People who test positive for COVID-19 have, on average, inadequate levels of vitamin D in their blood, according to the results of a newly released Israeli medical study.
The peer-reviewed study, which included about 7,800 people, found that those with the virus tended to have less than the globally accepted healthful minimum of 20 nanograms per millileter of blood. The average level for coronavirus patients in this study was 19 nanograms.
People who were hospitalized with coronavirus had an average level of 17 nanograms.
On the other hand, people who tested negative for the virus had, on average, at least 21 nanograms per millileter.
Milana Frenkel-Morgenstern, of a laboratory that studies complex diseases at Bar Ilan University, teamed up with Leumit Health Services to conduct the study. The FEBS Journal published the study on July 23, 2020.
In light of the study results, Frenkel-Morgenstern emphasized the need for governments to keep outdoor public spaces open.
"This is why it's so important to not close the beaches in any future lockdown," she said. "People should go to the sun, to the sea."
A scientist at Tel Aviv University noted that while vitamin D is good for people, the correlation between vitamin D levels and coronavirus may not be as clear cut as it seems. People with higher vitamin D levels may also exercise more, which could play a factor in helping them resist coronavirus, explained Ella Sklan, who runs the university's molecular virology lab.