In a fight against the deadly coronavirus, Israeli researchers have found that low levels of Vitamin D in the blood are associated with an increased risk of Covid-19 infection.
Vitamin D is a hormone, produced in the skin during exposure to sunlight, and helps regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body, which are needed to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy.
“We wanted to evaluate associations of low plasma vitamin D level with the likelihood of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infection and hospitalisation using real-world data,” the study authors wrote.
For the current study, published in the journal FEBS, the research team examined data of 7,807 people who recently underwent a Covid-19 test as well as a vitamin D blood test.
The findings showed that low levels of vitamin D in the blood was identified as independently associated with the likelihood of Covid-19 infection.
According to the study, of 7,807 individuals, 782 (10.1 per cent) were Covid-19 positive and 7,025 (89.9 per cent) were negative.
The researchers found that the mean plasma vitamin D level was significantly lower among those who tested positive than negative for Covid-19.
During the research, the team also revealed that Covid-19 positive participants were younger and more likely to be males.
“In analyses, age over 50 years, male gender and low-medium socioeconomic status were also positively associated with the risk of COVID-19 infection; age over 50 years was positively associated with the likelihood of hospitalisation due to coronavirus,” the authors wrote.
“Univariate analysis demonstrated an association between low plasma level and increased likelihood of COVID-19 infection and of hospitalization due to the SARS-CoV-2 virus,” they noted.
In May, another study published in the journal BMJ, Nutrition, Prevention and Heal stressed that there is currently insufficient scientific evidence to show vitamin D supplements can be beneficial in preventing or treating Covid-19.
Previous studies in this area have found that lower vitamin D status is associated with acute respiratory tract infections, however, limitations of the findings of these studies were identified.
Findings from the majority of studies were based on data gathered from population groups in developing countries and cannot be extrapolated to populations from more developed countries due to external factors.