Recent studies suggest that having sufficient levels of vitamin D may help protect against COVID-19 and may also help protect against developing more serious symptoms of COVID-19.
In one study out of Spain, 76 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 and acute respiratory infection, were randomly assigned into two groups. Both groups received the same standard care per hospital protocol, but one group (50 patients) also received calcifediol (25-hydroxyvitamin D), while the other group (26 patients) did not. Of the 50 patients treated with calcifediol, only one (2%) was admitted to the ICU, while 13 of the control group not taking calcifediol (50%) were admitted to the ICU. Two of the control group patients died, while none from the calcifediol group died.
Another study was a retrospective study of 216 patients hospitalized for COVID-19 and 197 population-based controls. The study found that 82% of the hospitalized COVID-19 patients were deficient in vitamin D, compared with 47% of the population-based controls.
Numerous other studies on vitamin D and COVID-19 show that vitamin D can be beneficial if taken prior to, and/or during, COVID-19.
What does this mean for you?
First, you may want to ask your doctor about checking your vitamin D levels. Many people are deficient in vitamin D. Conventional ranges for "normal" vitamin D levels are around 20 to 50 ng/mL, but Functional Medicine Practitioners such as Dr. Mark Hyman often recommend between 40 and 70 ng/mL. After checking your levels, talk with your doctor about whether you should supplement with vitamin D.
Second, if you test positive for COVID-19, check back in with your doctor about supplementing with vitamin D, potentially at a higher dose, during your illness.
Check out Dr. Hyman's website for some additional information about vitamin D, such as the recommended form of vitamin D and his recommendation to take it along with vitamin K. For additional studies on COVID-19 and vitamin D, the website c19vitamind.com is a good resource.
*Please note that I am not a doctor and this post is for educational and informational purposes only. Please talk with your doctor before taking vitamin D or any other supplements, as there is a risk of toxicity if you take too much. To find a Functional Medicine Practitioner, go to ifm.org.