Vitamin D & Covid 19 – How Does Vitamin D Help?

Vitamin D has so many amazing benefits and now this!

Vitamin D optimization has been shown to reduce incidence and severity of Covid-19. We do not talk enough about that. We will review some facts and studies in this blog. So many amazing benefits of Vitamin D and now this!

Vitamin D and Covid

  • Vitamin D can be used to prevent Covid 19 cases
  • Vitamin D can be used potentially as an adjunct therapeutic agent for
  • Covid 19 Vitamin D can be used to decrease the severity of Covid 19
  • Vitamin D can be used to decrease mortality of Covid 19

Vitamin D: Other great benefits

  • Weight Control
  • Bone health
  • Cardiovascular health
  • Pregnancy health
  • Protection for some cancers
  • Better mood
  • Immune support
    • Viral protection

Is Vitamin D just a Vitamin? 

Vitamin D is not just a Vitamin, it is a hormone.

It goes into the nucleus and changes transcription.

It changes the way your cell functions.

It is a fat soluble Vitamin so goes right into the cell and nucleus.

It Affects immune function.

It is Vital and a vitamin.

Vitamins are cofactors in physiological actions.

Hormones effect the way a cell functions. 

Vitamin D is so much more than just a Vitamin.

In dermis, Vitamin D3 is made after exposure to the sun. It goes to Liver to form 25 (OH) Vitamin D3. This is the form that is stored and measured in the blood. When needed, it goes to the kidney and forms the active form 1,25 (OH) Vitamin D3(the active form). This conversion to the active form is also converted in the Immune cells. There are Vitamin D receptors (VDR) in the immune system so very important to fighting off infection.

You can get Vitamin D into body in two ways:

  1. Sun exposure
  2. Supplements / Diet
    Fish oils
    Eggs
    Some mushrooms
    Red meat
    Capsules

Vitamin D is Decreased in:

Elderly
Darker skin types
Obesity

Most patients are deficient in Vitamin D3.  Look at the time really spent outdoors in studies, 7%. Yet despite sun exposure, it depends on your location and levels of direct exposure. Most people cannot optimize Vitamin D without supplementation.

Some countries make it mandatory to fortify food with Vitamin D. The US does not make it mandatory for foods to be fortified with Vitamin D.  In Finland, there is a less than 1% Vitamin D deficiency.  They are at a high altitude and less sun exposure. But they fortify foods with Vitamin D and have widespread education with physicians and the public on the benefits of Vitamin D supplementation. What we could accomplish here with more public education of benefits of Vitamin D. 

Toxicity of Vitamin D supplements

Endocrine Society and the Institute of Medicine has stated that Vitamin D toxicity is very rare.  Levels above 150ng/ml. Low risk of toxicity with this fat soluble Vitamin. 

Checking levels and optimization with Vitamin D supplementation is vital. Many patients are not taking enough in the way of supplementation but levels need to be monitored. 

Given all the data on Vitamin D3 optimization and immune support, it is so vital with Covid 19 that you make sure you and your family are optimized. 

At RevitalyzeMD, we do Vitamin D levels, monitoring and optimization at. We can do shots to quickly boost and recommend adequate daily doses to get you protected quicker. Please make your Wellness appointment today at RMD.

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Studies for Vitamin D and Covid

Study #1

Vitamin D status associated with lung involvement and severity in COVID-19

In a retrospective study, the association between vitamin D status and lung involvement and disease severity in COVID-19 was investigated. Focusing on hospitalized patients with a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, study measures included non-contrast lung CT, nasopharyngeal RT-PCR for SARS-CoV-2, and serum 25-OH vitamin D. Major findings include:

  • Higher serum 25-OH vitamin D concentration was significantly associated with a lower level of lung involvement (p<0.01).
  • A logistic regression analysis showed that one-unit increase of 25-OH vitamin D was associated with a 4-percent reduction in severe lung involvement (p=0.04).
  • Serum 25-OH vitamin D concentration was significantly lower in individuals who died of COVID-19 than in survivors (p<0.001).
  • For individuals with vitamin D deficiency, the probability of death was 34.6 percent compared to 6.4 percent in individuals who had adequate vitamin D status (p=0.003).

Although this is the first to investigate vitamin D status in relation to disease severity and outcome, previous studies indicate a significant relationship between vitamin D status and the number of cases and mortality rate of COVID-19. The authors note several study limitations, including relatively small sample size (73 participants) and using data from a single facility. However, they state the growing body of evidence surrounding vitamin D and COVID, including the results of this study, could be helpful to public health officials and clinicians in improving patient outcomes against developing more severe forms of disease.

