Chennai: A new link has been found between low levels of vitamin D in blood plasma and the likelihood of a Covid-19 infection.
Israeli researchers from the Leumit Health Services (LHS) and the Azrieli Faculty of Medicine of Bar-Ilan University say the main findings of the study establishes a significant link between low levels of vitamin D and contracting coronavirus infection.
To conduct the study published in the FEBS Journal, the researchers analysed vitamin D levels of 7,807 people, out of which 782 (10.1 per cent) were Covid-19 patients and the rest had tested negative for the infectious disease.
They studied the real-world data and found that those who had tested positive for Covid-19 had mean plasma vitamin D level significantly lower among those who tested positive than negative for Covid-19.
It is to be noted that there was a significant link between low levels of vitamin D and the likelihood of Covid infection even after adjusting other factors such as gender, age, chronic mental and physical disorders and socioeconomic status.
However, the link was less significant in case of hospitalization for the study patients with low vitamin D levels.
Dr Eugene Merzon, who is the head of Leumit’s Department of Managed Care, said, “the main finding of our study was the significant association of low plasma vitamin D level with the likelihood of Covid-19 infection among patients who were tested for Covid-19, even after adjustment for age, gender, socio-economic status and chronic, mental and physical disorders.”
“Furthermore, low vitamin D level was associated with the risk of hospitalization due to Covid-19 infection, although this association wasn’t significant after adjustment for other factors,” he added.
After studying the findings of the study, the researchers had concluded that “low plasma 25(OH)D level appears to be an independent risk factor for Covid‐19 infection and hospitalisation.”
Vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin, is produced by our body naturally when exposed to the sunlight. This is why at least 20 minutes of daily exposure to the sun could help in meeting your daily requirements of vitamin D.
It is also present in ample amounts in fish, fortified milk and milk substitutes, egg yolks, mushrooms (when exposed to the sunlight) and fortified orange juice.