A Boston University professor asked people to stop waiting for a miracle drug that will help them to fight against Coronavirus, as he recommended that a significant amount of Vitamin D can cut down the risk of getting COVID-19 by 54 percent.

Dr. Michael Holick, professor of medicine, physiology, and biophysics at Boston University School of Medicine, and his colleagues have studied blood samples from an American clinical laboratory, Quest Diagnostics, of over 190,000 Americans from all 50 states.

After the analysis, they found that people who had deficient levels of vitamin D had 54 percent higher Coronavirus positivity compared to those with adequate levels of vitamin D in the blood. As per their research, which was published in the Public Library of Science One (PLOS), the risk of getting SARS-CoV-2 continues to decline as vitamin D levels increased. Holick said, "The higher your vitamin D status, the lower was your risk."

Vitamin D
Vitamind D supplement (Representational picture) Pixabay

Protection Against Coronavirus

As per the Boston University expert Holick, there are many people who are vitamin D-deficient because there are only small amounts in food and most of it comes from sun exposure, so many are deprived, especially during winter months. He also said while sunshine vitamin is easy to find, taking vitamin d pills is "perfectly safe" and is considered by many as the nutrient of the decade.

The study conducted by the Boston University researchers stated that the COVID-19 positivity is strongly associated with the level of vitamin D in blood and it doesn't differ in terms of races. This vitamin suppresses the excessive release of cytokine, cell signaling molecules that aid cell to cell communication in immune responses and stimulate the movement of cells towards sites of inflammation and infection that can present as a cytokine storm, a common cause of COVID-19 related morbidity and mortality.

People of Color at High Risk

According to Holick, nutrient deficiency alerts the immune system and makes it more likely to get upper respiratory infections. During the Coronavirus pandemic, people of color have been affected by the virus, experiencing a high risk of catching the infection and having serious complications, as per the US's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

For the study, the researchers examined ZIP codes data with people of color. They found that patients from predominantly Black and Hispanic had lower levels of vitamin D. The study also said that these people were more likely to have novel Coronavirus than in patients from the predominantly white and non-Hispanic population in ZIP codes. As per Holick, an average adult requires around 2,000 units of vitamin D per day and he himself is taking 6,000 units a day for decades.

Infection
Coronavirus infection Wikimedia Commons

Recent Studies Show Hope

Another study has revealed that vitamin D supplements can be effective in decreasing the rate of SARS-CoV-2 related intensive care unit (ICU) admissions after the researchers conducted a study in on 76 patients with COVID-19 in Spain.

In another case, experts from Leumit Health Services (LHS) and the Azrieli Faculty of Medicine of Bar-Ilan University collaborated to find out the risk of novel Coronavirus infection associated with low plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels. As per the study, after analyzing the cases of 782 COVID-19 positive patients and 7,025 negative patients, they found that low plasma vitamin D level has appeared to be an independent risk factor for Coronavirus infection and hospitalization.