Science Direct Study (Japan): Vitamin D Treatment Improves Condition of COVID-19 Patients
Vitamin D Treatment Improved Condition of COVID-19 Patients, Study Finds
A deficiency of vitamin D was found to be 'highly prevalent' among infected patients.
September 30, 2023 (Updated): Hospitalized COVID-19 patients exhibited improved outcomes after being given vitamin D treatments, according to a new study from Japan.
The study, published in ScienceDirect, aimed to evaluate how vitamin D could help in preventing severe illness and mortality among hospitalized COVID-19 patients. It found that vitamin D deficiency was “highly prevalent” among COVID patients, and supplementing their diets with vitamin D improved symptoms and aided in recovery.
For the treatment, researchers used a vitamin D analog, 1-hydroxy-vitamin D, also known as alfacalcidol. Vitamin D analogs are drugs used to treat disorders caused by the deficiency of vitamin D.
Related Stories: - COVID Vaccines Causally Linked to Increased Mortality, Resulting in 17 Million Deaths: Scientific Report - Father Launches Lawsuit Against Government, Pfizer, Alleging COVID-19 Shot Led to Son’s Death The patients in the study were hospitalized on two occasions—between April 2021 and October 2021, primarily during the Delta variant and then between July 2022 and September 2022, primarily during the Omicron variant.
Researchers gave vitamin D treatment to 122 out of 312 COVID-19 patients in the study, with the remaining patients placed in the control group. The Vitamin D group included patients who were already taking alfacalcidol prior to admission.
Both Vitamin D and control groups were provided “standard of care including antiviral medications and/or systemic corticosteroid therapy.”
The study discovered that patients in the control group had a “more severe profile” of COVID-19 compared to the Vitamin D group. Vitamin D deficiency was found in “70 percent of the patients.”
The proportion of patients who were prescribed the drug remdesivir was “significantly higher” in the vitamin D group, the study stated.
Patients in the Vitamin D group registered a “significantly lower” frequency of in-hospital mortality and the need for additional respiratory support when compared to the control group.
The study concluded that “1-hydroxy-vitamin may improve outcomes in hospitalized patients with COVID-19.” The research was conducted among patients admitted at the Hamamatsu Medical Center in Japan.
The study also cited other research and reviews to highlight the potential benefit of vitamin D to COVID-19 patients. One meta-analysis found that though vitamin D supplementation did not reduce mortality, it “significantly reduced the rate of intubation and length of stay” of COVID-19 patients. Another meta-analysis concluded that vitamin D supplementation was associated with “improved clinical outcomes” when it came to intensive care unit admission and/or mortality. This was found to be particularly true when patients were administered vitamin D after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
There were also research studies that recommended against using vitamin D among COVID-19 patients, the study pointed out. For instance, one review found that high doses of vitamin D were “ineffective” against COVID-19, it stated.
The study admitted to certain limitations in its analysis, including the fact that it was conducted at a single institution with a small sample size.
“Treatment with 1-hydroxy-vitamin D may suppress disease worsening in hospitalized patients with COVID-19. Prospective randomized controlled trials are required to validate our findings,” it said.
Vitamin D Deficiency
A study published in the Clinical Nutrition Journal in March 2021 found that the vast majority of COVID-19 patients who took part in the analysis had vitamin D deficiency.
“Low levels of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D were associated with prolonged mechanical ventilation” among COVID-19 patients, it said. 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D refers to the biologically active form of vitamin D.
A November 2022 study in the Nature journal found that providing U.S. veterans with Vitamin D supplementation was associated with reduced COVID-19 infection.
“After controlling for vitamin D blood levels, veterans receiving higher dosages of Vitamin D obtained greater benefits from supplementation than veterans receiving lower dosages.”
In a recent interview with The Epoch Times, Dr. David Brownstein, a family physician and medical director of the Center for Holistic Medicine in West Bloomfield, Michigan, revealed that the vast majority of his COVID-19 patients were more than 90 percent deficient in vitamin D.
Many of them also had only suboptimal levels of vitamins A and C. He stressed that people should never get into an illness while being deficient in vitamins A, C, or D.
Dr. Brownstein suggested that those who see the first signs of COVID-19 should take 50,000 IU (international units) of vitamin D3 per day, continuing it for four days.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that facilitates normal immune system function and grants improved resistance to certain diseases. The human body naturally produces vitamin D when it is exposed to sunlight.
Deficiency of vitamin D can result in decreased bone density, eventually causing osteoporosis. In adults, the deficiency can lead to osteomalacia, which causes pain in the bones and muscles.
Some people can be deficient in vitamin D due to various reasons. For instance, those who live in regions with cold winters may have lower vitamin D due to less sunlight exposure.
In the United States, approximately 35 percent of adults are estimated to have vitamin D deficiency. Signs of vitamin D deficiency among adults include fatigue, bone pain, muscle weakness, and mood changes.
Source: The Epoch Times