Vitamin D for Covid: Useful or not?

Are vitamin D deficient people at greater risk of contracting the coronavirus? Get in serious shape? Answers from specialists.

Dr. Anne Sikorav

Dr. Anne Sikorav

Written on Renewed

Illustrative image.
Illustrative image. —
Photo credits: © Shutterstock / Kameel4u

From vitamin D against Covid-19 … This information has been widely circulated since the beginning of the pandemic. Indeed, we have long known the benefits of vitamin D for bone capital, but not only!

She should definitely have a lot more merits : it is especially important for the functioning of the immune system and protection against infections such as respiratory tract infections. This raises the question of its usefulness in the fight against the coronavirus.

Vitamin D deficiency and the risk of contracting a Covid infection

So is there a connection between vitamin D deficiency and risk get infected because of the coronavirus? Anyway, here’s the track by several research groups. A the crew So Spanish in 2020 October month. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism showed that infected patients had significantly lower levels of vitamin D.

And the protective effects of this vitamin wouldn’t stop there… Low vitamin D levels would also be associated with the severity of the infection. Recently researchers Thus, the Israelis proved that patients with vitamin D deficiency were 14 times more likely to develop a severe form of Covid.

No scientific evidence

Can we conclude that taking vitamin D alone would protect against Covid and prevent serious forms of it? Unfortunately, the answer is no! In fact, so far the scientific data only proves a link between deficiency and Covid risk. However, the association is not scientific proof that vitamin D deficiency can cause Covid-19 infection.

In addition, “eA bit of caricature for patients who are at risk of a severe form of Covid (elderly, chronically ill, obese people…Editor’s note) often the same patients who are vitamin D deficient. explains Pr Bernard Cortet, rheumatologist at Lille University Hospital. So, cause or effect: Is vitamin D deficiency really a risk factor for infection or just one element among others?

According to experts, vitamin D is probably only one piece of the puzzle, among all those that need to be considered, such as age, co-morbidities, genetic background… when it comes to the risk of infection, but also of serious disease. form.

Maintain adequate vitamin D levels

in 2020 In May, as the world looked for treatments to fight Covid, the Academy of Medicine took a position on vitamin D use:

Vitamin D cannot be considered as a preventive or therapeutic method of infection caused by SARS-CoV-2 – Académie de Médecine.

Nevertheless, even in the absence of studies with a high level of scientific proof, specialists agree that adequate consumption of vitamin D may be in the interest of preventing severe forms of Covid.

And remember that the supply of vitamin D is possible naturally: thanks to sunlight.15-20 minutes a day”, and “consumption of foods rich in vitamin D’as reportedNational Health Protection Agency.

Vitamin D for those at risk

Who should take vitamin D? Experts differ here.

For some, Covid or not, vitamin D supplementation is only necessary for people at risk of vitamin D deficiency, such as children, the elderly, or even people with chronic illnesses.

However, in January 2021 a 73 Doctors Forum practice journal”to supplement all French residents with vitamin D”. Eabout half of the total population of France” have a vitamin D deficiency, experts point out.

Therefore, they need to supplement individuals who are at risk of shortages throughout the year, but also the general population during the winter period.

In all cases, “Vitamin D doses and supplementation should be established, especially for people at risk of deficiency. during this pandemic period, asserts Professor Cortet.

Beware of vitamin D overdose

Excessive consumption of vitamin D is dangerous for the health of both adults and children. This can lead to abnormally high levels of calcium in the blood, which can be dangerous to the kidneys and heart.

And that’s not all: an overdose of vitamin D can also cause other disorders, such as headache, nausea, vomiting or severe fatigue.

Also read : There is no risk in taking vitamin D in the fight against COVID-19

Therefore, before you start taking vitamin D supplements, you should consult your doctor, who will tell you whether you need to supplement and what dosage you should take.

A miracle drug?

However, be careful with vitamin D-enriched food supplements that are freely available: self-medication is not recommended. This can lead to overconsumption.

If infection is proven, should I take vitamin D? Again, vitamin D is not a miracle cure for the coronavirus, but it can be used to complement other treatments. “Vitamin D isn’t the elixir of youth, but it’s probably not completely useless eitherProfessor Cortet concludes.

Covid-19: Vitamin D may protect against complications

So that you don’t miss any health information, Subscribe to our newsletter !

Leave a Comment