Israeli Study Finds Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Increased Coronavirus Risk

YERUSHALAYIM -

A new study by Israeli researchers linked vitamin D deficiency with an increased risk of contracting coronavirus.

The study, done by the Leumit Health Services and researchers at the Bar-Ilan University, confirmed a correlation between low levels of vitamin D and the chances of contracting the disease.

The researchers also found a correlation between vitamin D deficiency and odds of being admitted into a hospital with coronavirus, but this link lost its relevance when other factors were also accounted for.

Vitamin D is recognized as an important co-factor in several physiological processes linked with bone and calcium metabolism, and also in diverse non-skeletal outcomes, including autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, obesity and cognitive decline and infections.

Using the real-world data and Israeli cohort of 782 coronavirus positive patients and 7,807 coronavirus negative patients, the groups identified that low plasma vitamin D level appears to be an independent risk factor for coronavirus infection and, subsequently, hospitalization.

“The main finding of our study was the significant association of low plasma vitamin D level with the likelihood of coronavirus infection among patients who were tested for coronavirus, even after adjustment for age, gender, socio-economic status and chronic, mental and physical disorders,” said Dr. Eugene Merzon, Head of the Department of Managed Care and a leading researcher of the Leumit Kupat Cholim.

“Our finding is in agreement with the results of previous studies in the field. Reduced risk of acute respiratory tract infection following vitamin D supplementation has been reported,” said Dr. Ilan Green, Head of the Leumit Research Institute.

Dr. Dmitry Tworowski and Dr. Alessandro Gorohovski from Bar-Ilan University’s Azrieli Faculty of Medicine, suggest that the study could have a very significant impact.

“The main strength of our study is it’s being large, real-world, and population-based,” they explained.

In the U.K., the National Health Service recommended those saying indoors more due to the pandemic to consider taking 10 micrograms of vitamin D per day.