be Linked To COVID-19 Mortality And Infection Rates
: British medical researchers from Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge and Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Norfolk have found a correlation between low average levels of Vitamin D
and high numbers of COVID-19 cases and mortality rates across 20 European countries. The study proposes that Vitamin D supplementation could maybe help prevent COVID-19 infections and also reduce mortality rates.
The extensive study led by Dr Lee Smith of Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) and Dr Petre Cristian Ilie, lead urologist of Queen Elizabeth Hospital King's Lynn NHS Foundation Trust, has its findings published in the journal Aging Clinical and Experimental Research
Thailand Medical News had reported on the potential merits of Vitamin D supplements for COVID-19 in a previous article: https://www.thailandmedical.news/news/covid-19-tips-dietary-supplements-useful-for-fighting-off-covid-19-but-beware-of-vitamin-iv-drip-scams
Past observational studies have reported an association between low levels of vitamin D and susceptibility to acute respiratory tract infections. Vitamin D modulates the response of white blood cells, preventing them from releasing too many inflammatory cytokines. The COVID-19 virus is known to cause an excess of pro-inflammatory cytokines. https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/epidemiology-and-infection/article/epidemic-influenza-and-vitamin-d/C4D90C6E7CB127E6DF7A52D3A9EE2974
Both Italy and Spain have both experienced high COVID-19 mortality rates, and the new research shows that both countries have lower average vitamin D levels than most northern European countries. This is partly because people in southern Europe, particularly the elderly, avoid strong sun, while skin pigmentation also reduces natural vitamin D synthesis. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7616799
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It has been observed that the highest average levels of vitamin D are found in northern Europe, due to the consumption of cod liver oil and vitamin D supplements, and possibly less sun avoidance. Scandinavian nations are among the countries with the lowest number of COVID-19 cases and mortality rates per head of population in Europe.
Co-author, Dr Lee Smith, Reader in Physical Activity and Public Health at Anglia Ruskin University, told Thailand Medical News, "We found a significant crude relationship between average vitamin D levels and the number COVID-19 cases, and particularly COVID-19 mortality rates, per head of population across the 20 European countries.”
He added, "Vitamin D has been shown to protect against acute respiratory infections, and older adults, the group most deficient in vitamin D, are also the ones most seriously affected by COVID-19.”
Dr Smith further added, "A past study found that 75% of people in institutions, such as hospitals and care homes, were severely deficient in vitamin D. We suggest it would be advisable to perform dedicated studies looking at vitamin D levels in COVID-19 patients with different degrees of disease severity." https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00198-003-1390-7
Lead urologist of Queen Elizabeth Hospital King's Lynn NHS Foundation Trust, Dr Petre Cristian Ilie, said: "Our study does have limitations however, not least because the number of cases in each country is affected by the number of tests performed, as well as the different measures taken by each country to prevent the spread of infection. Finally, and importantly, one must remember correlation does not necessarily mean causation."
While Vitamin D supplementation could be beneficial, Thailand Medical News warns all readers to consult a licensed doctor before embarking on any supplement protocols and also when sourcing for dietary and nutritional supplements, always stay away from Asian brands and only procure those made in the US, UK, Australia or Canada due to better quality and regulatory controls in these countries.
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