Is Vitamin D a COVID Bust?

April 1, 2021

Not even close. We need to support Americans’ supplement access through expanded Health Savings Accounts. Action Alert!

Two new studies appear to contradict the idea that vitamin D offers protection against COVID, but the preponderance of evidence still indicates that D can help us stay safe. We can help more Americans get the vitamins they need by expanding Health Savings Accounts to cover supplements and other natural medicines.

One study found no association between vitamin D levels and COVID susceptibility, severity, or hospitalization. This study looked mostly at white individuals, though, which may skew the results, as we know that vitamin D deficiency is more prevalent among African Americans—a population that has been hit harder by COVID that whites. The other study concluded that vitamin D deficiency was not significantly associated with COVID infection or mortality; it arrived at this conclusion by obtaining vitamin D deficiency data from the last decade for a number of European countries and comparing those rates to COVID infection and mortality rates in each country. It is an interesting statistical exercise but hardly seems like the nail in vitamin D’s coffin. A lead author on this second study seems to have an axe to grind against vitamin D: news coverage quotes him as saying, “Vitamin D has been praised for too many things even though we have very limited data for that.”

Should we throw out our vitamin D bottles, then? The answer is “No,” and news agencies are doing us a disservice by suggesting as much.

When evaluating the evidence, we must look at all the data, and there are many, many more studies demonstrating that vitamin D can strengthen the immune system and help us fight infection.

Let’s consider some of the evidence for vitamin D and COVID:

  • A meta-analysis of 25 randomized controlled trials showed that vitamin D supplementation significantly reduces the risk of acute respiratory infections in the overall population by 12% and in those with profound vitamin D deficiency by 70%.
  • Fifteen studies have compared survival rates between groups with higher and lower vitamin D levels, and consistently show that people with higher levels of vitamin D do better, especially compared with those who are deficient, which describes 42 percent of the US population. The findings of these fifteen studies clearly contradict the two negative studies referenced above.
  • It is well known that vitamin D is critical to the immune system. It activates the immune system’s defenses, enhances the function of T cells and macrophages against pathogens, and is critical to the production of cathelicidin, an antimicrobial peptide.

Two studies showing vitamin D doesn’t help with COVID are clearly outweighed by the 40 studies referenced above showing that vitamin D helps prevent respiratory infection (which is what COVID is) and improves COVID survival rates. Additionally, there are thousands of studies in PubMed about vitamin D and the immune system, clearly indicating the important role D plays in our health.

Based on this evidence, government health agencies should be shouting from the rooftops for all of us, but particularly vulnerable populations, to supplement with D. Instead, of course, the government is doing the opposite, ignoring cheap and safe options for staying healthy. This is backwards.

Note that many trials may understate the effectiveness of vitamin D because they are looking at individuals above or below 30 ng/mL. GrassrootsHealth, an organization dedicated to disseminating information about vitamin D research, recommends achieving vitamin D levels of 40-60 ng/mL; others recommend levels between 50-70 ng/mL. Vitamin D should also be combined with vitamin K2 for maximum effectiveness.

We can help ensure that more Americans get the vitamins they need. The Health Savings Act would allow Health Savings Account (HSA) and Flexible Savings Account (FSA) funds to go towards dietary supplements, herbs, and homeopathic remedies. The bill also includes health coaches and nutrition services as allowable expenses for HSAs and FSAs. If passed, this bill will improve access to wellness and nutrition services for millions of people, services that, as we’ve seen, will help us stay healthy and prevent serious COVID infection.

Action Alert! Write to Congress and tell them to support the Health Savings Act of 2021. Please send your message immediately.  

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19 responses to “Is Vitamin D a COVID Bust?”

  1. Thomas Braun says:

    If the negative studies on vitamin D did not include a blood draw and measure the true value of calciferol in the blood the studies have no meaning.

  2. Connie says:

    I’ve been taking all natural remedies for years and have cured a stomach ulcer, abscessed tooth, and dissolved a gall stone, and got rid of lumps in my breasts, just to name a few! People should have the right to choose their own form of healing without the interference from the government or any other organization. I believe God created natural herbs and gifted those who know how to put them together to make a healing potion. I believe in God, not science or mere mortals.

