Osteoporos Sarcopenia.  2020 Sep;6(3):97-105. 10.1016/j.afos.2020.07.003.

Vitamin D in COVID - 19: Dousing the fire or averting the storm? e A perspective from the Asia-Pacific

  • 1Osteoporosis and Bone Metabolism Unit, Department of Endocrinology, Singapore General Hospital, Singapore
  • 2Department of Endocrinology, Singapore General Hospital, Singapore
  • 3Department of Endocrinology and Diabetes, Max HealthCare, Saket, New Delhi, India
  • 4Division of Endocrine Surgery, National University Hospital System, Singapore


COVID-19, the acute respiratory tract infection (RTI) caused by the Coronavirus, Sars-CoV-2, has swept around the world. No country has been spared from its onslaught. Treatments that can reduce the risk of infection and mortality from the disease are desperately needed. Though high quality randomized controlled trials are lacking, some observational and interventional studies that explore the link between vitamin D and RTIs exist. Vitamin D modulates both innate as well as adaptive immunity and may potentially prevent or mitigate the complications associated with RTIs. Evidence linking vitamin D to COVID-19 include that the outbreak occurred in winter in the northern hemisphere at a time when vitamin D levels are lowest in resident populations, that blacks and minority ethnic individuals who are known to have lower levels of vitamin D appear to be disproportionately affected and have more severe complications from the disease, that vitamin D deficiency has been shown to contribute to acute respiratory distress syndrome and that case fatality rates increase with age and in populations with comorbid conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease, all of which are associated with lower vitamin D levels. This narrative review summarizes the current knowledge about the epidemiology and pathophysiology of COVID-19, the evidence linking vitamin D and RTIs, especially COVID-19, the mechanistic reasons behind the possible protective effect of vitamin D in COVID-19, and the evidence with regard to vitamin D supplementation in RTIs. It concludes with some recommendations regarding supplementation of vitamin D in patients with COVID-19.


COVID-19; Coronavirus; Vitamin D; Vitamin D supplementation; SARS-CoV-2
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