- University of Cantabria researchers in Santander looked at 216 Covid patients
- Found 82% were deficient in vitamin D, compared to 47% in the control group
- Adds to mountain of evidence pointing to link between nutrient, illness severity
Further proof that vitamin D could protect people from coronavirus emerged today after a study found deficiencies in the sunshine nutrient are four times as common among hospitalised patients.
A mountain of research from around the world has painted a clear picture — infected patients who do not have enough vitamin D are more likely to end up in hospital.
But scientists have so far been unable to pin down whether the nutrient deficiency is making people more vulnerable to the disease, or whether becoming unwell causes vitamin D levels to crash.
Now Spanish experts have uncovered more evidence that suggests cheap vitamin D supplements – which cost as little as 6p per pill – could prove beneficial.
Experts at the University of Cantabria in Santander looked at 216 Covid-19 patients at the Valdecilla Hospital in the northern Spanish city.
Eighty-two per cent were deficient in vitamin D, whereas just 18 per cent had adequate levels of the nutrient – a fourfold difference.
This was compared to the 47 per cent of people who were deficient in a control group who did not have the infection.
Forty-four of the deficient Covid-19 patients were moved to ICU because their illness became worse and 37 needed mechanical ventilation — but their vitamin D levels were not any lower than the rest of the group. The other patients recovered without needing extra care.