What is it about?

Cardiovascular diseases, such as hypertension and diabetes, and respiratory illnessesses are the most relevant chronic comorbidities related to the symptomatic infection from SARS-CoV-2, with 37% of COVID-19 patients being affected by at least one chronic comorbidity, 28% by at least two and 19% by three or more. Other factors worsening the natural history of the infection (risk of infection and disease progression) are smoking habits, malnutritional status, vitamin deficits, poor flavonoid intake, zinc imbalance, use of immunosuppressive drugs. However, the real weight of these factors in increasing both the virulence of SARS-CoV-2 and the severity of COVID-19 has not been definitively identified yet.

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Why is it important?

Preventive measures aiming at reducing the number of infection and/or their severity are strongly needed. Among the factors influencing the host ability against SARS-CoV-2, vitamin D has got great attention since its low circulating levels may be associated with impaired immunocompetence, inflammation, aging, and those comorbidities involved in COVID-19. Therefore, vitamin D has been claimed as potentially protective against the infection and also as an adjuvant treatment within the therapeutic path.

Perspectives

Vitamin D supplementation may be useful besides its potential effects on SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19. Indeed, the maintenance of an optimal vitamin D status prevents falls, frailty, and fractures during and after hospitalization with better results if associated with adequate intake/supplementation with calcium, a balanced diet, and, possibly, supervised physical activity. As a good practice, regimens contemplating 800 IU/day of cholecalciferol (or equivalents) of vitamin D might be acknowledged. Higher doses can be administered in case of deficiency, taking care to not exceed the upper tolerable level of 4000 IU/day.

M. Briguglio

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This page is a summary of: Is there a link between vitamin D status, SARS‐CoV ‐2 infection risk and COVID ‐19 severity?, Cell Biochemistry and Function, November 2020, Wiley, DOI: 10.1002/cbf.3597.
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