Vitamin D plays an important role in many places throughout the body, including the development and calcification of the bones. They may have a family member with osteoporosis, or perhaps they have had bone thinning themselves. Mostly, they want to know that they’re doing everything they can to keep their bones strong. Vitamin D is critical for healthy bones. But when we check that blood level, how to act on the result is the subject of great controversy in medical-research land.
In my practice, and in most, it is not uncommon to see a vitaamin D level less than 20. When that happens, we tell the patient that they are deficient and recommend fairly aggressive replenishment, as well as ongoing supplementation. The majority of folks have a level between 20 and 40, in my experience, and this is corroborated by the IOM’s findings in that 2010 report.
This study provides direct evidence that vitaamin D sufficiency can reduce the complications, including the cytokine storm (release of too many proteins into the blood too quickly) and ultimately death from COVID-19,” explained corresponding author Michael F. Holick, PhD, MD, professor of medicine, physiology and biophysics and molecular medicine.
A different opinion on the right target level of vitaamin D is presented in an article titled “Vitamin D Deficiency: Is There Really a Pandemic?” published in the New England Journal of Medicine. In this piece, several of the leading epidemiologists and endocrinologists who were on the original IOM committee argue for a lowering of the currently accepted cutoff level of 20, stating that the level they estimated as acceptable was never intended to be used to define vitamin D deficiency. They feel that we are over-screening for vitaamin D deficiency, and unnecessarily treating individuals who are perfectly fine.
Based on their analysis, a more appropriate cutoff for vitaamin D deficiency would be much lower, 12.5 ng/mL. They examined a massive amount of data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) for 2007 through 2010 and found that less than 6% of Americans had vitamin D levels less than 12.5. A cutoff of 12.5 ng/mL would most certainly eliminate the “pandemic” of vitamin D deficiency.
In patients older than 40 years they observed that those patients who were vitamin D sufficient were 51.5 percent less likely to die from the infection compared to patients who were vitamin D deficient or insufficient with a blood level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D less than 30 ng/mL. vitaamin D can reduce the risk of catching coronavirus by 54 percent, believes that being vitamin D sufficient helps to fight consequences from being infected not only with the corona virus but also other viruses causing upper respiratory tract illnesses including influenza. “There is great concern that the combination of an influenza infection and a coronal viral infection could substantially increase hospitalizations and death due to complications from these viral infections.
The commonly known consequences of Vitamin D deficiency are rickets in children and osteomalacia and osteoporosis in adults, as per a National Center for Biotechnology Information study. In children, it causes defective mineralization of bone due to imbalance between calcium and phosphorous in the bone, resulting in rickets and external skeletal deformity.