May 19, 2022

Vitamin-D For Battling COVID-19?

Vitamin-D For Battling COVID-19?
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Vitamin D is a nutrient often deficient amongst the Indian population and one of the most prescribed medicines. Playing a wide range of roles, with immunity being vital, vitamin D may help keep coronavirus (COVID-19) at bay.

With no cure established yet, symptomatic management includes oxygen therapy, ventilation, and suitable medications. Preventive care through social distancing, hygiene, and boosting one’s own innate ability to ward off infections has become the practice ever since the pandemic struck. After all, prevention is better than cure.

With your lungs being a host for COVID-19, evidence has shown vitamin D as a protectant against respiratory illnesses. 

Another study revealed lower death rates and subtler symptoms in hospitalized COVID-19 patients with adequate vitamin D levels.

This article outlines how immunity is affected by vitamin D and how supplementation or proper nutrition may be key to better respiratory health.

How Vitamin-D Enhances Your Immunity

Vitamin D has a multi-factorial role in many immune cells, making it a big part of your body’s defense system.

It is pivotal in enhancing the immune response and has anti-inflammatory and immunoregulatory properties.

Multiple cells in the immune system contain vitamin D receptors, which are sockets where the nutrient latches on to and can mediate and enhance the defense system.

With the property to regulate, this fat-soluble vitamin helps protect our body from harmful microbes through modulating immune cells like macrophages and T cells.

Research suggests deficiency to be a massive risk factor in developing autoimmune disorders. An association with an increased risk of infection and disease has also been established.

For example, disorders in the respiratory system like asthma, tuberculosis, and bacterial or viral infections are more prominent in individuals with low vitamin D levels.

Furthermore, a deficiency leads to the lungs getting impaired, affecting your body’s ability to ward off illness.

Can Supplementation Of Vitamin-D Help Prevent COVID-19?

With no specific protocol grounded, apart from symptomatic treatment for COVID-19, the possible usage of vitamin D was experimented along with the effect of its deficiency on COVID-19 patients. 

Serum levels of at least 30ng/ml of 25-Hydroxyvitamin D reduce the likelihood of severe adverse effects and mortality amongst COVID-19-affected people. 

Upon analyzing 235 COVID-19-struck patients, patients older than 40 with sufficient vitamin D levels were 51.5% less likely to suffer from severe symptoms than patients with vitamin D deficiency.

Other studies have shown promising results of a vitamin D deficiency increasing your risk of respiratory-related infections and causing a slump in immunity.

Likewise, the opposite holds too. Adequate vitamin D levels decrease the risk of developing respiratory tract infections, enhancing your immunity to ward off pathogens.

Research encompassing 14 countries and 11,321 individuals experimented with supplementation. The study recorded improvements amongst individuals with deficient and adequate vitamin D levels.

Overall, there was a 12% decrease in the risk of developing acute respiratory infections (ARI), with vitamin-D deficient individuals reaping the highest protective effect.

Also, taking small doses weekly or daily proved more effective against ARIs than consuming large amounts with a higher time gap.

Vitamin D supplements decrease mortality amongst the senile population who are more prone to COVID-19.

Vitamin D Deficiency And Cytokine Storm

Vitamin D deficiency triggers a phenomenon named Cytokine Storm, a sudden wave of tissue-damaging molecules that create havoc internally.

Cytokines are proteins that can work with the immune system or against it. Their release is a core part of the defense system. They are protective at times but can also cause damage to tissues in unfavorable conditions.

The cytokine storm involves a massive output of tissue-damaging cytokines that manifests as severe symptoms and sudden disease progression. It’s one of the leading causes of systemic failure involving multiple organs in ARDS (Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome) and COVID-19. This unregulated release of cytokines is destructive and accelerates the progression of the disease.

Large amounts of cytokines like Interleukin-1 and 6 were eminent in severe cases of COVID-19.

A deficiency in vitamin D makes an impaired immune system give rise to an enhanced cytokine storm.

Evidence reveals individuals deficient in vitamin D may have an increased risk of COVID-19 complications due to the uncontrolled inflammation caused by the Cytokine storm.

Clinical trials of varying doses of vitamin D supplementation for COVID-19 have shown promising results with more ongoing research.

However, supplementing with vitamin D alone cannot prevent one from contracting COVID-19. An immune-compromised state is a risk factor if deficit, though. 

It can be a bother since a vast population in the world has inadequate levels, particularly the much older generation who are susceptible to infections or COVID-19.

Therefore, it is essential to run regular biochemical tests to confirm malnutrition in this sunshine vitamin. Sunlight plays a prominent role in vitamin D synthesis, and you may lack this nutrient more during the winter.

Supplementation of 1,000-4,000 units a day may be adequate for most people according to their blood levels. Critically low levels will require a much higher dose.

The amount recommended may vary, but the medical fraternity mostly agrees that a range between 30-60ngl/mL may be optimum.


Vitamin D is a vital nutrient for our body and multi-faceted in shielding the body and aiding the immune system in multiple ways. Without vitamin D, a compromised immunity would be the outcome.

Evidence suggests that low levels can contribute to severe symptoms and progression of COVID-19. But the correct dose of supplements can protect the body against respiratory infections.

However, further research is still required to establish whether this nutrient can reduce the risk of contracting coronavirus.

It is best to take advice from a physician before taking supplements.

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