References

  • Access full text here.
  • Abrishami A, Dalili N, Mohammadi-Torbati P, et al. Possible association of vitamin D status with lung involvement and outcome in patients with COVID-19: a retrospective study. Eur J Nutr 2020;1-9. doi:10.1007/s00394-020-02411-0

Study #2

Vitamin D3 supplementation before diagnosis is associated with reduced COVID-19 severity and mortality in elderly frail patients

COVID-19 presents a significantly higher risk to the elderly. Genomic and epidemiological studies suggest that vitamin D status is correlated with COVID-19 outcomes. A recent French study, where vitamin D supplementation is a standard recommendation for individuals over age 65, investigated whether vitamin D supplementation prior to or following COVID-19 diagnosis improved survival in hospitalized elderly patients.

The 77 participants included in the study, ages 78-100 (approximately even number of men and women), were categorized in three groups. Group 1 included 29 individuals who had taken oral vitamin D3 supplements regularly (50,000-100,000 IU monthly to quarterly) in the year preceding their COVID-19 diagnosis. Group 2 included 16 participants who received vitamin D3 supplementation immediately after diagnosis (as one 80,000 IU oral dose). The 32 individuals in Group 3 did not use vitamin D supplements either before or after diagnosis. Demographics and COVID-19 treatments were otherwise similar among groups.

Of the 77 individuals who entered the study, 15 died within the 2-week study period. Group 1 (those who took vitamin D during the year prior to COVID-19 diagnosis) had significantly fewer participants with severe COVID-19 (10.3%) versus Group 3 (31.3%) and significantly lower 14-day mortality (6.9% vs 31.3%, respectively). The odds ratio (OR) of 0.08 for severe acute COVID-19 and the adjusted hazard ratio (HR) of 0.07 for mortality in Group 1 were significantly lower compared to Group 3 (OD and HR = 1). Group 3 exhibited significantly shorter survival times than Group 1. Although Group 1 outcomes were not significantly different than Group 2, Group 2 (OR=0.46 and HR=0.37) did not achieve statistical  significance compared to Group 3. The authors acknowledge that a shortcoming of the study was not having access to baseline serum 25(OH)D levels, but conclude that prior vitamin D3 supplementation improves COVID-19 prognosis and suggest that further investigation, especially in older adults, is warranted.

References

  • Access full text here.
  • Annweiler G, Corvaisier M, Gautier J, et al. Vitamin D supplementation associated to better survival in hospitalized frail elderly cOVID-19 Patients: The GERIA-COVID Quasi-Experimental Study. Nutrients 2020;12(11). doi:10.3390/nu12113377

Study #3

Vitamin D3 supplementation before diagnosis is associated with reduced COVID-19 severity and mortality in elderly frail patients

COVID-19 presents a significantly higher risk to the elderly. Genomic and epidemiological studies suggest that vitamin D status is correlated with COVID-19 outcomes. A recent French study, where vitamin D supplementation is a standard recommendation for individuals over age 65, investigated whether vitamin D supplementation prior to or following COVID-19 diagnosis improved survival in hospitalized elderly patients.

The 77 participants included in the study, ages 78-100 (approximately even number of men and women), were categorized in three groups. Group 1 included 29 individuals who had taken oral vitamin D3 supplements regularly (50,000-100,000 IU monthly to quarterly) in the year preceding their COVID-19 diagnosis. Group 2 included 16 participants who received vitamin D3 supplementation immediately after diagnosis (as one 80,000 IU oral dose). The 32 individuals in Group 3 did not use vitamin D supplements either before or after diagnosis. Demographics and COVID-19 treatments were otherwise similar among groups.

Of the 77 individuals who entered the study, 15 died within the 2-week study period. Group 1 (those who took vitamin D during the year prior to COVID-19 diagnosis) had significantly fewer participants with severe COVID-19 (10.3%) versus Group 3 (31.3%) and significantly lower 14-day mortality (6.9% vs 31.3%, respectively). The odds ratio (OR) of 0.08 for severe acute COVID-19 and the adjusted hazard ratio (HR) of 0.07 for mortality in Group 1 were significantly lower compared to Group 3 (OD and HR = 1). Group 3 exhibited significantly shorter survival times than Group 1. Although Group 1 outcomes were not significantly different than Group 2, Group 2 (OR=0.46 and HR=0.37) did not achieve statistical  significance compared to Group 3. The authors acknowledge that a shortcoming of the study was not having access to baseline serum 25(OH)D levels, but conclude that prior vitamin D3 supplementation improves COVID-19 prognosis and suggest that further investigation, especially in older adults, is warranted.

References

  • Access full text here.
  • Annweiler G, Corvaisier M, Gautier J, et al. Vitamin D supplementation associated to better survival in hospitalized frail elderly cOVID-19 Patients: The GERIA-COVID Quasi-Experimental Study. Nutrients 2020;12(11). doi:10.3390/nu12113377

Here is a video that talks in depth about Vitamin D, Covid and studies supporting optimization.