Coronavirus Update: Vitamins K and D may improve COVID-19 outcomes

Vitamin K low in COVID-19 patients

Vitamin K plays a role in regulating the blood clotting function, which can become impaired in severe cases of Covid-19. For this reason, doctors in this study theorized vitamin K levels might be low in patients with severe Covid-19.

To determine vitamin K status, doctors measured a type of protein, dp-uc matrix Gla, which increases when vitamin K levels are low.

Levels of matrix Gla protein were significantly higher in 122 people with Covid-19 compared to 184 healthy people, and were also higher in those with unfavorable outcomes compared to those with less severe infections, indicating vitamin K levels were low in those with Covid-19.

Healthy lung function depends on elastin fiber, and doctors also found a link between low levels of vitamin K and impaired elastin fiber in Covid-19.

Low vitamin D linked to higher COVID-19 mortality rates

Earlier studies found a link between low levels of vitamin D and susceptibility to acute respiratory infections. Good vitamin D levels help regulate the immune response of white blood cells, preventing excess release of inflammatory cytokines, a factor in severe cases of Covid-19.

In this study of 20 European countries, doctors determined Spain and Italy had high Covid-19 mortality rates, and below-average vitamin D levels; less than 23 nanograms per milliliter of blood, or 57 nanomoles per liter.

Northern European countries have the highest average levels of vitamin
D because of cod liver oil and vitamin D supplementation, and Scandinavian nations were among the European countries with the lowest numbers of Covid-19 cases, and lowest mortality rates per population, doctors said.

Reference: Aging Clinical and Experimental Research; July, 2020, Vol. 32, No. 7, 1195-8

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