A study of over 200 COVID-19 cases in a hospital in Spain found that about 80 per cent patients had vitamin D deficiency, scientists said on Wednesday. However, the study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, did not find any relationship between vitamin D concentrations or vitamin deficiency and the severity of the disease.
The researchers found 80 per cent of 216 COVID-19 patients at the Hospital Universitario Marques de Valdecilla had vitamin D deficiency, and men had lower vitamin D levels than women. COVID-19 patients with lower vitamin D levels also had raised serum levels of inflammatory markers such as ferritin and D-dimer.
“Vitamin D treatment should be recommended in COVID-19 patients with low levels of vitamin D circulating in the blood since this approach might have beneficial effects in both the musculoskeletal and the immune system,” said Jose L. Hernandez, of the University of Cantabria in Santander, Spain.
“One approach is to identify and treat vitamin D deficiency, especially in high-risk individuals such as the elderly, patients with comorbidities, and nursing home residents, who are the main target population for the COVID-19,” said Hernendez.
Vitamin D controls blood calcium concentration and impacts the immune system, the researchers said. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to a variety of health concerns, although research is still underway into why the hormone impacts other systems of the body, they said.
Many studies point to the beneficial effect of vitamin D on the immune system, especially regarding protection against infections.