Israeli scientists have established a link between low Vitamin-D levels and heightened risk of COVID-19 infection. Vitamin D is universally known to be manufactured by the skin in the presence of sunlight, and its role in keeping the bones and teeth in proper working order. Vitamin-deficient diets can cause all kinds of diseases, from scurvy to kwashiorkor, with Vitamin D deficiency being popularly linked to low bone density and rickets. But its link with COVID-19 remained unknown, until now.
The researchers used real-world data of 7807 people who underwent a test to check their levels of Vitamin D as well as whether they’d been infected with the dreaded Coronavirus. 10.1% of all tested were COVID positive, and their mean plasma Vitamin D levels were significantly lower than their COVID negative counterparts.
In the course of the research, the team also revealed that COVID positive participants were younger and more likely to be males than females. “In analyses, age over 50 years, male gender and low-medium socioeconomic status were also positively associated with the risk of Covid-19 infection; age over 50 years was positively associated with the likelihood of hospitalisation due to coronavirus,” the authors wrote, “Univariate analysis demonstrated an association between low plasma level and increased likelihood of Covid-19 infection and of hospitalization due to the SARS-CoV-2 virus.”
Previous studies have established links between low Vitamin D levels and increased likelihood of acute respiratory tract infections, but their findings have been called into question for being limited in their scope and their sample size. These findings also may not be universally applicable due to cultural and socio-economic differences, including differences in the nutritional compositions of staple diets around the world.
The implications of the findings are pretty self-explanatory. Something as simple as vitamin supplements can be used to legitimately reduce one’s risk of catching the virus, along with a balanced diet. With most of the world in some form of lockdown/quarantine, auxiliary sources of Vitamin-D have increased in importance because of the lack of sunlight exposure that is necessary for the body to produce its own.
Science and Culture Analyst
Grade XII, Manav Rachna International School, Gurgaon
Krishaang is a curious and ambitious young man who wants to make a change in the world and leave his mark. An out and out feminist, he is a published writer and has taken part in and won many debates and group discussion competitions at all levels (from school to international).