Long COVID is a chronic condition in which the symptoms of the disease persist for more than 12 weeks. The condition is characterized by a spectrum of around 200 symptoms that have a detrimental effect on various organs and bodily functions.
In a recent study, experts examined patients hospitalized for COVID-19, but did not require intensive care. The study highlighted that the patients with long COVID had significantly lower levels of vitamin D in their systems, especially those who had “brain fog.”
Researchers are therefore imploring patients to take vitamin D supplements to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19, according to Neurosciences.com.
The research, published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology And Metabolism, was just a groundwork for understanding the merits of vitamin D in battling COVID-19 symptoms. More research will be required to reach a conclusion, said the researchers.
The study also noted relying solely on supplements was not sufficient.
The research involved 100 patients aged 51-70 years–some with long COVID and some without. Their vitamin D levels were measured when they were being hospitalized. In long COVID-19 patients, lower vitamin D levels were found at the time of discharge compared to those without the condition.
And the levels were alarmingly low in those who had the “brain fog” symptoms such as confusion, forgetfulness, and poor concentration, at the six-month follow-up.
Notably, the researchers made sure the patients didn’t have any bone conditions, a majority of which can be tied to vitamin D deficiency. The researchers ensured the two groups were aligned with each other in terms of age, sex, pre-existing chronic diseases, and the severity of their COVID-19 cases.
“Previous studies on the role of vitamin D in long COVID were not conclusive mainly due to many confounding factors,” said study lead investigator Professor Andrea Giustina. “The highly-controlled nature of our study helps us better understand the role of vitamin D deficiency in long COVID, and establish that there is likely a link between vitamin D deficiency and long COVID.”
“Our study shows that COVID-19 patients with low vitamin D levels are more likely to develop long COVID but it is not yet known whether vitamin D supplements could improve the symptoms or reduce this risk altogether.”
The study, presented at the 25th European Congress of Endocrinology in Istanbul, suggested people must check their vitamin D levels after COVID-19.
Published by Medicaldaily.com