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May 11, 2020 • Healthy Living

Low Vitamin D and Covid Death Rates

sunshine flower yellow vitamin d
Low vitamin D status may be a driving factor in the risk of death from covid-19 infection. That was the conclusion of a large statistical analysis led by researchers at Northwestern University. Spurred by the unexplained disparate death rates from one country to another, the researchers looked at vitamin D status as a plausible factor.
They included 10 developed countries with high rates of confirmed covid cases to include the US in their evaluation. Looking at vitamin D status relative to death rates from covid-19, the researchers noted a strong association between low vitamin D and cytokine storm, the hyper-immune response responsible for the majority of covid deaths. They also noted a correlation between low vitamin D and higher death rates.
Given that one of vitamin D’s key roles is to keep the immune system from becoming dangerously overactive, these findings are notable and warrant further study. The lead investigator commented, “Our analysis shows that it might be as high as cutting the mortality rate in half.”
Low vitamin D levels are rampant, even in the US. Those at greatest risk include: the elderly, African Americans, those with diabetes, those living in northern latitudes, and those with obesity. If you fall into one of these groups, be sure to get your vitamin D level checked and take supplements as directed by your healthcare provider to maintain a normal blood level. A supplement of 2000 iu’s of vitamin D3 a day is a prudent dose for most people.

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The Possible Role of Vitamin D in Suppressing Cytokine Storm and Associated Mortality in COVID-19 Patients. medRxiv, Posted April 30, 2020;[link]