The Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DoH) in a latest update has encouraged the community to boost their vitamin D levels as a preventive tool against COVID-19 infection and to ensure immunity.
According to a report by Emirates News Agency, this update is based on findings from a local study that has demonstrated a strong association between vitamin D levels and COVID-19 severity and mortality among a sample of affected people in the UAE.
The newly published study, conducted by Dr. Habiba Al Safar, an Emirati research scholar, and Dr. Fatme Al Anouti, Associate Professor of Clinical Biochemistry at Zayed University, has been approved by Abu Dhabi Health Research Ethics Committee – Abu Dhabi.
Several international studies have documented the correlation between vitamin D deficiency and severity of viral infections, such as influenza.
In addition to this, there is increasing evidence from studies around the world that indicates that lower vitamin D levels are commonly associated with risk of acquiring, and dying from, COVID-19 among hospitalized patients.
The local study led by Dr. Al Safar and Dr. Al Anouti examined samples of 522 UAE residents, aged 18 years and older, that tested positive for COVID-19.
The study found that 59 percent of patients who had vitamin D deficiency and severe vitamin D deficiency, suffered from severe symptoms of Covid-19 infection. Patients who had severe infection were older and more obese than others in the study. This finding is in accordance with earlier studies that have identified age, obesity, and vitamin D deficiency as well-established factors for Covid-19 infection.
The study therefore concludes that vitamin D has a protective effect against COVID-19 infection.
Dr. Asma Ibrahim Al Mannaei, Executive Director Research & Innovation, from Department of Health – Abu Dhabi, commented: “This local study...presents promising results to better understand the protective effect of vitamin D against Covid-19, both as a preventive tool against infection but also may play a role in boosting the immunity of patients during infection. The Department of Health – Abu Dhabi is calling on the community to take note of the importance of vitamin D supplementation. Such preventive measure, in addition to vaccinations, will be important in maintaining the health and safety of our society.”
Al Mannaei added, “In addition to our ongoing efforts in combating COVID-19, scientific research remains a top priority for Abu Dhabi to enable easy and quick access to information, improve public education and ensure better capacity to deal with all of the challenges at hand.”
Dr Habiba Al Safar is an Associate Professor at the Department of Genetics and Molecular Biology, an Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Director of the Khalifa University Center for Biotechnology.
Dr. Fatme Al Anouti, Associate Professor of Clinical Biochemistry, Department of Public Health and Nutrition at Zayed University.
UAE suspends entry of travelers from Vietnam as of June 5The United Arab Emirates announced on Thursday the suspension of entry of ... Coronavirus
Saudi Arabia records 1,261 COVID-19 casesSaudi Arabia on Thursday reported 1,261 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total ... Coronavirus
Greece to offer COVID-19 vaccines to neighboring Albania, North MacedoniaGreece will supply its northern neighbors Albania and North Macedonia wit 40,000 ... Coronavirus
Australia’s Victoria state COVID-19 outbreak easesAustralia’s Victoria state reported just three new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, its ... Coronavirus
Bahrain, Russia ink deal to produce Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine for MENA regionThe sovereign funds of Russia and Bahrain signed a preliminary agreement on ... Coronavirus
UAE registers 1,989 new COVID-19 cases, three deaths in 24 hoursThe United Arab Emirates recorded 1,989 new COVID-19 infections, 1,960 recoveries ... Coronavirus