Some studies have suggested that vitamin D deficiency may increase the chances of getting COVID-19 in the affected individual. However, it is not certain whether it means that people should start taking vitamin D supplements.

Vitamin D is known to maintain robust bone health, however, not everyone knows that it has a role to play in immunity and protection against bacterial and viral diseases as well. Vitamin D is known to modulate the lymphocytes and inflammation-producing chemicals such as cytokines, which in turn, affect the human immune response to the invasion of pathogens.

In the same way, vitamin D is thought to help with the regulation of immune response against COVID-19 as well. The body’s natural immune response can generate a weird reaction against the pathogen when it attacks the first time. The body may try to generate different series of responses, and not all of them may work against the virus or bacteria.

This is what happens sometimes in the case of COVID-19, wherein there is a “cytokine storm.” The overactive immune system due to the first attack by a foreign material may generate an extensive response that leads to damage to the different organs and may even lead to death. Therefore, anything that can help regulate the response and the functioning of the immune system is thought to be beneficial and this is why vitamin D has come to light because of its suspected role.

A 2017 study revealed that controlled Vitamin D supplementation can help protect against acute respiratory tract infection. However, a precaution was made not to go overboard with the supplementation because overdosage has its risks.

However, it only talked about lowering the risk of respiratory tract infection but did not prove anything about preventing it.

A manuscript posted online described how 17.3% of patients who had vitamin D deficiency had a severe form of COVID-19, as compared to 14.6% of patients with normal vitamin D levels. The author claimed to base his manuscript on an analysis of data from multiple countries, including Germany, China, Iran, the U.K., Italy, Spain, France and the U.S.

However, the manuscript has neither been published or peer-reviews. Therefore it is not known whether there is any correlation between vitamin D levels and COVID-19 severity levels in patients.

One this that we all must know is that COVID-19 is caused by SARS-CoV-2, which is not a common or an everyday virus such as seasonal flu or influenza. It is known to be quite different from adenoviruses or influenza and therefore, what may work for them might not work for coronavirus.

Therefore, it cannot be concluded whether vitamin D supplementation can really provide protection against COVID-19 and people should not rely solely on that.

If someone has vitamin D deficiency, they should get a supplement to boose their levels, and people with normal levels should continue to live their lives without vitamin D supplements. However, they all must continue to follow the guidelines published by the World Health Organization (WHO) when it comes to the prevention of COVID-19.

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