According to a retroactive study conducted by a team from the University of Chicago Medicine, people with low vitamin D levels may be up to twice as likely to test positive for COVID-19.
The study was conducted by looking back at nearly 500 patients who had vitamin D levels measured within a year of being tested for COVID-19 and comparing those levels with the frequency of a positive test.
"The relative risk of testing positive for COVID-19 was 1.77 times greater for patients with likely deficient vitamin D status compared with patients with likely sufficient vitamin D status, a difference that was statistically significant," said the study, which was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Even though researchers concluded that vitamin D can disrupt the replication of viral cells, they cited one potential concern.
"If vitamin D reduces inflammation, it might increase asymptomatic carriage and decrease symptomatic presentations, including cough, making it hard to predict its effect on viral spread."
The study also warned that 50% of Americans have a vitamin D deficiency, particularly noticeable in the Hispanic and African-American populations.