Corona: Vitamin D food supplements are not a protective measure
In recent months, it has been reported time and again that taking vitamin D food supplements can reduce the risk of contracting the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and developing severe COVID-19. However, new findings now indicate that increasing the vitamin D level does not offer any protection here.
While previous research at the start of the pandemic suggested that vitamin D reduced the risk of contracting the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, a new study from McGill University in Montreal, Canada finds there is no evidence that that Vitamin acts as a protective measure against the virus or the COVID-19 disease caused by the pathogen, according to a recent press release.
No protection against severe progress
According to the researchers, the study does not support vitamin D supplementation as a measure to improve the pandemic. “Above all, our results suggest that priority should be given to investing in other therapeutic or preventive options for randomized clinical trials on COVID-19,” say the authors.
To assess the relationship between vitamin D levels and the susceptibility and severity of COVID-19, the scientists performed a Mendelian randomization with genetic variants that are strongly linked to increased vitamin D levels.
They looked at genetic variants of 14,134 people with COVID-19 and over 1.2 million people without the disease from eleven countries.
In the study published in the journal PLOS Medicine, the researchers found that vitamin D levels in people who developed the disease had no effect on the likelihood of being hospitalized or of becoming seriously ill.
Taking nutritional supplements?
At the beginning of the pandemic, many researchers examined the effects of vitamin D, which plays a crucial role in a healthy immune system. However, there is not enough evidence that taking supplements can prevent or treat COVID-19.
“Most vitamin D studies are very difficult to interpret because they cannot take into account the known risk factors for severe COVID-19 such as old age or chronic diseases, which are also predictors of vitamin D deficiency,” says Co -Author Guillaume Butler of McGill University.
“The best way to answer the question about the effect of vitamin D would therefore be randomized studies, which are complex and resource-intensive and take a long time during a pandemic,” says the doctor.
The researchers say that by using Mendelian randomization, they were able to reduce potential bias from these known risk factors and provide a clearer picture of the relationship between vitamin D and COVID-19.
Study with limitations
However, the researchers also found that their study had some important limitations. No patients with real vitamin D deficiency were taken into account, so it is possible that they could benefit in connection with protection against corona infection and severe disease.
In addition, the study only analyzed genetic variants of people of European descent. Future studies are needed to investigate the relationship with vitamin D and COVID-19 outcomes in other populations, say the researchers.
In the current study, Mendel’s randomization shows “no clear evidence that vitamin D supplementation has a major impact on the results of COVID-19,” says Butler-Laporte, microbiologist and expert on infectious diseases. (ad)
Author and source information
This text complies with the requirements of specialist medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical professionals.
- McGill University: Vitamin D may not protect against COVID-19, as previously suggested, (Abruf: 06.06.2021), McGill University
- Guillaume Butler-Laporte, Tomoko Nakanishi, Vincent Mooser, David R. Morrison, Tala Abdullah, Olumide Adeleye, Noor Mamlouk, Nofar Kimchi, Zaman Afrasiabi, Nardin Rezk, Annarita Giliberti, Alessandra Renieri, Yiheng Chen, Sirui Zhou, Vincenzo Forgetta & J. Brent Richards: Vitamin D and COVID-19 susceptibility and severity in the COVID-19 Host Genetics Initiative: A Mendelian randomization study; in: PLOS Medicine, (veröffentlicht: 01.06.2021), PLOS Medicine
This article is for general guidance only and is not intended to be used for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. He can not substitute a visit at the doctor.