Review the Research
Get summaries of key research on vitamin D and COVID-19
Changes in 25‐hydroxyvitamin D levels post‐vitamin D supplementation in people of Black and Asian ethnicities and its implications during COVID‐19 pandemic: A systematic review
Take Home Message
This study recommends that people with darker skin supplement their diet with vitamin D3 through oral modes aiming to reduce the risk of adverse outcomes of COVID‐19, with the current literature suggesting a dosage of 7000–10,000 IU for people of Black or Asian ethnicity.
- Eight studies were included for review.
- All the included studies found that supplementation of vitamin D (D2 and D3), regardless of dosage, increased 25(OH)D levels compared to a placebo.
- All trials in which participants were vitamin D deficient at baseline showed increased 25(OH)D levels to a level considered adequate.
- Two studies that used food fortification yielded smaller 25(OH)D increases compared to similar studies that used oral supplementation (10.2 vs. 25.5 nmol L−1, respectively).
- vitamin D2 supplementation yielded significantly lower 25(OH)D increases than vitamin D3
1108 Black and Asian participants from 8 studies
Things to Keep in Mind
- Vitamin D dosage specification is difficult to recommend due to gene activation and genetic variability.
- Those with darker skin may need larger doses of 75-125 micrograms (7,000-10,000 IU).
Our review suggests that oral vitamin D supplementation could be more efficacious than food fortification in Black and Asian populations, and also that vitamin D3 is more efficacious than VD2. It is recommended that people with darker skin supplement their diet with vitamin D3 through oral modes aiming to reduce the risk of adverse outcomes of COVID‐19, with the current literature suggesting a dosage of 7000–10,000 IU for people of Black or Asian ethnicity. Further studies that aim to determine differences between supplementation in different ethnicities are warranted.
- This review was conducted in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta‐Analysis (PRISMA) guidelines.
- Electronic databases such as PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, and EMBASE were search
- Terms and synonyms included Vitamin D supplementation in Black and Asian populations.
- Inclusion data included first author, year of study, country, number of participants, outcomes, inclusion and exclusion criteria, method of assessing vitamin D levels, details of randomization, quality of study, limitations and conclusions.
Vaughan M, Trott M, Sapkota R, Premi G, Roberts J, Ubhi J, Smith L, Pardhan S. Changes in 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels post-vitamin D supplementation in people of Black and Asian ethnicities and its implications during COVID-19 pandemic: A systematic review. J Hum Nutr Diet. 2021 Oct 6:10.1111/jhn.12949. doi: 10.1111/jhn.12949. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34617343; PMCID: PMC8657331.