Vitamin D is becoming one of the superstars in the fight against COVID-19. As you will see from this article, the evidence as to it’s benefits with various respiratory infections is nothing new.
While this is a preliminary release, this study looking at data from numerous countries shows a strong correlation between vitamin D status and the severity of outcome including mortality from COVID-19 infection.
An article written by Amanda Morris, Northwestern University and posted on Medical Xpress 05-08-2020,and titled The Role of Vitamin D in Suppressing Cytokine Storm in COVID-19 Patients and Associated Mortality, discussed the research published on medrxiv.org and highlights some of the findings of the research.
From the article:
Led by Northwestern University, the research team conducted a statistical analysis of data from hospitals and clinics across China, France, Germany, Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States.
The researchers noted that patients from countries with high COVID-19 mortality rates, such as Italy, Spain and the UK, had lower levels of vitamin D compared to patients in countries that were not as severely affected.
Backman and his team were inspired to examine vitamin D levels after noticing unexplained differences in COVID-19 mortality rates from country to country. Some people hypothesized that differences in healthcare quality, age distributions in population, testing rates or different strains of the coronavirus might be responsible. But Backman remained skeptical.
“None of these factors appears to play a significant role,” Backman said. “The healthcare system in northern Italy is one of the best in the world. Differences in mortality exist even if one looks across the same age group. And, while the restrictions on testing do indeed vary, the disparities in mortality still exist even when we looked at countries or populations for which similar testing rates apply.
“Instead, we saw a significant correlation with vitamin D deficiency,” he said.
By analyzing publicly available patient data from around the globe, Backman and his team discovered a strong correlation between vitamin D levels and cytokine storm—a hyperinflammatory condition caused by an overactive immune system—as well as a correlation between vitamin D deficiency and mortality.
“Cytokine storm can severely damage lungs and lead to acute respiratory distress syndrome and death in patients,” Daneshkhah said. “This is what seems to kill a majority of COVID-19 patients, not the destruction of the lungs by the virus itself. It is the complications from the misdirected fire from the immune system.”
This is exactly where Backman believes vitamin D plays a major role. Not only does vitamin D enhance our innate immune systems, it also prevents our immune systems from becoming dangerously overactive. This means that having healthy levels of vitamin D could protect patients against severe complications, including death, from COVID-19.
Not only does vitamin D enhance our innate immune systems, it also prevents our immune systems from becoming dangerously overactive. This means that having healthy levels of vitamin D could protect patients against severe complications, including death, from COVID-19.
“Our analysis shows that it might be as high as cutting the mortality rate in half,” Backman said. “It will not prevent a patient from contracting the virus, but it may reduce complications and prevent death in those who are infected.”
Keep in mind that at the date of this posting, this is a pre-print and has not been published yet. https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.04.08.2005857
Here are some other references on the benefits of vitamin D with reducing severe complications and death from viral infections:
- Vitamin-D and COVID-19: do deficient risk a poorer outcome? Lancet- May 2020 https://www.thelancet.com/journals/landia/article/PIIS2213-8587(20)30183-2/fulltext
- Optimisation of Vitamin D Status for Enhanced Immuno-protection Against Covid-19- 2020 http://imj.ie/optimisation-of-vitamin-d-status-for-enhanced-immuno-protection-against-covid-19/
- Vitamin D Deficiency in Ireland- Implications for COVID: Results from the Irish Longitudinal Study on Aging https://tilda.tcd.ie/publications/reports/pdf/Report_Covid19VitaminD.pdf
- The Possible Role of Vitamin D in Suppressing Cytokine Storm and Associated Mortality in COVID-19 Patients https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.04.08.20058578v4
- The role of vitamin D in the prevention of coronavirus disease 2019 infection and mortality https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7202265/
- Association of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D with influenza in case-control study nested in a cohort of Japanese employees- 2017 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27595379/
- Randomized trial of vitamin D supplementation to prevent seasonal influenza A in schoolchildren- 2010 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20219962/
- Preventive Effects of Vitamin D on Seasonal Influenza A in Infants: A Multicenter, Randomized, Open, Controlled Clinical Trial- 2018 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29315160/
- Vitamin D alleviates lipopolysaccharide‑induced acute lung injury via regulation of the renin‑angiotensin system- 2017 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5865875/
- The study of vitamin D administration effect on CRP and Interleukin-6 as prognostic biomarkers of ventilator associated pneumonia- 2018 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29248753/
- Vitamin D deficiency contributes directly to the acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)- 2015 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4484044/
- High Dose Monthly Vitamin D for Prevention of Acute Respiratory Infection in Older Long-Term Care Residents: A Randomized Clinical Trial- 2017 https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jgs.14679
- High-Dose Vitamin D3 Administration is Associated with Increases in Hemoglobin Concentrations in Mechanically Ventilated Critically Ill Adults: A Pilot Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial- 2018 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5423855/
- High dose vitamin D administration in ventilated intensive care unit patients: A pilot double blind randomized controlled trial- 2016 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4939707/
- Vitamin D and critical illness: what endocrinology can learn from intensive care and vice versa- 2018 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30352414/
- Vitamin D supplementation to prevent acute respiratory tract infections: systematic review and meta-analysis of individual participant data- 2017 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28202713/
- Vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency among US adults: prevalence, predictors and clinical implications- 2018 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29644951/
- On the Epidemiology of Influenza- 2008 https://virologyj.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1743-422X-5-29
- Vitamin D3 Supplements in Winter May Help Protect Against Influenza A- 2010 https://www.medscape.org/viewarticle/719684
- Acute Respiratory Tract Infection and 25-Hydroxy vitamin D Concentration: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis- 2019 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6747229/
- Vitamin D and airway infections: a European perspective- 2016 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27009076/
- Vitamin D deficiency in Europe: pandemic? https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26864360/
It is obvious from the sheer amount of research showing positive benefits from healthy vitamin D levels that it should be a mainstay foundational supplement for preventative health.
It is highly recommended to have your blood levels tested. The test is called 25-Hydroxy Vitamin D. Levels less than 30 ng/ml is considered insufficiency. And, there is a big difference between basic sufficiency and optimal levels. It has been estimated that 85% of people have levels that are less than optimal. Many health experts recommend an optimal level of 50-70 ng/ml.
An interesting caveat…. Fructose can block the conversion of Vitamin D into the active form that the body uses. High fructose corn syrup and other high yield sources should be avoided. Orange juice and agave syrup are 70% fructose. Even plain table sugar is 50% fructose. Don’t sabotage your body and deprive it of what can be argued is the most important molecule for ensuring our optimal health.
Visit my web site page at https://www.wellnessdoc.com/nutritional-viral-prevention-and-treatment-products/ to learn more about vitamin D and several other natural antiviral prevention and treatment nutrients, including product recommendations.