If you want to stay protected from COVID-19, consider upping your vitamin intake. According to a new study, vitamin D deficiency increases a person’s risk for catching COVID-19 by a whopping 77% compared to those who have sufficient levels of the nutrient. Read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had Coronavirus.
Deficient Vitamin D Levels Were Associated With Increased Risk
The study, published Thursday by JAMA Network Open, involved nearly 489 subjects. Approximately one out of four were vitamin D deficient. They then recognized that 22% of those with the deficiency contracted COVID-19. However, of the 60% who proved to have adequate levels of the vitamin, just 12% were infected.
In total, the deficiency increased the risk of testing positive for COVID-19 by 77%. To put it in perspective, the researchers point out that older age — a definite risk factor for the virus—only increased the chances by 6% according to their findings.
“In this single-center, retrospective cohort study, likely deficient vitamin D status was associated with increased COVID-19 risk, a finding that suggests that randomized trials may be needed to determine whether vitamin D affects COVID-19 risk,” the study concludes.
“Vitamin D deficiency was associated with an increased likelihood of testing positive for COVID-19,” David O. Meltzer, a professor of medicine at the University of Chicago, explained in an interview with UPI.
Meltzer explained that previous evidence supports that vitamin D can enhance both innate (the body’s natural response) and adaptive (how the immune system adjusts to a new pathogen) immunity. “Vitamin D also … may prevent the excess inflammation that is part of the challenge in managing severe COVID-19,” he said.
“Given that vitamin D deficiency is common, supplementation of vitamin D intake might reduce the likelihood of developing COVID-19,” Meltzer continued.
Where to Get More Vitamin D
“There are some dietary sources of vitamin D, including fatty fishes such as salmon, eggs, mushrooms and fortified foods, including most milk and dairy products, but it is not easy to get the levels one would get from supplements from these dietary sources alone,” he said. “Regular exposure to sunlight can [also] raise vitamin D levels.”
Researchers do admit that “vitamin D deficiency may be increased by many factors that could be associated with COVID-19 risk.” These include “age, obesity, diabetes, and chronic illness more generally, observed associations of vitamin D with outcomes in almost any observational study may fail to accurately reflect any potential causal effects of vitamin D on outcomes.”
If you are worried that you are vitamin D deficient, the best thing to do is reach out to your physician. And to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don’t miss these 35 Places You’re Most Likely to Catch COVID.