FARMAKOEKONOMIKA. Modern Pharmacoeconomic and Pharmacoepidemiology

Advanced search

COVID-19 pandemic: protective role of vitamin D

Full Text:


Introduction. The COVID-19 pandemic revealed the vulnerability of the general population to this infectious disease, which is determined by the lack of immunity to the new SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and is characterized by cytokine storm in severe cases. One of the most important reasons for this vulnerability is a high occurrence rate of micronutrient deficiencies, and above all, vitamin D deficiency.

Aim. To systematize the available data on the role of vitamin D in the prevention of COVID-19 infection.

Materials and methods. Systematic computer analysis of the entire array of available scientific publications on coronaviruses (21,300 publications in PUBMED and preprint repositories, including 7,500 publications on COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2) was performed. The methods of topological and metric data analysis were used. About 50 most informative sections were identified that were mainly associated with COVID-19 / SARS-CoV-2. The analysis of the obtained “map” of molecular pathophysiology of COVID-19 was performed.

Results. Vitamin D activates the expression of many genes involved in supporting the immunity against coronaviruses and other singlestranded RNA viruses (interferon-dependent protection). The results of the systematic analysis of the publications on coronavirus showed that vitamin D is important for attenuating the effects of the cytokine storm and compensating for chronic comorbid pathologies.

Conclusion. The compensation for vitamin D deficiency is an essential component of COVID-19 prevention. This tactics of prevention is less costly than managing patients with severe forms of COVID-19 and can help save public healthcare resources.  

About the Authors

O. A. Gromova
V.A. Nasonov Research Institute of Rheumatology; Federal Research Center “Informatics and Management of the Russian Academy of Sciences“
Russian Federation

MD, Dr Sci Med, Professor, Senior Researcher, Scientific Director; Leading Researcher, Center for Big Data Analysis, Moscow State University

Author ID: 94901; Scopus Author ID: 7003589812;

WoS ResearcherID: J-4946-2017. RSCI SPIN-code: 6317-9833

34A Kashirskoye Shosse, Moscow 115522, Russia

44-2 Vavilova Str., Moscow 119333, Russia

I. Yu. Torshin
V.A. Nasonov Research Institute of Rheumatology; Federal Research Center “Informatics and Management of the Russian Academy of Sciences“
Russian Federation

MD, PhD, Senior Researcher, Federal Research Center “Informatics and Management”; Big Data Storage and Analysis Center,

Scopus Author ID: 7003300274; Author ID: 54104;

WoS ResearcherID: C-7683-2018. RSCI SPIN-code: 1375-1114

34A Kashirskoye Shosse, Moscow 115522, Russia

44-2 Vavilova Str., Moscow 119333, Russia

G. Kh. Gabdulina
Kazakh National Medical University named after S. D. Asfendiyarova
MD, PhD, Professor, Department of General Medical Practice No. 1

92 Tole Bi Str., Almaty 50012, Kazakhstan


1. Torshin I. Yu., Rudakov K. V. On metric spaces arising during formalization of recognition and classification problems. part 1: properties of compactness. Pattern Recognition and Image Analysis (Advances in Mathematical Theory and Applications). 2016; 26 (2): 274.

2. Torshin I. Yu., Rudakov K. V. On metric spaces arising during formalization of problems of recognition and classification. part 2: density properties. Pattern Recognition and Image Analysis (Advances in Mathematical Theory and Applications). 2016; 26 (3): 483–496.

3. Torshin I. Yu. Optimal Dictionaries output information based on the criterion of Solvability and their applications in Bioinformatics. Pattern recognition and image analysis. 2013; 23 (2): 319–327.

4. Torshin I. Yu., Rudakov K. V. Combinatorial analysis of the solvability properties of the problems of recognition and completeness of algorithmic models. part 2: metric approach within the framework of the theory of classification of feature values. Pattern Recognition and Image Analysis (Advances in Mathematical Theory and Applications). 2017; 27 (2): 184–199.

