Low levels of zinc and vitamin D may predict susceptibility to COVID-19 | Latest news for doctors, nurses and pharmacists

patients with COVID-19 Show very low levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D and zinc, regardless of age, gender, and comorbidities, a study shows. Vitamin D and zinc deficiency appear to be relevant factors in identifying individuals susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection.

“Therefore, we recommend the diagnosis and treatment of individuals with low serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D and zinc levels,” said the researchers, led by Ismat Ghani and Moin Bagani, both from Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

This single-center case-control study was conducted from March 20, 2020 to January 20, 2021. The case cohort (n = 90) included all patients diagnosed with COVID-19 based on a positive nasopharyngeal smear polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, While the control group (n = 95) included those referred for routine examinations who had a negative COVID-19 PCR test.

The researchers then recorded the patients’ age, sex, marital and educational status, comorbidities, and serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D and zinc.

Vitamin D levels >20 ng/mL were seen in 58 COVID-19 patients and 72 controls (64 percent vs 76 percent; p = 0.09). The case group had significantly lower median levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D than the control arm (26 vs 38 ng/ml; p < 0.01). [Eur J Clin Nutr 2022;76:1297-1302]

Mean zinc levels were 56 and 110 μg/dL in the case and control groups, respectively (p <0.01). لم يلاحظ أي فرق كبير في مستويات الزنك وفيتامين (د) بين مرضى COVID-19 المصابين أو بدون أمراض مصاحبة (P> 0.05).

Susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection can be predicted by serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels <25.2 ng/mL (sensitivity, 81 percent; specificity, 48 percent) or zinc levels <86.3 mcg/dL (sensitivity, 93 percent; quality, 92 percent).

These findings are consistent with those of a recent study by Hirst and colleagues, which showed a higher frequency of vitamin D deficiency/deficiency among hospitalized COVID-19 patients. [BMJ 2021;11:e055435]

Potential roles of 25-hydroxyvitamin D in reducing the risk of COVID-19 include reducing the recurrence and viability of SARS-CoV-2 through induction of antimicrobial peptides and binding to host cell surface receptors, and reducing cytokine storm by enhancing the body’s ability to reduce cytokine production. inflammatory”. [Endocr Pract 2021;27:1266-1228]

A review of the literature also revealed that vitamin D and zinc deficiencies can damage the immune system, making individuals more susceptible to viral infections and increasing the odds of a poor prognosis. [Front Nutr 2020;7:295]

“However, it is not yet clear whether 25-hydroxyvitamin D deficiency leads to severe COVID-19 disease or whether 25-hydroxyvitamin D is reduced as a result of serious illness, possibly due to its consumption,” the researchers said. [Nutrients 2021;13:740]

Of note, another study showed that oral 25-hydroxyvitamin D could enhance immune function in COVID-19 patients with 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels below 30 ng/ml by increasing the proportion of lymphocytes in the blood. [Endocr Pract 2021;27:1242-1251]

“Although low levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D may make individuals susceptible to COVID-19, the opposite may not be true,” the researchers said. “Respiratory disease can reduce 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels.”