Vitamin D & Coronavirus

BCPS-V. 2020/18/2 Last Updated: 29th June 2020 Review Date: 29th October 2020
Vitamin D Supplements and Coronavirus Public Health England (PHE) is recommending people consider taking daily vitamin D supplements throughout the spring and summer.  The PHE advice  is based on the overall benefits of ensuring Vitamin D levels are optimal. Research around the world continues to study potential benefits of Vitamin D in regard to Coronavirus. Report linked here… Study on Vitamin D and Coronavirus in Ireland Results from The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing have been the subject of recent media articles. The report concludes: “Vitamin D is a potent immune modifying micronutrient and if vitamin D status is sufficient, it could benefit vulnerable adults in particular those 70+ years and older who are ‘cocooning’ during the COVID-19 outbreak”. You can download the full study from the Trinity College Dublin website article and report link here…. Lancet Editorial There is an interesting one page article in the Lancet which looks at the current evidence and also new work being undertaken to study Vitamin D status and Coronavirus outcomes.: Vitamin-D and COVID-19: do deficient risk a poorer outcome? You can read it here…. Original research from our NHS Vitamin D Laboratory Two pieces of our own vitamin D research are of current interest. One  considered our local inner-city population in 2006 and showed important ethnic variation in vitamin D levels. A second looked at unexpectedly high Vitamin D levels found in some members of the public  checking their vitamin D levels with our home testing service. Both papers can be down loaded here…..
Podcast looking at Vitamin D and Coronavirus Sarah Boseley, Health Editor of the Guardian, talks to Professor Susan Lanham-New, Head of Department of Nutritional Sciences at University of Surrey, about vitamin D. After a general introduction, the lack of direct evidence for a role of Vitamin D in Covid-19 is highlighted and the ongoing work to look at this considered.   Vitamin D level optimisation in the population is strongly supported by Susan, with advice to take supplements but NOT taking large doses, which could be harmful. This excellent 15 minute podcast was released on 27th May 2020.  Listen here….

Vitamin D and Covid-19 in the news…..

Review: Vitamin D: A cheap yet effective bullet against coronavirus disease-19 – Are we convinced yet? This article is well referenced - a great source if you are starting to write up your own research project and need help with the literature review! The authors look at meta-analysis and empirical evidence for the role of Vitamin D and there is a summary of studies looking at the protective effect of different doses of Vitamin D. Readers should note that units in this paper for vitamin D levels are in ng/ml not nmol/L that we use in the United Kingdom (see our Q&A page on how to convert). You can download the online version here……

Consensus Statement - BMJ

Vitamin D and SARS-CoV-2 virus/COVID-19 disease

This brief report by UK and other experts provides a balanced scientific view on vitamin D and SARS-CoV-2 virus/COVID-19 disease.  The article points to the importance of Vitamin D and also that many in the population have low levels and summarises as follows:  Taking a daily supplement (400 IU /day (10 µg/day) in the UK) and eating foods that provide vitamin D is particularly important for those self-isolating with limited exposure to sunlight. Vitamin D intakes greater than the upper limit of 4000 IU (100 µg) per day may be harmful and should be avoided unless under personal medical/clinical advice by a qualified health professional.” The full report with excellent links to web based referencing is found here….

NICE: Vitamin D for COVID-19

Evidence summary [ES28] Published 29 June 2020

Advisory statement on likely place in therapy: “There is no evidence to support taking vitamin D supplements to specifically prevent or treat COVID-19. However, all people should continue to follow UK Government advice on daily vitamin D supplementation to maintain bone and muscle health during the COVID-19 pandemic. “ Download full evidence review here…..