This Briefing Note was completed by the Research, Analysis, and Evaluation Branch (Ministry of Health) in collaboration with McMaster Health Forum, a member of the COVID-19 Evidence Synthesis Network. Please refer to the Methods section for further information
This note summarizes research evidence on the association between COVID-19 and individuals’
Vitamin D levels.
*The full version of the Briefing Note including the Research Findings and Appendix can be accessed in the PDF file at the top of the page*
- Twenty-three systematic reviews, reviews, or studies were identified that suggested that Vitamin D supplementation may help boost the immune system and reduce COVID-19 incidence, symptoms, and/or severity, particularly among vulnerable populations (e.g., older adults, obese individuals, individuals living at high latitudes and experiencing lower daily light exposure during the dark months of the year, individuals with dark skin tones or with greater levels of skin pigmentation), although definitive randomized controlled trials are needed. Since Vitamin D has multiple cellular and intracellular targets, it is recommended to be administered with caution and monitoring to avoid stimulating or inhibiting some cellular functions that could induce infectious tolerance.
- Ten systematic reviews, reviews, or studies were identified that suggested there is not enough evidence regarding the association between Vitamin D levels and COVID-19 severity and mortality.
Analysis for Ontario: No findings identified.
Implementation Implications: The current status of research supports the role of Vitamin D supplementation in preventing or ameliorating the severity of COVID-19, but further clinical studies are needed.
The COVID-19 Evidence Synthesis Network is comprised of groups specializing in evidence synthesis and knowledge translation. The group has committed to provide their expertise to provide high-quality, relevant, and timely synthesized research evidence about COVID-19 to inform decision-makers as the pandemic continues. The following member of the Network provided an evidence synthesis product that was used to develop this Evidence Synthesis Briefing Note:
- Wilson MG, Mansilla C, Lavis JN. COVID-19 rapid query response #4: What’s known about vitamin D deficiency as a prognostic factor for COVID-19? Hamilton: McMaster Health Forum, 7 December 2020.