COVID-19 Supplements: Study Shows That More Than 82 Percent Of Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients Have Vitamin D Deficiency
: A new study by Spanish researchers from the Hospital Marqués de Valdecilla-IDIVAL-Santander and the University of Cantabria Santander has found that over 82 percent of 216 hospitalized COVID-19
patients had vitamin D deficiency.
The study joints numerous other research confirming the critical role that Vitamin D plays in COVID-19 despite certain American media still spreading skepticism about Vitamin D role, normally written by unqualified so called ‘health or science’ writers and also American fact checkers. One example was an article in Time last month. Americans should learn to stop reading and believing their own unreliable American media.
The new study findings were published in the peer reviewed Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism
Typically vitamin D is a hormone the kidneys produce that controls blood calcium concentration and impacts the immune system. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to a variety of health concerns, although research is still underway into why the hormone impacts other systems of the body. Many studies point to the beneficial effect of vitamin D on the immune system, especially regarding protection against infections.
Study co-author Dr José L. Hernández, Ph.D., of the University of Cantabria in Santander, Spain told Thailand Medical News, “One approach is to identify and treat vitamin D deficiency, especially in high-risk individuals such as the elderly, patients with comorbidities, and nursing home residents, who are the main target population for the COVID-19.”
He further added, “Vitamin D treatment should be recommended in COVID-19 patients with low levels of vitamin D circulating in the blood since this approach might have beneficial effects in both the musculoskeletal and the immune system.”
The study team found that 82.2 percent of 216 COVID-19 patients at the Hospital Universitario Marqués de Valdecilla had vitamin D deficiency, and men had lower vitamin D levels than women. COVID-19 patients with lower vitamin D levels also had raised serum levels of inflammatory markers such as ferritin and D-dimer.
There are numerous evidence that support a role for vitamin D status in SARS-CoV-2 infection. Firstly, vitamin D deficiency is a common condition all around the world, and serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) levels follow a well-known seasonal and geographical pattern. Thus, Spain located in temperate zones of the Northern hemisphere, but with a higher prevalence of vitamin D deficiency has reached very high rates of SARS-CoV-2 infection and lethality.
Secondly, vitamin D is a steroid hormone involved in the modulation of the innate and acquired immune system and also in the production of antim
icrobial peptides, such as cathelicidin and human b-defensin-2, as well as in the expression of genes involved in the intracellular destruction of pathogens. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22345707/
Thirdly, low serum 25OHD levels are frequently found in elderly individuals or in those with chronic conditions, such as hypertension, diabetes, cancer, or cardiovascular diseases, which have also been reported as poor prognostic factors for COVID-19. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3995841/
Finally, the downregulation of ACE2 by SARS-CoV-2 leads to a dysregulation of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) that contributes to the “cytokine storm” that precedes the acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) characteristic of the severe form of COVID-19. In this sense, vitamin D can inhibit pro-inflammatory cytokine production in human monocytes/macrophages (12), and chronic vitamin D deficiency may induce RAS activation, leading to the production of fibrotic factors and therefore, lung damage (13). https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22301548/
In summary, serum 25OHD levels of hospitalized COVID-19 patients are lower than sex-matched population based controls of similar age. Men with this viral disease represent the group with lower serum vitamin D levels compared to women. Serum vitamin D levels below 20 ng/ml were detected in 82% of COVID-19 patients, indicating that they represent a population with a higher risk for vitamin D deficiency. In our COVID-19 patients, 25OHD was inversely associated with some inflammatory parameters, such as ferritin and D-dimer.
The study team did not found any relationship between vitamin D concentrations or vitamin deficiency and the severity of the disease, including mortality, although further studies including a large sample size should be done to determine the real impact of vitamin D deficiency on the severity of COVID-19. Probably, the best approach should be to identify and treat vitamin D deficiency, especially in high-risk individuals such as the elderly, patients with comorbidities, and nursing home residents, to maintain serum 25OHD levels above 20 ng/ml, and probably with a target between 30 ng/ml and 50 ng/ml. Whether the treatment of vitamin D deficiency will play some role in the prevention of the viral disease or improve the prognosis of patients with COVID-19 remains to be elucidated in large randomized controlled trials which will be certainly necessary to precisely define the role of vitamin D supplementation in futures waves of SARS-CoV-2 infection.
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