Emerging research supports the possible role of vitamin D against:

  • Cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Fractures and falls
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Influenza
  • Type-2 diabetes
  • Depression

According to National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data, the overall prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in the US is 41.6%, with the highest rates seen in African Americans (82.1%), followed by Hispanics (69.2%).

Vitamin D insufficiency affects almost 50% of the population worldwide. An estimated 1 billion people worldwide, across all ethnicities and age groups, have a vitamin D deficiency. This pandemic of hypovitaminosis D can mainly be attributed to lifestyle and environmental factors that reduce exposure to sunlight, which is required for UVB light-induced vitamin D production in the skin.

People with darker skin tones absorb more UVB in the melanin (skin pigment) than do people with lighter skin tones and, therefore, normally require more sun exposure to produce the same amount of vitamin D. Sun exposure unfortunately also brings damage to the skin, including wrinkles, loss of elasticity, visible pigmentation (such as age spots) and also capillary dilation. Let’s not forget to mention accelerated aging. That is why another option for assuring that you have enough vitamin D within your body is to take it as a supplement.

The “sunshine vitamin” is known to play a key role in the maintenance of bone health and calcium-phosphorus metabolism, yet many other functions of this vitamin have been recently postulated, such as modulation of the immune response in both infectious and autoimmune diseases.

 

Vitamin D has also recently been reviewed as one of the factors that may affect the severity of the COVID-19 virus. The objective of the study was to analyze the vitamin D level in COVID-19 patients and its impact on the disease severity.

According to research completed by Michael F. Holick Ph.D., MD, and his team from Boston University’s School of Medicine which compared 190,000 blood samples in a retrospective study, it was found that SARS-CoV-2 positivity was strongly and inversely associated with levels of vitamin D circulating within the bloodstream. This correlation appeared across latitudes, races/ethnicities, sexes, and different age ranges. This supports the need to explore the role of vitamin D supplementation in reducing the risk to an individual of COVID-19. There was also another study that presented some early data from the Philippines looking at vitamin D status and the severity of Covid-19 symptoms in 212 subjects. Interestingly, 86% of ALL cases among patients with normal vitamin D levels were mild, while 73% of cases among patients with vitamin D deficiency were severe or critical.