'Vitamin D cuts complications, risk of death in Covid patients'

In patients older than 40 years they observed that those patients who were vitamin D sufficient were 51.5 per cent less likely to die from the infection compared to patients who were vitamin D deficient.

IANSUpdated: Sunday, September 27, 2020, 05:15 AM IST
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New York: A new research adds to the growing body of evidence that patients with sufficient levels of Vitamin D are less likely to experience complications and die from Covid-19.

According to the study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, hospitalised Covid-19 patients who were vitamin D sufficient, with a blood level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D of at least 30 ng/mL (a measure of vitamin D status) had a significantly decreased risk for adverse clinical outcomes and death.

In addition, they had lower blood levels of an inflammatory marker (C-reactive protein) and higher blood levels of lymphocytes (a type of immune cell to help fight infection)."This study provides direct evidence that vitamin D sufficiency can reduce the complications, including the cytokine storm (release of too many proteins into the blood too quickly) and ultimately death from Covid-19," said study author Michael F. Holick from the Boston University in the US.

For the findings, a blood sample to measure vitamin D status (measured serum level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D) was taken from 235 patients were admitted to the hospital with Covid-19.

These patients were followed for clinical outcomes including clinical severity of the infection, becoming unconscious, having difficulty in breathing resulting in hypoxia (low oxygen level) and death.

The blood was also analyzed for an inflammatory marker (C-reactive protein) and for numbers of lymphocytes. The researchers then compared all of these parameters in patients who were vitamin D deficient to those who were vitamin D sufficient.

In patients older than 40 years they observed that those patients who were vitamin D sufficient were 51.5 per cent less likely to die from the infection compared to patients who were vitamin D deficient.

Holic believes that being vitamin D sufficient helps to fight consequences from being infected not only with the coronavirus but also other viruses causing upper respiratory tract illnesses including influenza.

"There is great concern that the combination of influenza infection and a coronal viral infection could substantially increase hospitalizations and death due to complications from these viral infections," Holick noted.

Earlier this month, another study published in the journal JAMA Network Open, revealed that that vitamin D deficiency may raise the risk of getting novel coronavirus.

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