Patients hospitalized with the novel coronavirus may experience less intense complications if their vitamin D intake is high enough, research shows.
The role of the sunshine supplement in guarding against COVID-19 was debated throughout the pandemic.
Vitamin D deficiency was linked to a higher risk of viral respiratory infections, as well as inflammation.
When it comes to the novel coronavirus, notably, evidence was lacking.
Furthermore, scientists from Boston University harvested blood samples from 235 patients diagnosed with the infection to analyze the problem.
They found out that those with proper vitamin D levels – estimated as at least 30 nanograms / mL, were noticeably less likely to become unconscious, develop alarmingly low oxygen levels or die.
Study author, Dr. Michael Holick, said:
“This study provides direct evidence that vitamin D sufficiency can reduce the complications, including the cytokine storm (release of too many proteins into the blood too quickly), and ultimately death from COVID-19.”
Cytokines are proteins developed by the immune system to protect against infection.
Though their apparition is generally considered a step towards recovery, some patients overproduce cytokines, following a “storm.”
The proteins might fail and attack healthy tissue, potentially leading to organ failure.
Vitamin D is a fundamental nutrient that keeps muscles and bones healthy.
The NHS added that “everyone should consider taking a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D during the autumn and winter”.
At the peak of the lockdown, Public Health England recommended people consuming vitamin D, though the weather was mostly sunny, to counteract the effects of staying indoors.
As for fighting coronavirus complications, The Royal Society stated in June that “there is no direct causal link yet between vitamin D deficiency and increased susceptibility to COVID-19”.