Vitamin D status and COVID-19 prevention in a worker subgroup in Italy
et al., Work,
Report on vitamin D supplementation with 139 employees in Italy from April to June 2021, showing only one confirmed COVID-19 case (0.7%) and 4 cases of flu-like symptoms, compared to ~7-9% COVID-19 incidence for the same Italian district and period.
Ubaldi et al., 10 Jan 2023, Italy, peer-reviewed, 9 authors, study period April 2021 - June 2021.
Work xx (2022) x–xx
Vitamin D status and COVID-19 prevention
in a worker subgroup in Italy
a University of Rome “Foro Italico”, Rome, Italy
b Scientiﬁc Direction of “Elisir di Salute”, Bologna, Italy
Francesca Ubaldia , Enrico Montanarib , Lory Marika Margaruccia , Claudio Caprarab ,
Gianluca Gianfranceschia , Elena Scaramuccic , Antonio Piccolellad , Federica Valeriania,∗
and Vincenzo Romano Spicaa
c Sant’Andrea Hospital A.O.U., Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy
d University Hospital “Agostino Gemelli” Foundation, Rome, Italy
Received 17 July 2022
Accepted 10 November 2022
BACKGROUND: Low levels of vitamin D are widespread in the world’s population and associated with sun exposure,
genetics, and lifestyles. Office workers in different occupational sectors seem more vulnerable than others. Scientific evidence
reports a contribution of vitamin D in resistance to infections, opening to supplementation as a preventive action against
pathogens, including SARS-CoV-2.
OBJECTIVE: A pilot campaign in the workplace during the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic was conducted based
on the preliminary measurement of vitamin D amount and its integration.
METHODS: A preventive action to contrast the deficiency of vitamin D was offered to a population of 700 bank employees.
Vitamin D supplementation was performed between April and June 2021, on workers (n = 139) and showed 25(OH)D serum
levels ≤ 30 ng/ml. Demographic, anthropometric and lifestyle information were collected by survey and changes in the serum
25(OH)D amounts were monitored.
RESULTS: The adherence of the target population to the prevention campaign was 21%. 75% of the enrolled workers had
low levels of vitamin D. After the intervention, serum vitamin D levels increased (1.28-fold; p = 0.0001) and 80% of the
subjects reported optimal values > 30 ng/ml. Only 2.9% reported slight flu-like symptoms, but only 0.7% was confirmed as
COVID-19, with respect to a ten-fold higher incidence in the general population.
CONCLUSIONS: Vitamin D supplementation can be achieved by simple and noninvasive approaches and can bring along
further insights into health literacy on diet and lifestyles, representing an opportunity to protect the population by the
widespread state of vitamin deficiency.
Keywords: Diet, nutrition, supplementation, health promotion, public health, cholecalciferol
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