  3. marq says:

    What if it is as simple as increasing the vitamin D serum levels in the population to 50ng/mL (125nmol/L) assuming Se, Mg in-cell, Zn and vitaminC levels are high and a BMI50ng/mL have very low instances of autoimmune diseases due to the increased T reg counts.

    What if it is as simple as vitamin D being a prophylactic (not post exposure) and by next fall this will not be an issue for which the economy would not have to be destroyed, again?
    Covid-19 may not be the problem as much as the physiology of the symptomatic having deficiencies that are easy and inexpensive to be applied. This also may be the case for all influenza strains. Something this simple should be pursued

  4. Paula Morgan says:

    Congress needs to support the Health Savings Act. Individuals differ in their approach to their health. I like the assistance of supplements in my daily nutrient count. Big Pharma doesn’t like this at all. We are a big country and want to access what we choose is the right path for ourselves. I want that option!

  5. James Hadcroft says:

    Help stop the attempted fascist takeover of the U.S.A.

    “The freedom of speech may be taken away and dumb men silent,
    we may be led like sheep to the slaughter.” George Washington

    We’ve been socially distanced for years. It’s called racism.

    Regards,
    James K Hadcroft
    Veteran, Active Voter, Progressive, Taxpayer

  6. John D says:

    All lies. Don’t buy any of it. COVID is nothing more than a recategorized rebranded FLU season.

  7. Cindy Worth says:

    We must make supplements available to all who believe that there are better alternatives to pharmaceuticals.
    PLEASE SUPPORT THE healthy Savings Act of 2021.

  8. Walter says:

    I had the CV in January 2020, before it was a thing. Vitamins (D3 & C), minerals (Zinc), and medicinal herbs (Anti-virals, Antibiotics) cured it in less than 2 weeks—NO DRUGS, NO DOCTORS, NO HOSPITALS, and NO VACCINES required.

    My neighbor got it in June and went the doctor/hospital route—he was in the hospital for 2 months! And he’s half my age!

  9. Patricia Corder says:

    I am sending this to encourage Congress to support the Health Savings Act of 2021.

  10. Gloria N. says:

    Please support the Health Account Savings Act of 2021. It is so necessary for the health of the American people.

  11. SUZANNE QUIGLEY says:

    I have used vitamin D3 and it work wonderfully to help prevent/ control respiratory infections.

  12. Judith mellott says:

    Please support the health savings act of 2021.

  13. I have been medicating with supplement for ten years now since I had bad reactions to prescription meds one too many times!

  14. Bill says:

    The action letter you offer is not a good match for this article, so I won’t send it. Why not put this article into an action letter … I don’t get why you didn’t. And this is not the first time that your action letter didn’t match what attracted my attention. Please do better in the future.

  15. John says:

    Leave us be God put natural things on earth for everyone Shove them chemicals up your —

  16. Shunghilaska Miller says:

    I keep my vitamin D3 level above 50 ng/ml. I never get the flu. I never get sick with anything. If someone tells you D3 is worthless, tell them they are full of merde.

  17. Bharat Adarkar says:

    Support the Health Savings Act of 2021. Please send your message immediately.

  18. dejure says:

    FIRST, I want to know how they can profess to know these answers when they couldn’t even figure out how to use tests or even if they worked, in spite of the manufacturers claims.

    SECOND, did they use tests they amplified 40 times, which is well known for producing false positives.

    We could go on from there.

  19. VICTORIA CHICK says:

    Vitamin D3 is required for the optimum function of many bodily processes including cardiac health. The cohort groups most likely to have Covid symptoms- the elderly, the obese, and darker skinned people are also more likely to be deficient in the cheapest form of Vitamin D – sunshine. These cohorts are more likely to be homebound indoors. Darker skinned people do not convert sunshine to Vitamin D as well as lighter skinned people so should take a supplement and/or eat food high in D. Obese people are less likely to spend time in outdoor activity. The frail elderly probably do not eat well nor spend in the sun or are able to afford or be advised to take a Vitamin D3 supplement. Vitamin D deficiencies are exacerbated for all cohorts by quarantine as people stay indoors at home. Since those with pre-existing conditions are more likely to die from Covid, I think possibly the study that says there is no evidence has been too narrow.

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