Scientists from the Federal University of Bahia and elsewhere found that vitamin D deficiency is linked to severe COVID-19 and death.
Vitamin D is both a nutrient we eat and a hormone our bodies make.
It is a fat-soluble vitamin that has long been known to help the body absorb and retain calcium and phosphorus; both are critical for building bone.
Previous research has found that vitamin D can reduce cancer cell growth, help control infections and reduce inflammation.
In addition, many organs and tissues in the body have receptors for vitamin D. This suggests important roles beyond bone health.
There is still limited evidence showing the influence of vitamin D on people with COVID-19.
In the current review study, researchers aimed to analyze the association between vitamin D deficiency and COVID-19 severity.
They did an analysis of the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency in people with the disease.
The team searched five online databases to find published studies measuring vitamin D in the body in adult and elderly people with COVID-19.
The main outcome was the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in severe cases of COVID-19.
The researchers reviewed 27 studies and found vitamin D deficiency was not associated with a higher chance of infection by COVID-19.
But they identified that severe cases of COVID-19 present 64% more vitamin D deficiency compared with mild cases.
In addition, a vitamin D concentration insufficiency increased hospitalization and mortality from COVID-19.
Based on the findings, the researchers conclude that vitamin D deficiency is linked to the severity of COVID-19.
The research was published in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition and conducted by Marcos Pereira et al.
If you care about nutrition, please read studies about how the Mediterranean diet could protect your brain health and the best time to take vitamins to prevent heart disease.
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