5. Gromova O. A., Torshin I. Yu. Paradigm shift. Ed. by E. I. Gusev, I. N. Zakharova. Moscow. 2017; 568 s.

6. Gromova O., Doschanova A., Lokshin V., Tuletova A., Grebennikova G., Daniyarova L., Kaishibayeva G., Nurpeissov T., Khan V., Semenova Y., Chibisova A., Suzdalskaya N., Aitaly Z., Glushkova N. Vitamin D deficiency in Kazakhstan: Cross-Sectional study. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2020 May; 199: 105565. DOI:

7. Colotta F., Jansson B., Bonelli F. Modulation of inflammatory and immune responses by vitamin D. J Autoimmun. 2017 Dec; 85: 78-97. DOI:

8. Beard J. A., Bearden A., Striker R. Vitamin D and the anti-viral state. J Clin Virol. 2011 Mar; 50 (3): 194-200. DOI: 10.1016/j.jcv.2010.12.006.

9. Charan J., Goyal J. P., Saxena D., Yadav P. Vitamin D for prevention of respiratory tract infections: A systematic review and meta-analysis. J Pharmacol Pharmacother. 2012 Oct; 3 (4): 300-3. DOI:

10. Vanherwegen A. S., Gysemans C., Mathieu C. Regulation of Immune Function by Vitamin D and Its Use in Diseases of Immunity. Endocrinol Metab Clin North Am. 2017 Dec; 46 (4): 1061-1094. DOI: Epub 2017 Oct 6.

11. Schneider W.M., Chevillotte M.D., Rice C.M. Interferon-stimulated genes: a complex web of host defenses. Annu Rev Immunol. 2014; 32: 513–545. DOI:

12. Prajapat M., Sarma P., Shekhar N., Avti P., Sinha S., Kaur H., Kumar S., Bhattacharyya A., Kumar H., Bansal S., Medhi B. Drug targets for corona virus: A systematic review. Indian J Pharmacol. 2020 Jan-Feb; 52 (1): 56-65. DOI:

13. Daneshkhah A., Agrawal V., Eshein A., Subramanian H., Roy H. K., Backman V. The possible role of vitamin d in suppressing cytokine storm and associated mortality in COVID-19 patients. BMJ. DOI:

14. Ilie P. C., Stefanescu S., Smith L. The role of vitamin D in the prevention ofcoronavirus disease 2019 infection and mortality. Aging Clin Exp Res. 2020 May 6. DOI:

15. Gromova O. A., Torshin I. Yu., Spirichev V. B. A full genome analysis of vitamin D receptor binding sites indicates a wide range of potential uses for vitamin D in therapy. Meditsinskii sovet. 2016; 1: 12–21 (in Russ).

16. Torshin I. Yu (Ed. Gromova OA). Sensing the change from molecular genetics to personalized medicine. Nova Biomedical Books, NY, USA, 2009. In “Bioinformatics in the Post-Genomic Era” series.

17. Martineau A. R., Jolliffe D. A., Hooper R. L., Greenberg L., Aloia J. F., Bergman P., Dubnov-Raz G., Esposito S., Ganmaa D., Ginde A. A., Goodall E. C., Grant C. C., Griffiths C. J., Janssens W., Laaksi I., Manaseki-Holland S., Mauger D., Murdoch D. R., Neale R., Rees J. R., Simpson S. Jr., Stelmach I., Kumar G. T., Urashima M., Camargo C. A. Jr. Vitamin D supplementation to prevent acute respiratory tract infections: systematic review and meta-analysis of individual participant data. BMJ. 2017 Feb 15; 356: i6583. DOI:

18. Bergman P., Lindh A. U., Björkhem-Bergman L., Lindh J. D. Vitamin D and Respiratory Tract Infections: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized ControlledTrials. PLoS One. 2013 Jun 19; 8 (6): e65835. DOI:

19. Makatsariya A. D., Grigor’eva K.N., Mingalimov M. A., Bitsadze V. O., Khizroeva D. Kh., Tret’yakova M.V., Elalami I., Shkoda A. S., Nemirovskii V. B., Blinov D. V., Mitryuk D. V. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and disseminated intravascular coagulation syndrome. Akusherstvo, ginekologiya i reproduktsiya / Obstetrics, gynecology and reproduction. 2020; 14 (2): 123-131. (in Russ). DOI:

