Should Clinicians Recommend Vitamin D for Psychiatric Patients During COVID-19?

Naveen Aman, MD, Fmsd, Mot; Faisal Islam, MD, MBA, Bcmas; Ranbir Dhillon, MD; Zaid Ulhaq Choudhry; Zia Choudhry, MD, PhD, MBA

October 05, 2021

Editor's note: Find the latest COVID-19 news and guidance in Medscape's Coronavirus Resource Center.

Amid a flurry of conflicting reports concerning the efficacy of vitamin D for COVID-19 patients, a sense of consternation has emerged in the health care sector regarding its overall utility. Our medical team proposes that we embrace a cautious approach to the implementation of vitamin D – one that is preventive and not curative in scope.

Vitamin D plays a critical role in the restorative function of mental health. Low vitamin D levels correlate with mood disorders as well as the development of schizophrenia. In light of the rise in mental health dysfunction and the body of evidence examined to develop this article, we recommend that patients continue to incorporate regular vitamin D supplementation during the course of the pandemic with the goal of preventing deterioration of well-being. Recent studies have generally overlooked the role of vitamin D in mental health by primarily focusing on the immediacy of therapeutic management for medical disorders within the context of COVID-19.

What Is the Role of Vitamin D in Human Physiology?

Vitamins play an integral role in homeostatic metabolism. Vitamin D, in particular, is intimately responsible for regulating the body's underlying phosphorus and calcium balance, thereby facilitating bone mineralization.1 As an immunomodulatory hormone, vitamin D coordinates activities across innate and adaptive immune systems, providing defense against autoimmune diseases and miscellaneous infections.2

It is uncommon for people to be affected with vitamin D deficiency in equatorial zones, yet an Indonesian study uncovered low vitamin D effects (hypovitaminosis D) in virtually all of the patients in its COVID-19 case series.3

This story originally appeared on MDedge.com, part of the Medscape Professional Network.

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