Coronavirus has now infected 917,515 in the UK, more than 22,000 were new cases confirmed on Tuesday. Several factors put people at higher risk from coronavirus including age, specific health conditions and pregnancy. But how exactly could a vitamin D deficiency impact one’s risk from COVID-19?
What is vitamin D?
Vitamin D helps to regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in your body.
This vitamin is needed to keep your bones, teeth and muscles healthy.
A lack of vitamin D can lead to bone deformities in children.
Bone pain caused by a lack of vitamin D is called osteomalacia in adults.
What impact does vitamin D deficiency have on coronavirus?
A lack of vitamin D has been found in 80 percent of coronavirus patients according to a new study.
The findings showed those who suffer from COVID-19 are almost twice as likely to be vitamin D deficient.
The Spanish study of 216 Spanish patients found 82 percent of patients were deficient in vitamin D.
Another study published in BMJ Nutrition, Prevention and Health found that people who took vitamin D supplements were less likely to suffer from respiratory problems in general.
A connection between the worst impact of the virus and vitamin D may also explain the higher susceptibility among ethnic minorities as people with darker skin find it harder to make vitamin D.
Co-author Dr José Hernández, of the University of Cantabria in Spain, said: “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.
“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.”
He added: “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.
“Many studies point to the beneficial effect of vitamin D on the immune system, especially regarding protection against infections.”