Research reasserts link between Vitamin D and acute respiratory infection due to SARS-CoV-2
When SARS-Cov-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, started to manifest in the general population in December of 2019 in China and later on during the early part of 2020 in other parts of the world. The world, at that time, knows little about this unseen enemy. Thanks to different groups of scientists who were already studying different types of coronaviruses and those who immediately jumped in to help learn more about SARS-CoV-2, we now have vaccines and potentially some medicines that could turn the tides in the global battle against this virus.
To add to the ongoing list of things that we know about the virus and how to combat it. Research conducted by Dr.Amiel A. Dror, a physician at the Galilee Medical Center has shown and reaffirmed earlier research on the link between levels of Vitamin D in the body and the severity of COVID-19 infection.
According to the research published in PLOS ONE journal with the title “Pre-infection 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 levels and association with severity of COVID-19 illness”, it was found that there is a striking difference in your chances of becoming a severe COVID-19 patient when you lack Vitamin D compared to when you have sufficient Vitamin D in your body.
The research was conducted between April 7, 2020, to February 4, 2021. Out of the 253 patients with records of Vitamin D level prior to COVID-19 infection, patients classified as having severe or critical infection have lower vitamin D status which means they are 14 more times to contract a severe or critical infection, compared to those with higher levels of Vitamin D. According to Dr. Dror their findings suggests that Vitamin D helps in bolstering the immune system to help fight viruses that cause respiratory infection.
While this research may validate other previous research pertaining to Vitamin D’s role in fighting COVID-19. One must also take into consideration the fact that the research was conducted prior to the Omicron variant wave. In addition, the research does not absolutely conclude that Vitamin D protects against COVID-19 therefore it is not a substitute for COVID-19 vaccine.
Sources of Vitamin D
Most of you may have heard that one of the sources of Vitamin D is direct sunlight to the skin. This is why it may be a good idea to get a dose of sunshine every day through outdoor exercises. If you are unable to, you can get Vitamin D from these other sources:
- Fatty fish like Tuna, Salmon, Swordfish, Sardines
- Dairy and plant-based milk fortified with Vitamin D
Sources: PLOS ONE Journal
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health