Beating That Dead Horse: Vitamin D and Research

Though I just found this article, it was published November of 2020 and it further supports what we have maintained since the emergence of the SAR-COV-2 outbreak throughout the world. To read the abstract, check out the link: Analysis of vitamin D level among asymptomatic and critically ill COVID-19 patients and its correlation with inflammatory markers (nih.gov)

To summarize, the authors found that “Vitamin D level is markedly low in severe COVID-19 patients.” To be fair they also checked asymptomatic positive-testing patients and found very few that had vitamin D deficiency. The results of their entire study has the authors recommending “mass administration of vitamin D supplementation to population at risk” for the infection.

A lot of patients will say they “don’t need” to supplement, “because I’m outside a lot.” There is sufficient evidence to support that unless one lives at equator, they cannot get sufficient vitamin D from the sun’s rays.

When we think of those most vulnerable to death from this infection, we think of our nursing home population. There is NO reason that mass administration of vitamin D in the nursing home setting cannot be instituted. There are very few medical conditions that are contraindications to the supplementation of the vitamin.  There are also very few situations when the blood test to assess the level of vitamin D is necessary. Supplementation for immune protection is in the 5-10,000 IU/daily range, depending on the availability of the vitamin in the supplement.

Why is it important? At about the same time last year, researchers at St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital discovered the two cytokines that must be present to suffer the “cytokine storm” that kills in COVID-19 infection: TNF-alpha and IFN-gamma. BOTH of these cytokines must be present. In a healthy immune system, those two cytokines are not “turned on” and severe life-threatening disease shall not occur. Yes, an expensive medication (Remicade) addresses both cytokines. But there are other ways to prevent the cytokine storm, and simple daily vitamin D supplementation is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to do so.

Early treatment of symptoms is important as well. It is well known that zinc has an essential role to play in antiviral immunity. The reason Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin work so well when used early in infection is that they are excellent zinc carriers. Though I still have not found a good explanation, a couple of good studies (the Peru evidence as well as this study: Role of ivermectin in the prevention of SARS-CoV-2 infection among healthcare workers in India: A matched case-control study – PubMed (nih.gov)) have me utilizing ivermectin as a preventative (I mean, 73% reduction in infection is better than anything I’ve seen from the so-called “vaccine”). Speaking of which, while my official statement has been that I neither recommend nor discourage the stab except in cases where it is clearly contraindicated, I am leaning now toward “the risks outweigh the benefits.” So – right now, that’s a no for me.