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Vitamin D reduced the rate of ICU admission from 50% to 2%. Do black lives matter?

Given that people with dark skin are more likely to be deficient in Vitamin D, wouldn’t studies like these be the best way to show that black lives actually matter? Would you like training in cultural sensitivity or to avoid the intensive care unit?

Sunshine Vitamin.

A free antiviral shining down on you?

In the Castillo study in Spain, 76 patients were randomly assorted into Calciferol treatment ( 0.532 mg Vitamin D ). Of the 26 who didn’t get it, 13 were admitted to the ICU. Of the 50 who got Vitamin D doses on days 1, 3, and 7 — only one ended up in the ICU. It’s worth noting that all patients got HCQ as well, and azithromycin too.

A second study tested 500 people to find out if they were deficient and followed them to see if they caught Covid.

Why has it taken 6 months of pandemic to do these small studies?

Before the pandemic came there was already ample evidence suggesting that it mattered.  Vitamin D influences over 200 genes. Its levels also correlate with lower rates of cancer, diabetes, high blood pressureasthma, heart disease, dental caries, preeclampsia, autoimmune diseasedepressionanxiety, and sleep disorders. One recent long German study showed half the people who died of respiratory illnesses might not have died if they had enough Vitamin D. Even Indonesia managed to do a study and publish results by May 1.

The West spends billions looking for vaccines and new antivirals, but hasn’t even done the basic studies on cheap and easily available nutrients?

First Castillo et al:

 Effect of Calcifediol Treatment on Patients Hospitalized for COVID-19: A Pilot Randomized Clinical study”


Our pilot study demonstrated that administration of a high dose of Calcifediol or 25-hydroxyvitamin D, a main metabolite of vitamin D endocrine system, significantly reduced the need for ICU treatment of patients requiring hospitalization due to proven COVID-19. Calcifediol seems to be able to reduce severity of the disease, but larger trials with groups properly matched will be required to show a definitive answer.

People who were seriously deficient in Vitamin D were nearly twice as likely to get sick

Could Boosting Vitamin D Cut COVID-19 Risk?

Molly Walker, Medpage

One Vitamin D trial shows that people with very low vitamin D levels are 80% more likely to catch Covid. The message here is that it’s wise to get tested, and make sure you are in the healthy range.  (Don’t forget to get Vitamin K as well if you take large doses of D).

Among nearly 500 patients, the relative risk for infection was 1.77 (95% CI 1.12-2.81, P=0.02) in those judged to be vitamin D-deficient (below 20 ng/mL or 18 pg/mL, respectively) compared with patients believed to have sufficient vitamin D, reported David Meltzer, MD, PhD, of the University of Chicago, and colleagues writing in JAMA Network Open.

It’s an observational study, not a randomized one. Cause and effect is not guaranteed:

The authors acknowledged one major caveat, however: vitamin D deficiency may be associated with many other COVID-19 risk factors, including age, obesity, diabetes, and chronic illness. Their statistical analysis included adjustments for many of these, but potential remained for residual confounding.

Meltzer and colleagues suggested that interventions to reduce vitamin D deficiency, as a means to reduce COVID-19 risk, be tested in randomized trials. Such research would be especially pertinent since both African-American and Hispanic populations not only have disproportionate morbidity and mortality from COVID-19, but also high rates of vitamin D deficiency.

 It’s possible that SARS-2 could strip out Vitamin D, or that the co-morbidities could, in which case it may be coincidental to some degree. Then again, it could be that a lack of Vitamin D contributes to those comorbidities in the first place.

The procedure in Castillo:

All hospitalized patients received as best available therapy the same standard care, (per hospital protocol), of a combination of hydroxychloroquine (400 mg every 12 hours on the first day, and 200 mg every 12 hours for the following 5 days), azithromycin (500 mg orally for 5 days. Eligible patients were allocated at a 2 calcifediol:1 no calcifediol ratio through electronic randomization on the day of admission to take oral calcifediol (0.532 mg), or not. Patients in the calcifediol treatment group continued with oral calcifediol (0.266 mg) on day 3 and 7, and then weekly until discharge or ICU admission. Outcomes of effectiveness included rate of ICU admission and deaths.

h/t TedM, Slithers


Castillo et al (2020) “Effect of Calcifediol Treatment and best Available Therapy versus best Available Therapy on Intensive Care Unit Admission and Mortality Among Patients Hospitalized for COVID-19: A Pilot Randomized Clinical study”, The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Available online 29 August 2020, 105751

Meltzer DO, et al “Association of Vitamin D Status and Other Clinical Characteristics With COVID-19 Test Results” JAMA Network Open 2020; DOI: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.19722.

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