Vitamin D has recently done the rounds in several news articles for its promising results in reducing the severity as well as mortality in COVID-19 patients. Vitamin D, popularly known as ‘Sunshine vitamin’, is mainly responsible for aiding in the absorption of calcium from the gut. It is thus responsible for keeping the bones strong and healthy. In addition to making the bones strong, it enhances immunity and keeps the muscles, heart, lungs, and kidneys healthy. Its impact on immunity is what drove researchers to investigate whether it could be efficaciously used in COVID-19 patients or not. Vitamin D has already been proved to be safe for acute respiratory infections.

According to a study published in PLOS ONE, sufficient levels of vitamin D in the body may help in improving the immune response against COVID-19 by reducing the risk of the cytokine storm.

A study published in the Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology has concluded that administering a high dose of Calcifediol (a metabolite of vitamin D in the liver) could potentially reduce the severity of COVID-19 and reduce the need for treatment in ICUs.

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Researchers in another study has suggested that the administration of vitamin D supplements can help protect against COVID-19 infection.

However, some experts are of the opinion that these studies are not convincing because the “results are not definitive”. According to the experts, the studies are interesting but they fail to throw light on other aspects of the subjects such as comorbidities and risk factors.

Nevertheless, in view of the growing research in this direction, we may soon have some robust evidence to prove the efficacy of vitamin D in preventing COVID-19 infection and reducing the risk of complications associated with it.

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People can thus be advised to include dietary sources rich in vitamin D such as eggs, cod liver oil capsules, mushrooms, and milk to boost up their immunity.

© The Eastern Herald
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Himanshu Jindal
A medical student at GSVM Medical College in Kanpur, India. Contributor at The Eastern Herald.