Vitamin D Supplementation Improves Outcomes for Covid-19 Patients: Study Shows
Source: The Endocrine Society (March 21, 2021)
Lifestyle Medicine Update (April 8, 2021)
In previous Lifestyle Medicine Updates, I cited the research showing that individuals with low vitamin D blood levels are shown to be more prone to serious Covid-19 outcomes and complications, including death, than individuals with more optimal vitamin D blood levels (80-140 nmol/L). Building on these findings, a Spanish hospital study showed that providing Covid-19 patients with vitamin D supplementation upon admission to the hospital resulted in fewer cases escalating to the point where they required treatment in the Intensive Care Unit, as well as many fewer deaths occurring in the vitamin D, supplemented Covid-19 patients, compared to the non-vitamin D supplemented Covid-19 patients.
As I speak to you today, a multi-center trial is underway throughout Spain in various hospitals to confirm the protective effects of vitamin D in this regard. The breaking news at this moment, however, are the findings that were presented at the annual Endocrine Society Annual meeting on March 21, 2021, which reported that patients with low vitamin D levels who were hospitalized for COVID-19 had a lower risk of dying or requiring mechanical ventilation if they received vitamin D supplementation of at least 1,000 units weekly.The researchers studied 124 adult patients with low vitamin D blood levels, which were measured up to 90 days prior to their admission to the hospital for COVID-19. Researchers compared the patients who were supplemented with at least 1,000 units of vitamin D weekly to those who had not received vitamin D supplements in terms of whether they were mechanically ventilated or died after admission to the hospital. They found that patients who were supplemented with at least 1,000 IU of vitamin D weekly were less likely to be mechanically ventilated or to die following hospital admission for Covid-19.
They also found that more than half of the patients with low vitamin D levels, who should have been recommended to take vitamin D supplements by their doctor, were not told to do so. As stated by Dr. Chekuri, a coauthor of the study from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, “given how common vitamin D deficiency is in the world and the United States, we believe that this research is highly relevant right now.” Another co-author of the study, Dr. Corinne Levitus commented, “we hope this research will encourage clinicians to discuss adding this supplement (vitamin D) with their patients who have low vitamin D, as this may reduce the odds of people developing severe COVID-19.”
Once again, the overall evidence right now suggests that for optimal immune support it is wise for most individuals to achieve a blood level of vitamin D between 80 – 140 nmol/L (32 – 56 ng/mL). Most people need to supplement with at least 1,000 IU of vitamin D per day to achieve this blood level.
I have included the reference for this study in the text below.
Eat Smart, Live Well, Look Great
Dr. James Meschino
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. James Meschino, DC, MS, ROHP, is an educator, author, and researcher having lectured to thousands of healthcare professionals across North America. He holds a Master’s Degree in Science with specialties in human nutrition and biology and is recognized as an expert in the field of nutrition, anti-aging, fitness, and wellness as well as the author of numerous books.