Vitamin D: Does it help with corona?
Vitamin D plays an important role in the immune system. The vitamin interacts with most immune cells, e.g. macrophages or B and T lymphocytes. It also stimulates the expression of cathelicidin. The peptide has an antimicrobial effect and fights viruses, bacteria and fungi. Vitamin D also has a positive effect on inflammatory processes.
It is understandable that vitamin D has also gained attention during the coronavirus pandemic due to its important role in the immune system. There are numerous reports circulating on the internet touting vitamin D as a miracle cure for coronavirus. But are these promises scientifically tenable?
Table of contents:
- Study situation: vitamin D and corona
- Does vitamin D protect against corona?
- Vitamin D deficiency and corona
- Vitamin D influences inflammatory processes
- How common is vitamin D deficiency ?
Study situation: Vitamin D and corona
A study by the University of Hohenheim pointed to the positive role of vitamin D in the course of coronavirus disease right at the start of the coronavirus pandemic. A low vitamin D level is said to increase the risk of severe COVID-19 progression.
Thirty studies involving 53,000 COVID-19 patients were compared. Several studies came to the conclusion that vitamin D deficiency in coronavirus patients leads to a more severe course of the disease and is an indicator of severity and mortality. In addition, it has been shown that the course of the disease can be more severe or even fatal in smokers, people over the age of 50 and people with conditions such as obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes.
There are now further studies that indicate a link between vitamin D levels and the severity of the course of coronavirus disease. However, the studies only examined vitamin D levels when the coronavirus infection had already broken out. So far, it was not known whether the COVID infection itself may have led to the vitamin D deficiency. A recent study from Israel has now examined the vitamin D levels of 1176 COVID-19 patients even before their infection. The results showed that vitamin D deficiency (< 20 ng/ml) is 14 times more likely to develop severe COVID-19. At 25.6%, the mortality rate was also significantly higher than in the group with a sufficient vitamin D supply (2.6%). Of the people who had low vitamin D levels before the coronavirus infection, around 50% developed a severe course of the disease. In COVID-infected people who had normal vitamin D levels before infection, less than 10% experienced a severe course.
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Does vitamin D protect against coronavirus?
According to current studies, people with a sufficient supply of vitamin D are less likely to develop a severe case of COVID-19. Vitamin D deficiency, on the other hand, increases the risk of a severe course after infection in both the delta and the omicron variant. However, it is still unclear whether vitamin D protects against corona and can prevent infection. In addition to previous illnesses, genetic factors, age and general health status, the vitamin D supply presumably also plays an important role in susceptibility to the coronavirus.
Further research should now clarify whether taking vitamin D tablets can protect against coronavirus.
Vitamin D deficiency and corona
Diabetes, cardiovascular disease, severe obesity and high blood pressure are also associated with an increased risk of a severe course of COVID infection. What these diseases have in common: Those affected often have lowered vitamin D levels. Vitamin D deficiency is also common in older people. Therefore, older people and those with pre-existing conditions in particular should have their vitamin D levels checked regularly and take supplements (e.g. Our O3-D3-K2 Vegan Capsules or D3 + K2 Depot Tablets), especially in the darker months of the year. An adequate supply of vitamin D is an essential component for a strong immune system.
Nutri-Plus vitamin D combination products
Both in our micronutrient combinations (e.g. Immune and Vegan Essentials) and in our D3-K2 combination product, we use plant-based vitamin D3 obtained from lichen.
Vitamin D influences inflammatory processes
In addition to the immune system, vitamin D also influences the so-called renin-angiotensin system (RAS). This regulates blood pressure, for example. A coronavirus infection disrupts an important switch in this regulatory mechanism. According to the study, the pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory processes become unbalanced. A vitamin D deficiency further exacerbates this. The inflammation is intensified and can lead to serious complications (e.g. acute respiratory distress syndrome).If an infection is suspected, it is therefore essential to check vitamin D levels and correct any deficiency as quickly as possible.
Would you like to know more about vitamin D? Then take a look at our blog post Vitamin D - intake, deficiency, effects, requirements.