We all know the importance of Vit D, yet it's benefits has been suppressed in the fight for staying healthy during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Nearly all cell types involved in the body’s immune response possess Vitamin D receptors. These cell types include monocytes/macrophages, T cells, B cells, natural killer cells, and dendritic cells.
Consequently, Vitamin D plays essential roles in the regulation of both innate and adaptive immune systems. You might be wondering what an optimum level would be? The Endocrine Society defines optimal blood levels of Vitamin D as 40 to 60 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL).
Before COVID, low Vit D was associated with poor bone health, diabetes, higher cancer risk, higher risk of depression, higher incidence of seasonal flu, and even shorter lifespan overall.
Researchers recently analyzed data from one population-based study (which measured long-term Vitamin D status in more than 400 million people worldwide) and seven clinical studies (which measured Vitamin D levels post-infection). They utilized a machine learning model to compute the expected death rates among the patients.
The machine learning was based on characteristics such as the patients’ age, sex, median Vitamin D levels, and whether they had diabetes. The timeframe for the data collection preceded the advent of vaccines against COVID-19, so vaccines played not part in the research.
The analysis revealed that people who had optimal Vitamin D levels preceding SARS-CoV-2 infection were highly unlikely to die from their illness, suggesting that Vitamin D reduces the risk of death from COVID-19.
“The two datasets provide strong evidence that low D3 is a predictor rather than a side effect of the infection,” the authors wrote in their conclusion.
In fact, the results were so profound the researchers theorized that Covid-19 deaths would be virtually eliminated if Vitamin D3 levels could be raised significantly: “COVID-19 mortality risk correlates inversely with Vitamin D3 status, and a mortality rate close to zero could theoretically be achieved at 50 ng/ml,” the researchers wrote in their summary.