Potential Role of Vitamin D in the Elderly to Resist COVID-19 and to Slow Progression of Parkinson's Disease

Brain Sci. 2020 May 8;10(5):284. doi: 10.3390/brainsci10050284.


While we are still learning more about COVID-19, caused by the novel SARS-CoV-2 virus, finding alternative and already available methods to reduce the risk and severity of the disease is paramount. One such option is vitamin D, in the form of vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) supplementation, due to its potential antiviral properties. It has become apparent that older individuals have a greater risk of developing severe COVID-19, and compared to younger adults, the elderly have lower levels of vitamin D due to a variety of biological and behavioral factors. Older adults are also more likely to be diagnosed with Parkinson's disease (PD), with advanced age being the single greatest risk factor. In addition to its immune-system-modulating effects, it has been suggested that vitamin D supplementation plays a role in slowing PD progression and improving PD-related quality of life. We completed a review of the literature to determine the relationship between vitamin D, PD, and COVID-19. We concluded that the daily supplementation of 2000-5000 IU/day of vitamin D3 in older adults with PD has the potential to slow the progression of PD while also potentially offering additional protection against COVID-19.

Keywords: COVID-19; Parkinson’s disease; SARS-CoV-2; antiviral; cholecalciferol; elderly; neurodegeneration; therapeutics; vitamin D.

Publication types

  • Review