Vitamin D deficiency associated with positive COVID-19 test result

vitamin d food
In a retrospective study of patients tested for COVID-19, researchers at the University of Chicago Medicine found a link between vitamin D deficiency and the risk of coronavirus infection.

"Vitamin D is important for immune system function and vitamin D supplements have previously been shown to reduce the risk of viral respiratory infections. Our statistical analysis suggests this may be true for the COVID-19 infection." - David Meltzer, MD, PhD, chief of hospital medicine at UChicago Medicine and lead author of the study.


The analysis suggests that individuals likely to be deficient in vitamin D levels at the time of COVID-19 testing had a significantly higher risk of testing positive for COVID-19 than individuals likely to have adequate vitamin D levels.
These results raise the question of whether treatment for vitamin D deficiency is associated with a reduction in the risk of COVID-19. Since vitamin D deficiency can be caused by many factors, including age, obesity, diabetes and chronic illness in general, and since those factors are also associated with COVID-19 risk, it is difficult to identify associations with vitamin D levels from previous research to be interpreted in this context.

Other findings

In addition to discussing the benefits of vitamin D supplementation in people with a vitamin D deficiency, this study also points to possible (smaller) effects of supplementation in people whose vitamin D level is sufficient according to current standards. This finding is important because those standards are largely based on the need for vitamin D for bone health, as the needs for immune function support are not yet known.
If vitamin D reduces the incidence of COVID-19, it is tempting to see if it can also reduce COVID-19 contamination. After all, vitamin D boosts immunity, so it can be expected to reduce COVID-19 infection and transmission. In addition, Vitamin D also affects zinc metabolism, which reduces the replication of coronaviruses.


This study provides food for thought and especially urges researchers to quickly look further into the possible beneficial effects of different doses of vitamin D, because that would be an inexpensive way to influence the number of positive test results.

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