20. Salehi S., Abedi A., Balakrishnan S., Gholamrezanezhad A. Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): A Systematic Review of Imaging Findings in 919 Patients. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2020 Mar 14: 1–7. DOI:

21. Qi F., Qian S., Zhang S., Zhang Z. Single cell RNA sequencing of 13 human tissues identify cell types and receptors of human coronaviruses. Biochem Biophys Res Commun.2020 Mar 18. pii: S0006-291X(20)30523-4. DOI:

22. Li G., Fan Y., Lai Y., et al. Coronavirus infections and immune responses. J Med Virol. 2020; 92 (4): 424–432. DOI:

23. Pfeffer P. E., Hawrylowicz C. M. Vitamin D in Asthma: Mechanisms of Action and Considerations for Clinical Trials. Chest. 2018 May; 153 (5): 1229–1239. DOI: Epub 2017 Sep 18.

24. Zhu M., Wang T., Wang C., Ji Y. The association between vitamin D and COPD risk, severity, and exacerbation: an updated systematic review and meta-analysis. Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis. 2016 Oct 19; 11: 2597–2607. DOI: eCollection 2016. PMID: 27799758.

25. Hurwitz J. L., Jones B. G., Penkert R. R., Gansebom S., Sun Y., Tang L. et al. Low Retinol-Binding Protein and Vitamin D Levels Are Associated with Severe Outcomes in Children Hospitalized with Lower Respiratory Tract Infection and Respiratory Syncytial Virus or Human Metapneumovirus Detection. J Pediatr. 2017; 187: 323–327. DOI:

26. Souto Filho J. T.D., de Andrade A. S., Ribeiro F. M., Alves P. A.S., Simonini V. R.F. Impact of vitamin D deficiency on increased blood eosinophil counts. Hematol Oncol Stem Cell Ther. 2018 Mar; 11 (1): 25–29. DOI: Epub 2017 Aug 16. PMID: 28830802.

27. Emami A., Javanmardi F., Pirbonyeh N., Akbari A. Prevalence of Underlying Diseases in Hospitalized Patients with COVID-19: a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Arch Acad Emerg Med. 2020 Mar 24; 8 (1): e35. eCollection 2020. PMID: 32232218.

28. Zhao Q., Meng M., Kumar R., Wu Y., Huang J., Lian N., Deng Y., Lin S. The impact of COPD and smoking history on the severity of Covid-19: A systemic review and meta-analysis. J Med Virol. 2020 Apr 15. DOI: PMID: 32293753.

29. Xu J., Bartz T.M., Chittoor G., Eiriksdottir G., Manichaikul A.W., Sun F., Terzikhan N., Zhou X., Booth S.L., Brusselle G.G., de Boer I.H., Fornage M., Frazier-Wood A.C., Graff M., Gudnason V., Harris T.B., Hofman A., Hou R., Houston D.K., Jacobs D.R., Kritchevsky S.B., Latourelle J., Lemaitre R.N., Lutsey P.L., O’Connor G., Oelsner E.C., Pankow J.S., Psaty B.M., Rohde R.R., Rich S.S., Rotter J.I., Smith L.J., Stricker B.H., Voruganti V.S., Wang T.J., Zillikens M.C., Barr R.G., Dupuis J., Gharib S.A., Lahousse L., London S.J., North K.E., Smith A.V., Steffen L.M., Hancock D.B., Cassano P.A. Meta-analysis across Cohorts forHeart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology (CHARGE) consortium providesevidence for an association of serum vitamin D with pulmonary function. Br JNutr. 2018 Nov; 120 (10): 1159–1170. DOI: PMID: 30205856.

