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There is growing indirect and direct evidence that vitamin D can boost immunity against COVID-19. The outbreak occurred in the Winter of 2019-20, a time when vitamin D levels in the body are lowest, and case numbers were high while in the Southern Hemisphere, which is Summer and vitamin D levels are highest, case numbers were low. Also, fatality rates in the Northern Hemisphere were significantly higher than in the Southern Hemisphere (6% versus 3.5%). Vitamin D deficiency has been demonstrated to contribute to acute respiratory syndrome, a primary outcome of COVID-19. Fatality rates from COVID-19 are known to increase with age and chronic diseases of inflammation like diabetes, heart disease and obesity both of which are associated with lower vitamin D blood levels.
Large randomized clinical intervention trials in which vitamin D is given to COVID-19 patients are still underway but a small clinical study with hospitalized COVID-19 patients showed that vitamin D deficiency was present in 75% of these patients and 85% in those patients that required ICU care. Further, a pilot intervention study in Spain showed that high doses of vitamin D reduced the need for ICU treatment of patients requiring hospitalization due to proven COVID-19.
Due to the promise of vitamin D preventing or reducing the severity of COVID-19, scientists are recommending vitamin D supplements for protection. The goal is to raise vitamin D blood levels above 40-60 ng/ml. For persons with severe deficiency this might require taking 10,000 IU/day for several weeks to rapidly raise their vitamin D blood levels followed by more moderate doses of 1,000-5,000 IU daily. Persons with less severe deficiency may only need to take more moderate doses. Recently, Dr. Oz when interviewed on TV, recommended taking 1,000 IU of vitamin D daily to protect against COVID-19 infection. But before taking vitamin D supplements please consult with your physician first.
We recommend the following Vitamin D supplements to be sure that you are getting enough.