On his website, Mercola.com, Dr. Joseph Mercola suggests that vitamin D can ward off many viral infections, and could also be “a foundational element to lower your risk of COVID-19.” He writes:
Optimizing your vitamin D level is a foundational element to lower your risk of COVID-19. This simple step will also help you ward off many types of viral infections, because vitamin D is an immunomodulatory agent.
This point — that vitamin D helps combat COVID-19 — was widely censored and deemed “misinformation” during the pandemic. But yet another study — this one published in Scientific Reports1 — shows the association between vitamin D and COVID-19 protection cannot be ignored.
About half the U.S. population has deficient levels of vitamin D, and rates of vitamin D deficiency are even higher in people with darker skin, those living in higher latitudes in the winter, nursing home residents and people with reduced sun exposure. Among groups with low levels of vitamin D, rates of COVID-19 are higher.2
Vitamin D Supplementation Reduces COVID-19 Infection, Death
Researchers from Johns Hopkins University, the University of Chicago and the Department of Veterans Health Affairs conducted a large-scale pharmacoepidemiologic study of the association between vitamin D3 and D2 supplementation and the probability of COVID-19 infection and mortality.3
“Vitamin D deficiency has long been associated with reduced immune function that can lead to viral infection. Several studies have shown that vitamin D deficiency … increases the risk of infection with COVID-19,” they wrote.4
In the video above, John Campbell, a retired nurse and teacher based in England, detailed the findings. The study involved a large population of veterans, including 220,265 patients supplemented with vitamin D3 before and during the pandemic, 34,710 supplemented with vitamin D2 and 407,860 untreated patients.5
Those who took vitamin D2 supplements had a 28% lower risk of COVID-19 infection, while those taking vitamin D3 had a 20% lower risk. Please note that vitamin D2 is a plant-based version of vitamin D and I do not recommend it. Death from COVID-19 was also lower among those taking vitamin D — 33% lower among those taking vitamin D3 and 25% lower among those taking vitamin D2.6
“These associated reductions in risk are substantial and justify more significant exploration and confirmation using RCTs [randomized controlled trials],” the researchers explained. “This is particularly important given the high rates of vitamin D deficiency in the U.S. population and COVID-19.”7
The veterans were taking varying doses of vitamin D, ranging from 20 IU which is absolutely worthless and no different than placebo, to 50,000 IU. Usually 50 IU doses are given once a week. I am convinced this is inferior to taking 8,000 IU every day.
However, those taking higher doses received greater benefits than those taking lower dosages. Further, veterans with very low vitamin D levels (between zero and 19 ng/ml) had the largest decrease in COVID-19 infection after supplementation.8
“In response to these findings, physicians might consider regularly prescribing vitamin D3 to patients with deficient levels to protect them against COVID-19 infection and related mortality. The 50,000 IU dosage may be especially beneficial,” according to the study.9
Black veterans also had greater reductions in COVID-19 risk (29% decrease) following supplementation than white veterans (18% decrease).10 “As a safe, widely available and affordable treatment, vitamin D may help to reduce the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the researchers concluded.11
Vitamin Could Prevent 4 Million COVID Cases, 116,000 Deaths
When the researchers extrapolated their vitamin D findings to the entire U.S. population in 2020, they found supplementation with vitamin D3 would have prevented 4 million COVID-19 cases and 116,000 deaths.12
Even applying the data to the Department of Veterans Administration, which had 343,094 COVID-19 cases and 14,981 deaths through October 2, 2021, vitamin D supplementation would have resulted in 69,000 fewer COVID-19 cases and 4,900 fewer deaths from March 2020 to October 2021.
Further, “These back-of-the-envelope calculations may be conservative given possible reductions in COVID-19 transmission due to the general population risk reduction from broader supplementation,” according to the researchers. “Given our findings, the absence of severe side effects, and the widespread availability of vitamin D3 at low cost, vitamin D3 presents a unique opportunity to reduce the spread and severity of the COVID-19 pandemic.”13
Read more here.
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