This post was originally found in the thread discussing Imuran because it briefly mentioned the cytokine storm. But it was buried in that thread with over 90 replies, most of which had nothing to do with vitamin D.
I am reposting again here on this thread since its subject is “Vitamin D and Covid”.https://news.northwestern.edu/stories/2020/05/vitamin-d-appears-to-play-role-in-covid-19-mortality-rates/&fj=1After studying global data from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, researchers have discovered a strong correlation between severe vitamin D deficiency and mortality rates.
Led by Northwestern University, the research team conducted a statistical analysis of data from hospitals and clinics across China, France, Germany, Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States.
The researchers noted that patients from countries with high COVID-19 mortality rates, such as Italy, Spain and the UK, had lower levels of vitamin D compared to patients in countries that were not as severely affected
Vadim Backman is the Walter Dill Scott Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Northwestern's McCormick School of Engineering. Ali Daneshkhah, a postdoctoral research associate in Backman's laboratory, is the paper's first author.
"None of these factors appears to play a significant role," Backman said. "The health care system in northern Italy is one of the best in the world. Differences in mortality exist even if one looks across the same age group...
Instead, we saw a significant correlation with vitamin D deficiency," he said.
"Cytokine storm can severely damage lungs and lead to acute respiratory distress syndrome and death in patients," Daneshkhah said. "This is what seems to kill a majority of COVID-19 patients, not the destruction of the lungs by the virus itself. It is the complications from the misdirected fire from the immune system."
This is exactly where Backman believes vitamin D plays a major role. Not only does vitamin D enhance our innate immune systems, it also prevents our immune systems from becoming dangerously overactive. This means that having healthy levels of vitamin D could protect patients against severe complications, including death, from COVID-19.
"Our analysis shows that it might be as high as cutting the mortality rate in half," Backman said. It will not prevent a patient from contracting the virus, but it may reduce complications and prevent death in those who are infected."
Backman said this correlation might help explain the many mysteries surrounding COVID-19, such as why children are less likely to die. Children do not yet have a fully developed acquired immune system, which is the immune system's second line of defense and more likely to overreact.
“This might be another key to helping protect vulnerable populations, such as African-American and elderly patients, who have a prevalence of vitamin D deficiency.”