30. Liu C., Jiang Z. C., Shao C. X., Zhang H. G., Yue H. M., Chen Z. H., Ma B. Y., Liu W. Y., Huang H. H., Yang J., Wang Y., Liu H. Y., Xu D., Wang J. T., Yang J. Y., Pan H. Q., Zou S. Q., Li F. J., Lei J. Q., Li X., He Q., Gu Y., Qi X. L. Preliminary study of the relationship between novel coronavirus pneumonia and liver function damage: a multicenter study. Zhonghua Gan Zang Bing Za Zhi. 2020 Feb 20; 28 (2): 148-152. DOI: PMID: 32077660.

31. Jin X., Lian J. S., Hu J. H., Gao J., Zheng L., Zhang Y. M., Hao S. R., Jia H. Y., Cai H., Zhang X. L., Yu G. D., Xu K. J., Wang X. Y., Gu J. Q., Zhang S. Y., Ye C. Y., Jin C. L., Lu Y. F., Yu X., Yu X. P., Huang J. R., Xu K. L., Ni Q., Yu C. B., Zhu B., Li Y. T., Liu J., Zhao H., Zhang X., Yu L., Guo Y. Z., Su J. W., Tao J. J., Lang G. J., Wu X. X., Wu W. R., Qv T. T., Xiang D. R., Yi P., Shi D., Chen Y., Ren Y., Qiu Y. Q., Li L. J., Sheng J., Yang Y. Epidemiological, clinical and virological characteristics of 74 cases of coronavirus-infected disease 2019 (COVID-19) with gastrointestinal symptoms. Gut. 2020 Mar 24; pii: gutjnl-2020-320926. DOI: PMID: 32213556.

32. Tang N., Li D., Wang X., Sun Z. Abnormal coagulation parameters are associated with poor prognosis in patients with novel coronavirus pneumonia. J Thromb Haemost. 2020 Apr; 18 (4): 844-847. DOI: Epub 2020 Mar 13. PMID: 32073213.

33. Ji H.L., Zhao R., Matalon S., Matthay M.A. Elevated Plasmin(ogen) as a Common Risk Factor for COVID-19 Susceptibility. Physiol Rev. 2020 Jul 1; 100 (3): 1065–1075. DOI: Epub 2020 Mar 27. PMID: 32216698.

34. Wu J., Li W., Shi X., Chen Z., Jiang B., Liu J., Wang D., Liu C., Meng Y., Cui L., Yu J., Cao H., Li L. Early antiviral treatment contributes to alleviate the severity and improve the prognosis of patients with novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). J Intern Med. 2020 Mar 27; DOI: PMID: 32220033.

35. Yang J., Zheng Y., Gou X., Pu K., Chen Z., Guo Q., Ji R., Wang H., Wang Y., Zhou Y. Prevalence of comorbidities and its effects in coronavirus disease 2019 patients: A systematic review and metaanalysis. Int J Infect Dis. 2020 Mar 12; 94: 91–95. DOI: PMID: 32173574.

36. Madjid M., Safavi-Naeini P., Solomon S. D., Vardeny O. Potential Effects of Coronaviruses on the Cardiovascular System: A Review. JAMA Cardiol. 2020 Mar 27. pii: 2763846. DOI: PMID: 32219363.

37. Ma W. X., Ran X. W. The Management of Blood Glucose Should be Emphasized in the Treatment of COVID-19. Sichuan Da Xue Xue Bao Yi Xue Ban. 2020 Mar; 51 (2): 146-150. DOI: PMID: 32220179.

38. Satia M. C., Mukim A. G., Tibrewala K. D., Bhavsar M. S. A randomized two way cross over study for comparison of absorption of vitamin D3 buccal spray and soft gelatin capsule formulation in healthy subjects and in patients with intestinal malabsorption. Nutr J. 2015 Oct 29; 14: 114. DOI: PubMed PMID: 26514332; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4627615.

For citation:

Gromova O.A., Torshin I.Yu., Gabdulina G.K. COVID-19 pandemic: protective role of vitamin D. FARMAKOEKONOMIKA. Modern Pharmacoeconomic and Pharmacoepidemiology. 2020;13(2):132-145. (In Russ.)

Views: 591

ISSN 2070-4909 (Print)
ISSN 2070-4933 (Online)