It seems that governments and businesses are focusing a lot on how to contain and treat or eradicate COVID-19 - yet there seems to be little main stream focus on the third part of the puzzle, namely the role of the body in this and what factors come into play, bodily, in determining if you will get COVID-19 and how serious it will be if you do get it.
For instance, if it was found that there was something in the human body that can have a direct influence over whether you end up in ICU (Intensive Care Unit) or just suffer a form of manageable flu or cold analogue, when you get COVID-19 - you would want to know wouldn't you?
The First two Clinical Trials
In the video below, Dr John Campbell goes through the results of Clinical Trails on Vitamin D and COVID 19.
To cut to the chase, this is what was found in the first Clinical Trial (Association of Vitamin D Status and Other Clinical Characteristics With COVID-19 Test Results, (JAMA Open, 3rd September, Chicago)):
Cohort study of 489
Patients who had a vitamin D level measured in the year before COVID-19 testing
Result: Relative risk of testing positive for COVID-19 was 1.77 times
So, if you had a pre-existing low level of Vitamin D in your system you were 77% more likely to catch COVID-19.
Objective: Vitamin D decreases Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Effect of calcifediol treatment
Participants: 76 consecutive patients hospitalized with COVID-19 infection
Procedures: All hospitalized patients received as best available therapy; Allocated at a 2 calcifediol:1 (Vit D in a form directly usable by the body, no lag in uptake).
Results: 50 patients treated with calcifediol; One required admission to the ICU (2%). Of 26 untreated patients, 13 required admission (50%). p less than 0.001 (less an 0.1% probably of being a 'fluke' or chance result). Of the patients treated with calcifediol, none died, and all were discharged, without complications. Of the patients not treated, 2 died.
So, if your Vitamin D level is boosted at admission to a hospital, having being diagnosed as having COVID-19, your likelihood of admission then into ICU drops from 50% to 2% and your risk of death drops from 8% to zero. It's important to note that exactly the same level of care was given to both groups, only difference being the Vitamin D level 'boost' throughout their stay. Also remember, this was a well funded and equipped University Hospital with high levels of care and still they unfortunately lost 2 of their patients in the untreated group, this is quite significant and shows how aggressive the virus is if unchecked.
Objective: To evaluate associations of plasma 25(OH)D levels with the likelihood of coronavirus disease infection and hospitalization
N = 7, 807 (people in the study). February 1st to April 30th, 2020. Participants had one previous blood test for the plasma 25(OH)D level.
Results: Risk by age and sex were as expected. Of those with Sufficient (more than 30 ng/ml. (75 nmol/L)) vitamin D levels - 7, 025 tested negative to COVID-19. Of those with Low (Below 30 ng/mL) vitamin D levels - 782 tested positive to COVID-19.
Stats: Increased likelihood of COVID‐19 infection due to low Vit D: Odds ratio (OR) of 1.45 (45%). Increased likelihood of hospitalisation due to low Vit D: OR of 1.95 (95%!)
Results: Greater incidence of COVID-19 with lower vitamin D levels; Highest infection prevalence with lowest vitamin D levels
Conclusion: A significant protective effect in those who had supplemented over the previous 4 months
By now, you should be seriously wondering two things:
Why has this not been communicated to the wider public if it is looking to be so effective?
Where can I get Vitamin D supplements?
In answer to the first question, I think there is a focus (deliberate or not) in finding the most 'precise' or 'targeted' solution to a problem - call it the 'pop a pill for X' mindset which seems to focus on creating a specific instance solution to a problem rather than changing the environment of the problem so it couldn't eventuate in the first place - a bit like dealing with the accidents caused by a dangerous road junction instead of making the road junction more safe.Also remember Vitamin D supplements are a generic and cheap medicine; no one is going to make billions off more Vitamin D tablets...
Should you be taking Vitamin D supplements
You need to consider this from two perspectives: firstly, could taking Vitamin D supplements be beneficial to you now in their own right and if you require additional protection from COVID-19. For the first point I refer you to the video below:
If you don't want to watch the video, the seven signs of Low Vitamin D are:
Easy Broken Bones
Frequent Viral Infections
Slow Wound Heal
Note points #4 and #6 which indicate Vitamin D's role in your immune response and self repair systems.
So if you are clinically low in Vitamin D - get the supplement, your body wants it.
So what about those wanting to take Vitamin D for its COVID-19 protective effects? I think if you are in a known 'at risk' group (which so far is people over 50, over weight, respiratory issues, chronic disease, etc) then you should take the vitamin D supplement, on the basis of the results from the trails above.
It amazes me that this far into this COVID-19 pandemic, such findings like above, are NOT making world wide headlines - its been known for a long time that there is a link between low Vitamin D levels and a in general sub optimal immune response - this should have been in the standard 'toolkit' for treating infections, you want to have the body with you in helping fight infections.
I think the bodies who are co-coordinating the response to this pandemic need to have a serious look at utilizing Vitamin D in the fight against COVID-19 and utilize it as a pragmatic and affordable weapon against COVID-19 to help us move back quicker to a normal way of life.