Answer Bank: Does vitamin D protect against COVID-19?
By She Jingwei
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient in helping your body keep up with many vital processes, including building and maintaining strong bones. A new study conducted by Northwestern University (NU) in the U.S. shows COVID-19 patients with severe vitamin D deficiency are twice as likely to experience severe complications, including death.
This means having healthy levels of vitamin D could protect patients against COVID-19.
Meanwhile, another new study led by scientists from UK's Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) and Queen Elizabeth Hospital King's Lynn NHS Foundation Trust, also found an association between low average levels of vitamin D and high numbers of COVID-19 cases and mortality rates across 20 European countries.
"We found a significant crude relationship between average vitamin D levels and the number COVID-19 cases, and, particularly, COVID-19 mortality rates, per head of population across the 20 European countries," Dr. Lee Smith of ARU noted in a statement.
According to the study, because of cod liver oil and vitamin D supplements and possibly less sun avoidance, the highest average levels of vitamin D are found in northern Europe. In comparison, Scandinavian nations are among the countries with the lowest number of COVID-19 cases and mortality rates per head of population in Europe.
How to get more vitamin D from your food every day? U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers some examples of foods with vitamin D include some fish, for example, salmon or light canned tuna, eggs, and vitamin D-fortified products like cow's milk (for children 12 months and older), yogurt, cereals, and some juices.
In addition, vitamin D supplements are another way to help children get enough of this vitamin every day.