There has only been one thing on everyone’s mind this year, Coronavirus! The first major pandemic in many years. I’m sure you are all fed up hearing about it on the news, in daily life and want normality to return. Boris keeps telling us the government is “following the science.” Well, there is actually a lot of ongoing research into the effects of vitamin D on Covid infections and this blog highlights some of the science and why we should all be supplementing vitamin D.
Vitamin D is well known to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy, but did you know it also helps with the immune system? Several large scale reviews have shown that it can protect against acute respiratory infections, and individuals with sufficient levels of vitamin D were most protected (1,2). This therefore became an area of study interest in the fight against Covid 19.
As of 08.10.2020 there were over 20,000 publications on Google scholar looking at Vitamin D in both the prevention and treatment of Covid infections. There are also several trials in the UK currently under way looking at this (3).
Many studies have already shown that having a vitamin D deficiency increases the chances of having more severe Covid infections and therefore a higher chance of dying from Covid (4). One study reporting people were 32 times more likely to have critical Covid if vitamin D deficient (5). Some have even shown that having sufficient levels of vitamin D in the body actually reduces the chances of testing positive for the virus, indicating this may prevent people getting it in the first place (6).
One study quoting that in 192,000 American citizens sampled, they were 47% less likely to test positive if their vitamin D levels were > 55ng/ml (sufficient) compared to 20ng/ml (deficient) (7,8).
Others looked at the average vitamin D levels for various countries, comparing these to their respective Covid rates. They found countries which have lower average vitamin D levels tended to have more cases of Covid, and also higher mortalities (9).
Countries closer to the equator generally have higher levels of vitamin D in their population and this is another factor possibly affecting Covid rates.
We also know that people from BAME communities are more likely to test positive and are also at a higher risk of dying from Covid than white individuals as released in the government document “Understanding the impact of Covid -19 in BAME groups.” (10) This may be attributed to low levels of vitamin D, as people from BAME communities tend to have lower levels of this in their blood.
So why is this so important? Well, this is just snap-shot of some of the publications of research ongoing throughout this critical time.
We are all still learning about Covid-19 but the evidence is mounting that a simple dietary supplement can help prevent and treat this condition. It is important to say that this is not the only factor in transmission rates and mortality, but evidence based medicine is key, and to quote Boris, we should all “follow the science”.
So supplement with vitamin D! It is safe and the potential benefits could not only help you, but also help us all return to normality.
At Get a Drip we offer Vitamin D booster shots which can be purchased and taken in two different ways:
- Book your monthly booster shot of 30,000 units without having your vitamin D tested. This is in keeping with current NICE guidance (all adults living in the UK should supplement vitamin D throughout the year) and is comparable to buying a vitamin D tablet over the counter, but saves the hassle of remembering this every day.
- Book a vitamin D blood test (recommended) to discover whether you are deficient or not. Our staff can then tailor a treatment plan to replenish your vitamin D levels. Please read our blog post “Vitamin D testing is here”
This article was written by Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Matthew Calcasola.