Corona patients with pre-existing conditions such as diabetes often develop Covid-19 more severely. Current studies now suggest that vitamin D levels could also influence the course of an infection.
The lung disease Covid-19 leads to a severe course, especially in patients with previous illnesses. Researchers at the University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart point out another common risk factor in this regard: low vitamin D levels. According to the experts, basic illnesses would often go hand in hand with an excessively low vitamin D level.
Vitamin D deficiency as a risk factor in corona
The team around the nutritionist Professor Dr. Hans-Konrad Biesalski has evaluated 30 studies with 53,000 Covid-19 patients on this topic. The researchers came to the conclusion that the risk of a severe Covid 19 course in patients with low vitamin D values is significantly higher than in patients with normal values. The results of the study were published in the journal “NSF Journal”.
What is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is a group of fat-soluble vitamins that are important for the calcium balance and the mineralization of the bones. The body can either take in the vitamin through food or produce it with the help of sunlight.
Physicians speak of a vitamin D deficiency if vitamin D is missing in the body for a longer period of time and symptoms such as muscle pain, respiratory infections or hair loss occur.
These diseases increase the risk of severe courses
The diseases that often go hand in hand with a vitamin D deficiency include the researchers:
- Cardiovascular diseases
- strong overweight
- high blood pressure
- chronic kidney disease
“These diseases in particular are often associated with a vitamin D deficiency. This has consequences for the course of Covid 19 disease,” the study says. Because the vitamin is involved in numerous processes in the body, including the regulation of the immune system and inflammatory processes. If an infection occurs, vitamin D ensures that the systems do not get out of hand.
According to the researchers, people over the age of 60 are particularly at risk. Because in advanced age there is a decrease in vitamin D in the body. “The most important source of vitamin D is the formation in the skin by sunlight,” explains Professor Dr. Biesalski, “and it only works to a limited extent in old age.” The risk of “Covid 19-related death” therefore increases also due to this factor in people over the age of 60.
Important: If an infection with the coronavirus is suspected, the vitamin D level should be monitored and checked regularly by taking blood samples. According to experts, vitamin D values are considered a possible indicator of the severity and mortality risk of Covid-19.
How can I increase my vitamin D level?
According to the German Society for Nutrition (DGE), a good vitamin D supply is best achieved through the skin’s own synthesis and through nutrition. Therefore, you should spend a lot of time outdoors and pay attention to your diet.
The following foods are rich in vitamin D:
- high-fat fish such as salmon, herring or tuna