Vitamin D has an immune-modulating effect and can lower inflammation, and this may be relevant to the respiratory response during COVID-19 and the cytokine storm that’s been demonstrated.
There are laboratory (cell-culture) studies of respiratory cells that document some of these effects of vitamin D. There’s also evidence that patients with respiratory infections tend to have lower blood levels of 25-hydroxy-vitamin D.
The recent clinical research study in Harvard medical school prevalence of vitamin D deficiency was much higher among those with severe COVID illness compared with those with mild illness. In fact, there was about an eightfold higher risk of having severe illness among those who entered with vitamin D deficiency compared with those who had sufficient vitamin D levels.
There’s also evidence from a meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials of vitamin D supplementation looking at acute respiratory tract infections (upper and lower). This was published in the British Medical Journal , showing that vitamin D supplementation was associated with a significant reduction in these respiratory tract infections. Overall, it was only a 12% reduction, but among the participants who had profound vitamin D deficiency at baseline (such as a blood level of 25-hydroxy-vitamin D of less than 10 ng/mL), there was a 70% lower risk of respiratory infection with vitamin D supplementation.
FROM AWARD-WINNING AUTHOR DR GOVIND SHUKLA, NUTRITION EXPERT
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Govind Shukla, Specializes in Pharmacology, Toxicology, Nutraceuticals & Herbal Drugs has published More than 100 research papers in National & International Journals. He is also a reviewer of International Journal of Pharmacology & pharmacotherapeutics, Chief editor of IJPNR Journal & Freelance Medical Writer for Different publication Groups including Lambert Academic Publishing Saarbrucken, Germany.