vitamin D deficiency is associated with more severe illness in children with COVID-19

There is a lot of science suggesting that vitamin D may be the single most important factor in preventing and treating COVID-19. But this is the first study we’ve seen that suggests that the same may be true for your kids.

We have written a lot both in The Natural Path newsletter and on this blog about vitamin D and COVID. We have asked many times whether Vitamin D might not be the most important thing for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now a very important study has been published that suggests the same possibility for children and adolescents.

COVID seems to be increasingly affecting children. This study included 103 children between 1 and 17 with confirmed COVID who had had their vitamin D levels measured. It included both boys and girls, and the average age was 12.2.

The children were divided into three groups: asymptomatic, mild and moderate-to-severe. The kids in the moderate-to-severe group had “by far the lowest” levels of vitamin D. While 17.2% of the asymptomatic group and 35.4% of the mild group were vitamin D deficient, 70.6% of the moderate-to-severe group were vitamin D deficient. This difference is significant and reveals “an association between vitamin D deficiency and clinical severity.” Kids who are low in vitamin D are more likely to become seriously ill from COVID. 55.8% of the children who were vitamin D deficient advanced to moderate-to-severe COVID, meaning that vitamin D deficiency increases a child’s risk of becoming moderately to severely ill by six times.

The children who were deficient in vitamin D had “by far the highest fibrinogen and lowest lymphocyte levels compared to both the insufficient and normal groups.” Lymphocyte levels are important for immunity, and low levels have been associated with more severe illness. Elevated fibrinogen is an important risk factor for blood clotting, atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease. They also had the highest markers of inflammation. Inflammation and the cytokine storm play a crucial role in severe COVID and risk of death.

Vitamin D level was found to be an independent predictor of advancing to moderate-to-severe COVID.

The researchers recommend that “prophylactic vitamin D supplementation to adolescents should be considered during the COVID-19 pandemic as a health policy.”


Eur J Pediatr. 2021 Mar 31 : 1–7


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