Do Vitamin D Supplements Really Protect Against Coronavirus?

Do Vitamin D Supplements Really Protect Against Coronavirus?

A new study found no relationship between higher vitamin D levels and a lower risk of Covid-19 and complications. But the research has some limitations, including the fact that it has not included people with a deficiency of this vitamin

(photo: via Pixabay) The possible protection provided by vitamin D against the coronavirus has been the subject of debate several times during the pandemic. To date, the Ministry of Health points out that there is not enough evidence to recommend its use. However, some studies based on the a posteriori observation of patient data (without studying the cause-effect link and in some cases even in non-Covid-19 patients) have brought some preliminary evidence in favor of this defensive role of vitamin D. The results of the various investigations, however, are often conflicting and today a new genetic study, published in Plos Medicine, has not found any notable association between the presence of higher levels of vitamin D and a reduction in the risk of contagion, hospitalization or death. for Covid-19. The study, which analyzes the genetic basis, does not intend and cannot give a definitive answer on this role, and the discussion is still open.

What the Ministry of Health says

In the circular of 30 November 2020, the ministry writes that "to date, there is no solid and incontrovertible evidence (i.e. deriving from controlled clinical studies) of the efficacy of vitamin supplements and food supplements (for example vitamins, including vitamin D, lactoferrin, quercetin [also of the latter two have often been talked about, ed]), whose use for this indication is therefore not recommended “.

What the study says

Today's research investigates the possible link between a person's genetic predisposition to have higher amounts of vitamin D in the blood and the presence of severe Covid-19 . There are in fact some genetic variants that underlie this characteristic. The authors analyzed data from around 4,000 people who have had Covid-19 and over a million people (nearly 1.3 million) not affected by the coronavirus, from 11 countries. The results indicate that higher levels of vitamin D do not correspond to a lower vulnerability to contract the infection or to have a less severe Covid-19. According to the authors, this element suggests that taking supplements to raise vitamin D levels may not improve, have no effect on the risk of Covid-19.

Vitamin D, how to interpret the data

It should be noted that this research links the genetic bases that predispose the single individual to having higher concentrations of vitamin D to the risk of Covid-19, but does not directly study the role of taking supplements of this element in relation to 'infection. In particular, it does not include people who have a deficiency of this element, and it is not excluded that they may also benefit from supplementation against Covid-19. Furthermore, genetic data are based on information drawn from ancient European populations.

The study, however, highlights the need for further investigation to find therapeutic and preventive approaches, in addition to the valid ones we have (vaccines, for example ), to counter Covid. It also highlights some problems in previous studies, such as the difficulty of studying separately linked risk factors for Covid, such as elderly age and low vitamin D, given that these two elements are associated. In short, on this issue we have many questions and still few answers. But one thing the research clearly says: rushing to buy and take supplements may not help, at least against the coronavirus.

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Coronavirus genetics Covid-19 therapies globalData.fldTopic = "Coronavirus, genetics , Covid-19 therapies "

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