Study reports low vitamin D linked to increase in incidence of COVID
Can vitamin D protect Black women from COVID-19? According to research led by Boston University's Slone Epidemiology Center, the answer may be yes. In a recent study of Black American women, low levels of vitamin D appeared to be related to increased incidence of COVID-19 infection(1)
It is widely known that vitamin D deficiency and obesity are associated with risk of chronic diseases like osteoporosis, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. These findings add COVID-19 to that list.
The impact of vitamin D on the immune response varies by cell type, but overall vitamin D induces a more immune-tolerant status(2) Also, vitamin D deficiency may potentially affect susceptibility to COVID-19 through its role in activating the pulmonary renin angiotensin system and regulating ACE2 which plays a role in lung injury protection(3)
Clinical trials now are underway to determine whether vitamin D helps reduce the risk of COVID-19 or helps reduce symptoms in people who have COVID-19, but results are not yet available.
Along with good nutrition and adequate vitamin D, people should also follow the directions of the health advice of social distancing, mask wearing and immunisation
1. Yvette C. Cozier, Nelsy Castro et al, Lower serum 25(OH)D levels associated with higher risk of COVID-19 infection in U.S. Black women. PLOS ONE, 2021; 16 (7): e0255132
2. Martens PJ, Gysemans C, Verstuyf A, Mathieu AC. Vitamin D’s Effect on Immune Function. Nutrients 2020;12
3. Getachew B, Tizabi Y. Vitamin D and COVID-19: Role of ACE2, age, gender, and ethnicity. J Med Virol 2021.