Vitamin D Nearly Eliminated COVID Hospitalizations, In New Study
As scientists and doctors search for an effective COVID-19 treatment, we've been exploring the burgeoning science around staying healthy during this nightmare pandemic. Beyond tending to your overall metabolic health, we've been particularly interested in the connection between vitamin D and immunity—and researchers have recently found this is just the beginning.
We reported on a study in May that found those with vitamin D deficiencies have a higher risk of mortality from COVID-19, and now the first randomized clinical control trial of its kind found vitamin D supplementation can be effective in lowering the rate of COVID-19 intensive care unit (ICU) admissions.
What did the researchers look at?
The study, published in the Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, was conducted on 76 patients with COVID-19 pneumonia in Spain. The patients were split into two groups, and both received the same medical treatment based on hospital protocol. However, one group also received a daily Calcifediol supplement. The patients stopped taking the supplements when they were discharged from the hospital.
Calcifediol, also called 25-hydroxyvitamin D, is a metabolite of vitamin D that appears in the blood and may help determine future health risks, according to new research from the European Society of Endocrinology.
How did vitamin D affect COVID-19 patients?
The supplement group was made up of 50 people, and only one (2% of participants) was admitted to the ICU. Additionally, all of the patients in the vitamin D group were discharged without complication or death from the virus.
Of the 26 patients in the control group, 13 (50%) were admitted to the ICU. Of those 13, two patients died and the other 11 were eventually discharged.
Does this make vitamin D an effective treatment?
It's important to note there is still no surefire treatment for the coronavirus. However, the study does show a strong potential correlation between vitamin D supplementation and a decrease in the severity of COVID-19 effects.
"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," the study authors write.
Plus, those who are deficient in vitamin D are at an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease, age-related brain diseases, osteoporosis, and autoimmune disorders. Regardless of its impact on COVID, vitamin D is critical for overall health.
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