logoThe People's Perspective on Medicine

Does Low Vitamin D Make People Vulnerable to COVID-19?

New research from Chicago indicates that people with very low vitamin D levels are more vulnerable to COVID-19 infection.
Does Low Vitamin D Make People Vulnerable to COVID-19?
Novel Coronavirus blood test Concept. Nurse holding test tube with blood for 2019-nCoV analyzing.

Has a locked-down season staying out of crowds and working from home been keeping you indoors? If so, your vitamin D levels might not be as high as you would expect at the end of the summer. Will that make you more vulnerable to COVID-19? Some research suggests that it might.

Are People With Low Vitamin D More Vulnerable to COVID-19?

Q. At a zoom party last night, the topic of vitamin D came up. I take 5000 IU a day, which keeps my vitamin D levels just where my internist wants them to be. Multi-vitamins like One A Day 50+ have 700 IU of vitamin D. My internist said that is not enough for me.

My friend said he thought low vitamin D levels make you more vulnerable to COVID-19. Is that true?

Links Between Vitamin D Levels and COVID-19 Infection:

A. Researchers at the University of Chicago investigated this question (JAMA Network Open, Sept. 3, 2020). They examined data on patients who were tested for COVID-19 at the hospital. Among them, a group of 489 patients had had their vitamin D levels (25-hydroxyvitamin D) measured last year before the pandemic began.

Nineteen percent of those who had levels characterized as deficient had positive COVID-19 tests. In comparison, 12 percent of those with adequate vitamin D levels tested positive.

Previous research indicated that vitamin D supplementation might reduce viral respiratory infections (Hormones, Dec. 2019). Many of these are caused by coronaviruses other than SARS-CoV-2.

As a result, the authors state:

“These findings suggest that randomized clinical trials with varying doses of vitamin D may be warranted in populations with and without vitamin D deficiency to understand if vitamin D reduces the risk of COVID-19.”

You can learn more about testing for vitamin D levels as well as supplements in our eGuide to Vitamin D and Optimal Health. When we have information about whether supplements can make people less vulnerable to COVID-19, we will add it to this online resource.

Rate this article
star-fullstar-emptystar-fullstar-emptystar-fullstar-emptystar-fullstar-emptystar-fullstar-emptystar-fullstar-emptystar-fullstar-emptystar-fullstar-emptystar-fullstar-emptystar-fullstar-empty
4.2- 100 ratings
About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
Get the latest health news right in your inbox

Join our daily email newsletter with breaking health news, prescription drug information, home remedies AND you'll get a copy of our brand new full-length health guide — for FREE!

Screenshots of The People's Pharmacy website on mobile devices of various sizes
Citations
  • Meltzer DO et al, "Association of vitamin D status and other clinical characteristics with COVID-19 test results." JAMA Network Open, Sept. 3, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.19722
  • Zisi D et al, "The association between vitamin D status and infectious diseases of the respiratory system in infancy and childhood." Hormones, Dec. 2019. DOI: 10.1007/s42000-019-00155-z
Join over 150,000 Subscribers at The People's Pharmacy

We're empowering you to make wise decisions about your own health, by providing you with essential health information about both medical and alternative treatment options.