The British MP and former cabinet minister David Davis says mounting evidence on the usefulness of vitamin D in tackling Covid-19 must not be ignored. 

In an article in the Daily Telegraph co-authored with the science journalist Matt Ridley, Davis says that, against a backdrop of sharply rising Covid cases and growing threat of a second national lockdown, “it is surely time time to try anything reasonable to slow the pandemic down”. 

The pair write: “There is one chemical that is known to be safe, known to be needed by many people anyway, known to have a clinically proven track record of helping people fight off respiratory diseases, and is so cheap no big firm is pushing it: vitamin D.”

Davis and Ridley acknowledge that vitamin D is not a silver bullet, but point to a growing body of research suggesting that vitamin D may prime the body’s natural defences against Covid-19. They also acknowledge that earlier research showing a link between low vitamin D status and poor Covid outcomes only demonstrated correlation, not a direct cause. But they argue that a randomised control trial carried out at the Reina Sofía University Hospital in Spain in May and June produced “an astonishing result” that the the UK Government “should now act on”. 

“There is one chemical that is known to be safe, known to be needed by many people anyway, known to have a clinically proven track record of helping people fight off respiratory diseases, and is so cheap no big firm is pushing it: vitamin D”

The Spanish study showed that treating Covid-19 patients with high dosages of vitamin D could prevent them from having to receive intensive care. Of 70 Covid-19 hospitalised patients tracked in the study, just one (2%) of the group treated additionally with vitamin D required admission to ICU, while half of the untreated patients needed to be taken into ICU, and two died. Of the patients treated with vitamin D, none died and all were discharged without complications. 

Davis and Ridley add: “Put another way, the use of Vitamin D reduced a patient’s risk of needing intensive care 25-fold”. And they conclude: We have good reason to think vitamin D supplementation will help reduce mortality from Covid-19 and we know it can reduce the incidence and severity of the other acute respiratory illnesses. With hospitals already facing pressures from influenza during the winter months, any way of reducing this strain should be taken up. This will no doubt save thousands of lives in any second wave. There is now no reason not to act.”

Fresh study links vitamin D deficiency with 54% higher positivity rate
A new study, using data from Quest Diagnostics and Boston University, found that people with vitamin D deficiency had a 54% higher SARS-CoV-2 positivity rate.

The researchers, led by Harvey Kaufman, MD and Michael Holick, PhD, MD, are quoted by nutraingredients-usa.com as saying: “If controlled trials find this relationship to be causative, the implications are vast and would present a cheap, readily-available method for helping prevent infection, especially for those with vitamin D deficiency.”

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