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.