Covid-19 Update: Vitamin D Still Critical in Helping Reduce Risk in Pandemic

Hello everyone:

Every day I look at the results of lab tests that I have ordered here for patients, and every day I find most of us are actually very low in Vitamin D. I would have hoped that by now the word would have gotten out that everyone should be taking Vitamin D as a part or component of their overall strategies to build immune strength and resiliency. It is still important to understand that Vitamin D is considered adjunctive care and not primary care. However, it is without question that adjunctive therapies can assist primary care therapies and should be a part of our total efforts.

For a great perspective, take a look at this review paper (1) and some of the highlights:

“As the world’s attention has been riveted upon the growing COVID-19 pandemic, many researchers have written brief reports supporting the hypothesis that vitamin D deficiency is related to the incidence and severity of COVID-19. The clear common thread among the top risk groups—vitamin D deficiency—may be being overlooked because of previous overstated claims of vitamin D benefits. However, the need to decrease COVID-19 fatalities among high-risk populations is urgent. Early researchers reported three striking patterns.

 Firstly, the innate immune system is impaired by vitamin D deficiency, which would predispose sufferers to viral infections such as COVID-19.

 Secondly, the groups who are at highest risk for severe COVID-19 match those who are at highest risk for severe vitamin D deficiency. 

 And thirdly, the pattern of geographical spread of COVID-19 reflects higher population vitamin D deficiency. Both within the USA and throughout the world, COVID-19 fatality rates parallel vitamin D deficiency rate.

Among the 47 original research studies summarized here, chart reviews found that serum vitamin D levels predicted COVID-19 mortality rates (16 studies) and linearly predicted COVID-19 illness severity (8 studies).

The literature review also found that prophylactically correcting possible vitamin D deficiency during the COVID-19 pandemic is extremely safe. Widely recommending 2,000 IU of vitamin D daily for all populations with limited ability to manufacture vitamin D from the sun has virtually no potential for harm and is reasonably likely to save many lives.”

Bottom Line: Take your Vitamin D everyday as a part of your overall healthy lifestyle. Also, the data supports levels of 4000 i.u. per day for adults as being safe and effective. Just to understand why 4000 i.u. is safe, consider that just 20 minutes of full body skin exposure to sunlight results in our bodies making up to 10,000 i.u. of Vitamin D and beyond possible sunburn, this level of Vitamin D has never been proven harmful.



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