Study: Vitamin D deficiency may be linked to COVID-19 mortality — how a common vitamin could become pivotal
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May 14, 2020
A new study from researchers at Trinity College Dublin has hypothesized that vitamin D deficiency may be linked to higher mortality rates from COVID-19. Published in the Irish Medical Journal, the report analyzed vitamin D levels of older people in countries heavily affected by the coronavirus and found that places with high death rates from COVID-19, including Italy and Spain, also had rates of vitamin D deficiency.
Countries such as Norway, Finland and Sweden, although typically less sun-filled, actually showed lower rates of vitamin D deficiency as well as lower mortality rates from COVID-19. The researchers suggest that “supplementation and fortification of foods” could be why vitamin D is at healthy levels there — and that “optimizing” vitamin D levels elsewhere may prevent serious coronavirus complications.
Vitamin D is critical for bone and muscle health and has shown effectiveness in combating depression. Nicknamed the “sunshine vitamin,” it is naturally produced by the skin when exposed to sunlight, but it can also be absorbed through vitamin-D-rich foods, such as salmon and whole eggs, as well as supplements. Deficiency in this vitamin, which is more common among black people, can lead to problems like bone issues and hair loss and can compromise the immune system.
May 15, 2020 at 10:06 AM #315738PunxsutawneyModerator
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So this may be another factor that is affecting minorities then. Darker skinned people have more melanin in their skin to protect from the harsh tropical sun, but the disadvantage is less vitamin D being naturally produced at higher latitudes. Add poor health as a result of poverty and stressful/dangerous jobs and often crowded living conditions (poverty again) and this may explain why they are being so hard hit. At least in theory we add “D” to dairy products here in the US of A.
So much to learn on this.
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May 15, 2020 at 10:07 AM #315739Cold Mountain TrailParticipant
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“Countries such as Norway, Finland and Sweden, although typically less sun-filled, actually showed lower rates of vitamin D deficiency as well as lower mortality rates from COVID-19. The researchers suggest that “supplementation and fortification of foods” could be why vitamin D is at healthy levels there — and that “optimizing” vitamin D levels elsewhere may prevent serious coronavirus complications.”
well, if it were true it would be a simple fix & i’m sure everyone would be happy, but currently death rates/million are very different in the scandinavian countries because of the different policies their governments have decided to pursue in relation to C19.
e.g. sweden 350 deaths/mill, versus denmark 93/mill, finland 52/mill
so i’m skeptical on the VD
May 15, 2020 at 5:20 PM #315797Ohio BarbarianModerator
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@coldmountaintrail I have seen that that part of the Swedish population has been hit very hard by the virus.
I’m sure that there are other factors than Vitamin D in having a resistance to Covid-19, but it may well be one such factor.
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May 16, 2020 at 1:46 AM #315928Cold Mountain TrailParticipant
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Higher US deaths among non-whites also ‘might be’ due to a lack of VD (esp in northern places like NYC) I guess.
or it could be stuff like this, which has parallels in the US as well:
…More than half of the country lives in single-person households, working from home is common… (iow, the uppers/upper middles = mostly white)
with significant exceptions:
Sweden’s Public Health Agency…. showed that a disproportionate number of immigrants, in particular from Somalia, Iraq, and Syria, were among the COVID-19 cases…. For instance, while Somali Swedes make up just over half a percent of the national population, so far they make up nearly 5 percent of hospitals’ confirmed cases…
…some of the capital’s immigrant-dense suburbs were among the hardest hit by the virus. The Rinkeby-Kista district in the north was the worst affected, with…the equivalent of 47 cases per 10,000 residents…more than three times higher than the regional average of 13 cases per 10,000 residents…
In the northern Stockholm suburb of Tensta, Somali-born Ahmed Abdirahman was among the first to note that the coronavirus was spreading in his community. “Many foreign-born Swedes live in segregated suburbs where up to 80 percent of residents have immigrant backgrounds,” Abdirahman said. “For instance, in Stockholm more than half of Somalis live in just a single district, so it’s not surprising that once the virus started spreading in that area, Somalis quickly became overrepresented in the statistics.” Abdirahman added: “There are also relatively high levels of ill health and household crowding in these suburbs, and multigenerational households are quite common due to low-income levels. In addition, the potential for exposure to the virus is high since many hold so-called low-skilled jobs, for instance as taxi drivers.”
In early April, Swedish media reported that a third of all elderly care homes in Stockholm had recorded cases of COVID-19. On April 16, the Public Health Agency said a third of all COVID-19 deaths in Sweden…had occurred at care homes. While a large proportion of the workforce at those homes is made up of immigrants—28 percent are foreign-born, and in Stockholm the figure is 55 percent, according to the National Board of Health and Welfare…
May 16, 2020 at 3:54 AM #315978leftcoast mountainsParticipant
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