Vitamin D Deficiency is Associated with Covid-19 Infection - StudyGokul Saravanan (Author) Published Date : May 02, 2020 11:46 IST
Vitamin D deficiency in humans is likely increasing the mortality rate of Covid-19, says a new study conducted in the United Kingdom.
Some initial epidemiological studies conducted on the coronaviruses, outlining their characteristics, highlighted their association with Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 (ACE2), which is an enzyme attached to the surfaces of lungs, kidney, heart, arteries, and intestines. The study stated that the ACE2 receptors act as an entry point of the Coronavirus. After the Covid-19 outbreak, like proving the connection of ACE2 and Coronavirus, many patients admitted with gastrointestinal problems were tested Covid-19 positive.
Though this study on ACE2 was done 20 years earlier, the recent outbreak of Coronavirus has thrown a spotlight on the research again and raised concerns about the health of older adults and people with an existing clinical condition like cardiac disease, pulmonary disease, kidney ailments, hypertension, and diabetes. But on the other side, many drug-making companies plunged into a race to find a drug targeting ACE2 to defeat the novel Coronavirus.
Researchers and drug makers are emerging out every day with a novel idea to fight the novel Coronavirus. But, it seems the virus is far more novel than their ideas. Research conducted recently by the UK's Queen Elizebeth Hospital Foundation Trust and the University of East Anglia proven the novelty of the virus once again and added another burden to the head
Their preliminary findings state that the deficiency of Vitamin D in population has unfortunately associated with morbidity and mortality due to Covid-19. Though this researcher piece is still under the peer review (literal translation- "experts have not yet authorized this piece of work"), it suggests Vitamin D supplements for the population.
Vitamin D is one among the fat-soluble type of vitamins usually produced by the skin with the light obtained from sun and nutrients obtained from food supplements like fish, oil, dairy products, cheese, egg yolk, etc...
According to health experts, Vitamin D is responsible for the proper regulation of Calcium and Phosphate in the body that is associated with the health of teeth, bones, and muscles. Vitamin D deficiency commonly results in diseases like rickets, osteomalacia, pain in bones, and muscles due to weakening.
There are also some recent studies emphasizing the deficiency of Vitamin D will lead to autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis, and systemic lupus erythematosus. Now the recent study, in the UK, on vitamin D deficiency is likely to increase the speculations around the current pandemic Covid-19.
For the study, the lead researchers, Dr. Petre Cristian Ilie, Simina Stefanescu, and Lee Smith, have referred the existing data highlighting the average vitamin D level in the population of 20 European countries. Then the data were compared statistically with the data of Covid-19 caused morbidity and mortality in each country.
The statistical comparison of the data showed some significant correlation between the Vitamin D level and the mortality caused by the Covid-19. The study pinpointed that the population with a low level of vitamin D concentration is the population that had become more vulnerable to the disease. The region with less Vitamin D concentration has the highest mortality rate due to the Coronavirus.
However, this research piece has not yet been recognized by the expert. Hence, running for Vitamin D supplements is not advisable for now. Moreover, unwanted consumption of vitamin D poses risks that come under Vitamin D toxicity like calcium buildup in the blood that may cause nausea, vomiting, stomach pain diarrhea, and loss of appetite.