Nutrient Deficiency Threatens Risk of Serious COVID-19 Illness
A new study, which found that lack of nutrients from sunlight is four times more common in infected patients, could provide additional evidence that vitamin D reduces the risk of severe coronavirus disease.
Further evidence that vitamin D may protect people from coronavirus comes after a new study found that sunlight nutrient deficiencies are four times more common among hospitalized patients. Daily Mail.
Previous studies in various countries have already concluded that infected patients who do not have enough vitamin D are more likely to end up in hospital. But scientists have still not been able to determine whether nutritional deficiencies make people more vulnerable to illness or whether vitamin D levels drop due to malaise.
Now, Spanish experts have found more evidence that vitamin D supplementation may be beneficial. Experts from the University of Cantabria in Santander examined 216 COVID-19 patients at the Valdecilla Hospital in northern Spain. Eighty-two percent of the people surveyed were vitamin D deficient, while only 18 percent had adequate levels of the nutrient.
The researchers found that those with lower amounts of the “sunshine vitamin” were more likely to have high blood pressure and heart disease.
The Spanish study does not indicate the ethnicity of the studied Covid-19 patients. Meanwhile, people with darker skin are at greater risk of vitamin D deficiency because it is more difficult for the body to absorb and convert sunlight.
Most of the patients in the study group also had comorbidities or were overweight, factors that weaken the immune system and make it difficult for the body to produce vitamin D.
The scientists reviewed hospital records to analyze vitamin D levels on admission and compared them to a control group randomly selected from the population. Of the 216 hospitalized patients, vitamin D deficiency was found in 82.2% of cases, compared with 47.2% in healthy people. Experts consider a healthy vitamin D level of 25 nanograms / milliliter or higher. A level below 25 ng / ml is considered low, and below 20 ng / ml – a signal of deficiency.
Forty-four deficient patients were admitted to the intensive care unit because their disease had worsened, and 37 needed mechanical ventilation, but their vitamin D levels were no lower than the rest of the group. The rest of the patients recovered without much care.
Spanish researchers are now urging coronavirus patients to be treated with vitamin D supplements, “as this approach may have beneficial effects.”
Other studies have suggested that treating hospitalized COVID-19 patients with cheap vitamin D supplements increases their chances of survival and speeds up recovery.
Dr. Jose Hernandez from the University of Santander said: “One approach is to identify and treat vitamin D deficiency, especially in high-risk individuals such as the elderly, patients with underlying medical conditions and residents of nursing homes, which have become the primary target population for COVID. -19. Vitamin D treatment should be recommended for Covid patients with low levels of vitamin D circulating in the blood, as this approach can have positive effects on both the musculoskeletal system and the immune system. “
Arguments about a link between vitamin D deficiency and severe cases of COVID-19 began to gain traction as early as May, the Daily Mail recalls. The problem is that there are not enough medical randomized controlled trials.