What is Vitamin D?
Before we talk about the connection between COVID-19 and vitamin D deficiency, let us first introduce the vitamin. Growing up, we learned that we can get vitamin D from being exposed to sunlight. This is because our body (particularly the cholesterol in the skin) produces vitamin D upon exposure to the sun. Vitamin D, like other vitamins, regulates a lot of bodily functions. However, it plays a bigger role in calcium absorption. Therefore, it is important for healthy, strong bones.
Background on COVID-19 and Vitamin D Deficiency
Various reports indicate that people are now interested in stocking up on vitamin D. If it is important for healthy bones, then what is the relationship between COVID-19 and Vitamin D deficiency?
The idea that COVID-19 and vitamin D deficiency are connected first came in February 2020. It was when two researchers from the China Medical University made extensive research about possible “out-of-the-box approaches” to help fight the virus.
The researchers, Lei Zhang and Yunhui Liu, focused their study on the use of vitamins and minerals. They discovered that the novel coronavirus affected the populations of house-bound people, institutionalized patients, elderlies in nursing homes, and prisoners. Generally, these people were in places where they could not get enough vitamin D. In conclusion, they believe that “vitamin D could work as another therapeutic option…”
Since then, has there been newer, more clinically-based research released about the correlation between COVID-19 and vitamin D deficiency?
A research team, led by Vadim Backman from Northwestern University, studied the data from 10 countries affected by the coronavirus. The countries included in the research were Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, South Korea, China, Iran, France, the UK, and the US. They found that countries with a high number of incidences and deaths also experienced vitamin D deficiency.
The Latest Studies About COVID-19 and Vitamin D Deficiency
According to Backman, they compared the countries using various metrics, like the healthcare systems, age groups, and even testing rates. He said that none of them seem to play a significant role when it comes to the difference in the incidence and mortality rates. For example, Italy has the best healthcare system, yet it also had a lot of mortalities.