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Vitamin D Level Below 30 ng/ml an Independent Risk Factor for COVID-19

Wednesday, August 5th, 2020

GrassrootsHealth was founded to get the message out that vitamin D levels matter… beginning with a consensus statement from over 40 vitamin D scientists from around the world recommending an optimal target of 40-60 ng/ml (100-150 nmol/L) to prevent disease.

One of the very first graphics created by GrassrootsHealth and our Principle Investigator, Dr. Cedric Garland, was our Disease Incidence Prevention Chart – which looked at publications on the incidence of several different disease conditions, and clearly illustrated the difference in disease outcome based on varying vitamin D levels.

Dr. Robert Heaney also presented on the importance of understanding system-specific nutrient responses, emphasizing the multi-functional purpose of nutrients within human physiology. A perfect example with vitamin D is a comparison between its role in bone physiology and its role in pregnancy. It is well known that 99% of rickets is eliminated with a vitamin D level of at least 20 ng/ml, meanwhile, multiple studies show the increased demand for vitamin D during pregnancy, with outcomes such as a 60% decrease in preterm birth rates for those women who reach 40 ng/ml during pregnancy compared to women with levels below 20 ng/ml. Understanding that a different minimum threshold vitamin D level may be necessary for different systems within the body is essential, especially when optimization of function is a desired outcome.

The Immune System Relies on Vitamin D for Optimal Function

Vitamin D has many roles within immune system function. Without a certain amount of vitamin D available, different parts of the immune reaction will be hindered. Several studies have emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic showing a significant association between low vitamin D levels and an increased risk of COVID-19 infection and severity. We recently reviewed a study by Maghbooli et al that found much better outcomes among individuals with vitamin D levels over 30 ng/ml (75 nmol/L). The data was further analyzed based on vitamin D levels of at least 40 ng/ml, and while there were not enough patients for a full analysis based on this classification, they found that of those over 40 years old with vitamin D blood levels less than 30 ng/ml, 20% died from COVID-19, whereas those with levels of at least 30 ng/ml, 9.7% died, and those with levels of at least 40 ng/ml, only 6.3% died.

Findings from a Population Study in Israel

Merzon et al. examined data from individuals in Israel who were tested for COVID-19 infection between February 1st and April 30th of 2020 to see if there was an association between low vitamin D levels and the risk of COVID-19 infection and hospitalization. Out of 7,807 individuals with data on vitamin D levels and COVID status, a total of 782 tested positive for COVID-19 and 7,025 tested negative.

As illustrated in the chart above, the data showed an almost 60% increased risk in COVID-19 infection for individuals whose vitamin D level was below 30 ng/ml (75 nmol/L) compared to individuals whose vitamin D level was 30 ng/ml or higher. The analysis also found that among the COVID-19 positive individuals, there was an almost doubled risk of hospitalization for those whose vitamin D levels were below 30 ng/ml.

Click here to read more from GrassrootsHealth. news articles regularly report medical and scientific information to keep you abreast of current events related to UV light. This information is not intended to be used by any party to make unwarranted health claims to promote sunbed usage. Indoor tanning businesses are obligated to communicate a fair and balanced message to all clients about your products and services including the potential risks associated with indoor tanning. Contact your Smart Tan representative to find out more about what you can and can’t say in your tanning salon business.

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