BQ Journal Vol 43 - Q2 2021 - 41

When global scientists and researchers began sequencing the complete
genome of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, they were racing to
find treatment solutions for the novel coronavirus. Potential treatments were
being investigated daily, including research of common vitamin sufficiency.
Vitamin C and Zinc have long been known to boost immune system health,
which could help against this respiratory illness. But how big could Vitamin D's
role be in combating the effects of COVID-19?
Somewhat surprisingly, researchers have discovered a strong correlation between severe Vitamin D
deficiency and mortality rates in COVID-19. Hospitals and clinics in China, France, Germany, Italy, Iran, South
Korea, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States have noted patients with lower levels of
Vitamin D had higher mortality rates than patients who were not deficient in Vitamin D.
Unexplained differences in COVID-19 mortality rates from country to country originally led
researchers to examine Vitamin D levels and cytokine storm - a hyperinflammatory condition caused by an
overactive immune system - and a correlation between Vitamin D deficiency and mortality. For example,
patients from Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom had lower levels of Vitamin D compared to patients in other
countries, and they also had higher mortality rates. Patients in Norway, Finland and Sweden had higher Vitamin
D levels despite less sunlight exposure than Italy and Spain because supplementation and fortification of foods
is more common in these Nordic countries.
The correlation between low Vitamin D levels, cytokine storm and death from COVID-19 is
statistically significant. Cytokine storm can severely damage lungs and lead to acute respiratory
distress syndrome, and this is what seems to be the cause of most COVID-19 related deaths.
However, Vitamin D enhances the immune system and helps prevent the immune system from
becoming dangerously overactive. It won't prevent a patient from contracting COVID-19,
but according to some recent studies, it might cut the mortality rate of COVID-19 in half and
reduce complications.
Researchers note that Vitamin D deficiency is more prevalent in African American patients and elderly patients
- two populations that have been most affected by COVID-19.
How many people are vitamin D deficient?
Vitamin D deficiency is very common as an estimated 1 billion people worldwide have low
levels of Vitamin D in their blood. About 42% of adults in the United States are deficient, and this
percentage jumps to 69% in Hispanics and 82% in African Americans. Exposure to sunlight each
day helps the human body to manufacture the required amount of Vitamin D, but most people
avoid sun exposure due to the fear of developing skin cancer. To prevent Vitamin D deficiency,
one should spend 15 to 20 minutes daily in the sunlight with 40% of the skin surface exposed.
The Role of Vitamin D in the COVID-19 Pandemic
Diagnostics I Pharmaceuticals I DxRx Solutions I Continuing Education I News
41
A Henry Schein Publication

BQ Journal Vol 43 - Q2 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of BQ Journal Vol 43 - Q2 2021

Table of Contents
BQ Journal Vol 43 - Q2 2021 - Cover1
BQ Journal Vol 43 - Q2 2021 - 2
BQ Journal Vol 43 - Q2 2021 - Table of Contents
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BQ Journal Vol 43 - Q2 2021 - Cover4
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