Vitamin D deficiency the most likely cause of COVID deaths in dark skinned people
By Bruce Thomson, Veterinarian and Pilates instructor
Updated Monday, 31 July 2020
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An article in the July 5th New York Times carries the headline:- “The Fullest Look Yet at the Racial Inequity of Coronavirus.
Two popular search topics squeezed into one line may be good for online newspaper sales, but it's not helpful because it puts the spotlight on something that can't be fixed overnight. We need the COVID cure now, and not after racial equity has been solved. The cure is here. It’s as simple as sunlight and Vitamin D.
Dark skinned UK health workers prone to COVID(see also sister article: Vitamin D reduces Corona virus risk!)
20% of the healthcare workers in the UK are black or colored, and yet 60% of the COVID deaths in these groups were black or colored. That’s an odds ration of three meaning you are three times more likely to succumb to COVID if your skin is dark rather than pale. You could blame this on ethnic inequality but that's unlikely because many of them are highly skilled and highly paid. It's more likely due to the darker skin of the ethnic health workers, which leads to vitamin D deficiency.
UK doctor blames Vitamin D deficiencyDoctor Colin Bannon has this to say:-
“I am not alone in being alarmed at the preponderance of deaths from Covid-19 among those with dark skin (UK government urged to investigate coronavirus deaths of BAME doctors, 10 April). While Covid-19 is likely to magnify the effect of social deprivation, I don’t think this is the whole story.
“Vitamin D is needed for many reasons, including correct functioning of the immune system. It is converted to its active form by the action of sunlight on the skin. This is impeded by having dark skin and leads to low levels of vitamin D. Supplementing with vitamin D3 at 5000iu daily corrects this deficiency, and it is now an urgent need for all people with dark skin (and most with white). There is a reasonable chance that vitamin D replacement could help reduce the risk we are seeing playing out so tragically in the BAME community.
“I am convinced that the damage to health of an unhealthy lifestyle is being magnified by the pandemic. Healthy vitamin D levels might well make a difference. It might be useful if this, and other lifestyle advice, was given more prominence in the daily press briefings”.
Ethnicity in Americans directly related to Vitamin D deficiencyAn article in the journal Public Health and Nutrition reported an odds ratio for vitamin D deficiency in black American versus White Americans of 4.6, and an odds ratio for Hispanics versus whites of 2.1. Armed with this simple piece of information, I believe the American health authorities could possibly reduce the COVID death rate by 50% or more. Furthermore there’s minimal risks and minimal costs.
The COVID solution is here, and it’s as simple as sunlight and Vitamin D. When will they ever learn?
ReferencesThe Fullest Look Yet at the Racial Inequity of Coronavirus
Six in 10 UK health workers killed by Covid-19 are BAME
NHS workforce:- 2. By ethnicity
Role of vitamin D deficiency in BAME medic deaths
Vitamin D deficiency in minority populations
(Back to top of page...) Vitamin D reduces Corona virus risk!