Objective: This work aims to review and discuss controversial topics in the field of vitamin D, SARS-CoV-2 infection, and COVID-19.
Methods: The International Conferences "Controversies in Vitamin D" are a series of workshops that started in 2017 featuring international experts and leaders in vitamin D research and clinical practice. The fifth annual conference was held in Stresa, Italy, September 15 to 18, 2021.
Evidence: Before the event, participants reviewed available studies on their assigned topic, drafted a related abstract, and presented their findings at the time of the conference. Relevant literature that became available since was also discussed within the panel and updated accordingly.
Consensus: Before the event, the drafted abstracts had been merged to prepare a preliminary document. After the conference presentations, in-depth discussions in open sessions led to consensus. The document was subsequently modified according to discussions and up-to-date literature inclusion.
Conclusions: There is quite consistent evidence for an association between low 25 OH vitamin D (25(OH)D) levels and poor COVID-19 outcomes, despite heterogeneous publications of variable quality. However, the low vitamin D status in COVID-19 patients might also reflect reverse causality. Vitamin D supplementation might have a positive role in COVID-19 prevention. The evidence supporting a beneficial effect of vitamin D treatment in decreasing the risk of COVID-19 complications is conflicting. Conclusive statements regarding the beneficial effect of vitamin D in this context await high-quality, randomized controlled trials.
Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; inflammation; respiratory tract infections; vitamin D; vitamin D supplementation.
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