DUBLIN — People showing symptoms of Covid-19 are less likely to die or develop severe illness if they have enough vitamin D in their systems, according to Boston University’s School of Medicine.
Analysing blood samples from 235 patients hospitalized with Covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, the researchers found “a significant decreased risk for adverse clinical outcomes” among those who were “vitamin D sufficient.”
The findings, published on Friday in the science journal PLOS, were described by co-author Michael F Holick as “direct evidence” that enough of the vitamin “can reduce the complications” caused by a novel coronavirus infection.
The analysis suggests patients who are vitamin D sufficient are “51.5 percent less likely to die” compared to those listed as “deficient.”
Vitamin D has for months been touted as a possible preventative, with Horlick previously reporting that sufficiency can cut the likelihood of novel coronavirus infection by more than half.
Separately, a University of Chicago study of 489 patients published this month found those who were deficient were “almost twice as likely” to test positive for the virus as others.
Humans typically generate vitamin D when exposed to sunlight, meaning that existing deficiencies in colder countries were likely exacerbated by lockdowns that kept millions of people indoors during spring and early summer. Other sources of the vitamin, which is often added to fortified foods such as milk and cereals, include oily fish and eggs.
According to Holick, vitamin D sufficiency also enhances prospects of fending off influenza and other respiratory conditions.
Such diseases typically flourish during the winter flu season, including in colder European countries where coronavirus infection numbers have risen again recently.
“There is great concern that the combination of an influenza infection and a coronal viral infection could substantially increase hospitalizations,” Holick said.
Research published in May by Trinity College Dublin showed a correlation between countries where Vctamin D deficiency is prevalent and countries with a high coronavirus-related death toll.
On Thursday, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, an EU agency, published an updated assessment of the pandemic’s spread and guidelines for treatment and counter-measures, but did not mention vitamin D.Show