Does Vitamin D provide immunity against Covid-19? Several studies have been centred around this question. Several studies have been conducted to analyse the possible role of the “sunshine” vitamin in reducing the risk of Covid-19 infection, while some scientists have even urged people to consume Vitamin D in various forms to prevent from getting infected. However, new studies reveal the contrary.
Recent studies have found a link between low vitamin D levels and high risk of Covid-19 infection, but they don’t prove that Vitamin D is protective, a report in the said.
A study, published in the journal JAMA Network Open on September 3, showed that the risk of the novel coronavirus infection in people with vitamin D deficiency was nearly two times higher than in people with sufficient levels of the vitamin.
In the study, researchers, examining the relationship between likely vitamin D levels and Covid-19 risk in 489 people, found that the risk of testing positive for the novel coronavirus in people whose were “vitamin D deficient – patients with low vitamin D at their last test and who hadn’t changed their treatment – was 1.77 times greater than that of patients whose vitamin D levels were likely sufficient”.
Another study, published on October 27 in said that Covid-19 patients, who were hospitalised, had higher rates of vitamin D deficiency than a control group of patients who didn’t have Covid-19 but whose vitamin D status was measured pre-pandemic. However, “no causal relationship was found between vitamin D deficiency and Covid-19 severity as a combined endpoint or as its separate components,” the study said.
This study compared the Vitamin D levels of 216 patients hospitalised with Covid-19 with a control group of 197 patients who had their vitamin D levels tested the previous year as part of a different study. Of the Covid-19 patients, it turned out that 82 per cent had Vitamin D deficiency as compared with 47 per cent of control patients.
Even as several studies indicate a link between low vitamin D levels and a higher risk of catching Covid-19 virus, researchers have said it’s not enough to prove vitamin D protects against the infection, or if other factors are playing a role.
Adrian Martineau, who studies respiratory infections and immunity at Queen Mary University of London, was quoted as saying, “These associations don’t prove that vitamin D deficiency causes increased Covid-19 risk.” “But it’s suggestive and it’s enough to justify doing further research to find out whether or not there is a true cause-effect relationship.”
It is still not clear as experts believe that more trials and research are required to support the hyposthesis that the intake of Vitamin D impacts fight against Covid-19 infection. However, several studies indicate that Vitamin D deficiency is linked to Covid-19 risk.
Martineau was quoted by Live Science as saying, “Vitamin D has been shown to boost the immune system’s response to viruses and dampen its inflammatory response; excessive inflammatory response characterises severe Covid-19 cases.”
A study, published in the journal on May 6, revealed that in 20 European countries, the lower the average vitamin D levels, the higher the rate of coronavirus cases and deaths were for a given country.
Another on September 7 said, “…maintaining adequate Vitamin D levels is vital to prevent getting infected or to ward off the infection without mortality, in case it occurs.” It also read, “We conclude that correlation exists between Vit D levels and Covid-19 susceptibility and Vit D could prove to be an essential element in our fight against Covid-19.”
Also, a read, “Vitamin D has also been shown to regulate immunopathological inflammatory responses in the context of other respiratory infections.”
But, not all studies suggest that Vitamin D is protective against Covid-19.
A study, published in the journal, deduced that there is no “statistically significant association between vitamin D levels and Covid-19 risk once the researchers took into account other factors that could affect Covid-19 risk.”
Even the authors of the study published in the above mentioned The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism said, “We did not find any relationship between vitamin D concentrations or vitamin deficiency and the severity of the disease.”
“None of that proves that vitamin D deficiency is causing Covid,” Live Science quoted Dr David Meltzer, a researcher at the University of Chicago, as saying.
He further said, “It may be that people who are sicker, in general, are more likely to have low vitamin D levels.”( India Today )