The Tie Between Vitamin D and Covid-19

There is growing evidence that Vitamin D deficiencies are playing a major role in the severity of Covid-19 cases and the number of deaths.

A suggestive set of numbers was published online in April by a medical scientist in the Philippines, Dr Mark Alipio. Of 49 patients with mild symptoms of Covid-19 in three hospitals in southern Asian countries, only two had low levels of vitamin D; of 104 patients with critical or severe symptoms, only four did not have low levels of vitamin D. The more severe the symptoms, the more likely a patient was to be not just low but deficient in the vitamin. Could vitamin D deficiency make the difference between getting very ill or not?

There has long been evidence that a sufficiency of vitamin D protects against viruses, especially respiratory ones, including the common cold. Vitamin D increases the production of antiviral proteins and decreases cytokines, the immune molecules that can cause a “storm” of dangerous inflammation. It has long been suspected that most people’s low vitamin D levels in late winter partly explain the seasonal peaking of flu epidemics, and rising vitamin D levels in spring partly explain their sudden ending. Vitamin D is made by ultraviolet light falling on the skin, so many people in northern climates have a deficiency by the end of winter. Eating fish and eggs helps, but it is hard to get enough of it in the diet.

Living in a northern clime is one reason why I take Vitamin D supplements starting in late fall and through mid to late spring. I’m outdoors enough the rest of the time that I am not concerned with a Vitamin D deficiency.

It has also been suggested that those who received MMR vaccinations are also less susceptible to Covid-19. Considering the number of people tested for coronavirus antibodies appears to be up to 85 times higher than the number of people testing positive for Covid-19, one has to wonder about the actual fatality rate of coronavirus. (The “85 times” number comes from a study the San Francisco Bay area.)

If the ratio of positive cases versus those with antibodies holds true, it signals to me two things:

First, the coronavirus has been in the US a lot longer than most have thought.

Second, Covid-19 didn’t really become prevalent until winter when people’s Vitamin D levels fell due to a lack of exposure to sunlight.

To quote Dennis Miller, “It’s just my opinion. I might be wrong.” But somehow I think there’s a strong link between the factors I’ve mentions above.