COVID-19 – sufficient vitamin D levels may reduce complications
Researchers from Boston University have published research suggesting that having adequate levels of vitamin D makes hospitalised COVID-19 patients less likely to develop life-threatening complications.
The researchers were not looking at vitamin D as a treatment, but analysing existing vitamin D levels in patients and comparing the severity of the disease. Looking at more than 600 patients hospitalised with COVID-19, they divided them into two groups – those with sufficient levels of vitamin D and those who were deficient.
They found that having a sufficient level of the vitamin was significantly associated with less severe COVID-19. These patients had higher blood lymphocyte counts and lower levels of C-reactive protein in their blood, indicating a positive immune response. The researcher speculate that this may have reduced the likelihood of developing cytokine storm, which can cause acute respiratory distress syndrome in COVID-19 patients, which can result in death.
Although the study was small and limited in its scope, the researchers say their findings suggest vitamin D supplementation could be prudent, especially as vitamin D deficiency is so widespread.
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