Tiny study shows surprising benefit in Vitamin D

Courtesy photo

OPINION — There have been numerous treatments for COVID-19 that have been investigated since the beginning of the pandemic nine months ago. As early as last March, Vitamin D was mentioned as a possible therapeutic to reduce severity of the disease. Well these vague claims have been substantiated in a randomized controlled trial that was published last week.

This study was small, enrolling 76 patients hospitalized with COVID-19. All of these 76 patients received the best available care for their disease. Of these 76 patients, 50 patients were randomly assigned to receive Vitamin D, and 26 patients were given a placebo. The results of the study were nothing short of a home run. Of the 26 patients who received only best care, 13 — 50% — progressed to the intensive care unit and two patients went on to die.

Of the 50 patients who received supplemental Vitamin D only, one person, 2% of the study group, progressed to the intensive care unit and none of the patients died.

This is a stunning result for a vitamin. Most of the people in the United States, particularly those with dark skin hues, are Vitamin D deficient. Adding sufficient Vitamin D to your diet can cut your risk of having disease from severe, requiring intensive care, to milder disease.

How much Vitamin D is sufficient? I take high-dose Vitamin D three times a week. If you are just starting such a regimen be sure to check with your health care provider because it is possible to push Vitamin D levels too high. But now as winter approaches (we just had 12 inches or snow) supplemental Vitamin D is even more critical.

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