“Our opinion is that if vitamin D does in fact reduce the severity of COVID-19 with regard to pneumonia/ARDS, inflammation, inflammatory cytokines, and thrombosis, then supplements would offer a relatively easy option to decrease the impact of the pandemic,” says a group of researchers at University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, USA.
“Low vitamin D levels have been associated with an increase in inflammatory cytokines and a significantly increased risk of pneumonia and viral upper respiratory tract infections. Vitamin D deficiency is associated with an increase in thrombotic episodes, which are frequently observed in COVID-19. Vitamin D deficiency has been found to occur more frequently in patients with obesity and diabetes. These conditions are reported to carry a higher mortality in COVID-19,” the researchers also say.
As per the Harvard School of Public Health, in a study of the seasonal and pandemic flu caused by H1N1 virus in 2009 it was observed that vitamin D supplementation lowered the odds of developing acute respiratory tract infections by 12% to 75%. “The beneficial effect of supplementation was seen in patients across all ages, and individuals with pre-existing chronic illnesses. Among those who were infected, flu symptoms were fewer and recovery was earlier if they had received doses of vitamin D greater than 1000 IU. The benefits were relatively greater in individuals with vitamin D deficiency than in those who had adequate levels of vitamin D,” the Harvard article says.