Israeli study proves the power of vitamin D against COVID

Israeli researchers say they have collected the most convincing evidence yet that increasing vitamin D levels can help patients with COVID-19 reduce the risk of severe disease and death.

Researchers from Bar Ilan University and the Galilee Medical Center say the vitamin has such a strong effect on disease severity that they can predict how people would behave when infected based on their age and vitamin D levels.

Vitamin D deficiency significantly increases the risk, a new peer-reviewed study published Thursday in the journal concluded. PLOS One.

Get your free daily pass by email. email so you don’t miss the best news

Free registration!

The study is based on research conducted during the first two waves of the virus in Israel, before vaccines were widely available, and doctors emphasized that vitamin supplements are not a substitute for vaccines, but a preventive measure to prevent declines. immunity levels.

Vitamin D tablets (AP/Mark Lennihan)

Vitamin D deficiency is endemic in the Middle East, including Israel, where, according to a 2011 According to a study, almost four out of five people are deficient in this vitamin. But by taking the supplements before contracting the virus, researchers in a new Israeli study found that patients could avoid the worst effects of the disease.

“It was surprising and surprising for us to see the difference in the risk of severe disease in a vitamin D-deficient patient compared to a non-deficient patient,” said Galilean Dr. Amiel Dror. A medical center physician and Bar Ilan researcher who was part of the research team.

He noted that his study was conducted before Omicron came out, but said that the coronavirus did not change substantially between the variants to negate the effectiveness of vitamin D.

“What we see when vitamin D helps people with COVID infections is a result of its effectiveness in boosting the immune system to deal with viral pathogens that attack the respiratory system,” he said. Israel times. “This is just as true for the Omicron as it was for the previous variants.” »

Dr. Amiel Dror. (via Twitter)

Health authorities in Israel and several other countries have recommended the use of vitamin D supplements in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, although data on its effectiveness have so far been scarce.

June researchers published preliminary results showing that 26% of coronavirus patients died if they were deficient in vitamin D shortly before hospitalization, compared to 3% with normal vitamin D levels.

They also found that hospitalized patients with vitamin D deficiency were, on average, 14 times more likely to have a serious or critical condition than those who were not.

Although the scientific community recognized the importance of these results, questions were raised as to whether the recent health status of the patients could have skewed the results.

The possibility was raised that the patients may have had diseases that deplete vitamin D and increase susceptibility to severe COVID-19, meaning vitamin deficiency would be a symptom rather than a factor in disease severity. .

To rule out that possibility, Dror’s team dug into their data and assessed each patient’s vitamin D levels in the two years before the coronavirus infection. They found that the strong association between adequate vitamin D levels and the ability to fight the coronavirus still holds, and the level of increased risk remained almost identical in their preliminary results.

Members of the Shaare Zedek Hospital team in the coronavirus ward of Shaare Zedek Hospital in Jerusalem in 2022. January 11 (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

“We looked at several time periods and found that wherever you look in the two years before infection, the relationship between vitamin D and disease severity is very strong,” Dror said.

“Because this study shows such a good picture of patients’ vitamin D levels, looking at a wide time period and not just at the time of hospitalization, it offers much stronger support than anything to date.” vitamin D levels during a pandemic,” he added.

A flurry of dubious claims about natural remedies for the coronavirus, including the theory that Israelis immunized themselves with lemons and baking soda, have left skeptics of claims that vitamins protect against the virus.

But Dror argued that his team’s research showed that the importance of vitamin D was not based on incomplete or flawed data.

“People should learn that the studies that emphasize the importance of vitamin D intake are very reliable and not based on biased data,” he said. “And it highlights the benefits for everyone of taking a vitamin D supplement during a pandemic, which, given the official advice, does not cause any harm when taken in reasonable amounts.” »

You are one of our loyal readers!

This is what we work for every day: to provide discerning readers like you with relevant media coverage of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish world. Unlike many other marketplaces, our content is available for free – there is no paywall from the first paragraph. But our work is getting more and more expensive. Therefore, we invite readers who can and for whom Israel times French became important to support us by joining the community Israel times French. For an amount of your choice, once a month or once a year, you can also contribute to this quality independent journalism and enjoy ad-free reading.

Join the community

Join the community

Already a member? Sign in to stop seeing this message

Leave a Comment