Blacks Deficient in Vitamin D Are at Greater Risk of Cytokine Storm from Covid-19

(p. A15) Black Americans are dying of Covid-19 at a higher rate than whites. Socioeconomic factors such as gaps in access to health care no doubt play a role. But another possible factor has been largely overlooked: vitamin D deficiency that weakens the immune system.

Researchers last month released the first data supporting this link. Based on a link between levels of the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein and severe cases of Covid-19, they estimate that tens of thousands of lives could be saved world-wide by normalizing vitamin D levels, through its modulation of the inflammatory cascade.

Vitamin D is produced by a reaction in the skin to the ultraviolet rays in sunlight. Many Americans are low in vitamin D, but those with darker skin are at a particular disadvantage because melanin inhibits the vitamin’s production.

For the full commentary, see:

Vatsal G. Thakkar. “Vitamin D and Coronavirus Disparities.” The Wall Street Journal (Friday, April 17, 2020): A15.

(Note: the online version of the commentary has the date April 16, 2020, and has the same title as the print version. Where the wording of the online and print versions differs, the passages quoted above follow the online version.)

The research working paper mentioned above, is:

Daneshkhah, Ali, Vasundhara Agrawal, Adam Eshein, Hariharan Subramanian, Hemant Kumar Roy, and Vadim Backman. “The Possible Role of Vitamin D in Suppressing Cytokine Storm and Associated Mortality in Covid-19 Patients.” (April 30, 2020).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *