I’ve spoken before on the importance of vitamin D for the immune system and gut health.
The first randomized controlled trial on vitamin D and COVID-19 has been published here.
Here is a summary:
- In Spain, 76 patients with COVID-19 pneumonia were randomized into two groups.
- Fifty received vitamin D supplements; 26 did not.
- The doses were roughly equivalent to ~30,000 IU/day for the first week, and 7,600 IU/day until discharge, ICU admission, or death.
- In the control group (that wasn’t taking vitamin D), 50 percent required ICU admission. In the vitamin D group, only 2 percent were admitted to the ICU!
- In the control group, there were two deaths. In the vitamin D group, there were no deaths.
The findings for ICU admission were highly statistically significant, meaning the chances that there is a true causal relationship between vitamin D and a reduced risk of ICU admission are very high.
The number of deaths in the study was too small, meaning it isn’t statistically significant. But given that ICU admissions were nearly negated by vitamin D, it is likely that vitamin D also greatly reduces the risk of death from COVID-19. We will need larger trials to continue to support this hypothesis.
The findings suggest that vitamin D levels within adequate range should be at the forefront of health messaging for people to protect themselves against COVD-19.
My recommendations based on the weight of the research we have on vitamin D:
- Get your vitamin D levels tested. If they are between 30 ng/mL and a 60 ng/mL, I would consider this adequate. If you have been supplementing to maintain these levels, you made need more if your are heading into the winter like we are here in Massachusetts.
- If your levels are low, schedule a 30 minute consultation with me for advise on dosing/supplement/and administration. Dose is going to depend on body weight and nutritional status. You will also want to ensure you are getting enough of the cofactors for vitamin D such as magnesium, vitamin C, calcium, and vitamin K2. About 70% of Americans are deficient in magnesium.
- Consider a higher dose of vitamin D if you contract COVID-19. In the study, the doses used during the first week of treatment were 106,400 IU/day, then 53,2000 IU/day on days 3 and 7. then 7,600 IU/day thereafter.