Posted on

LMU – 179 Unlocking the Power of Vitamin D: A Beacon of Hope Amidst COVID-19


LMU – 179 Unlocking the Power of Vitamin D: A Beacon of Hope Amidst COVID-19

Source: J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol (October 2020)

Lifestyle Medicine Update (October 30, 2020)


In the ever-evolving landscape of healthcare, the quest for effective treatments against COVID-19 continues to be at the forefront. As the world grapples with the pandemic, emerging evidence suggests that a humble nutrient, vitamin D, could hold the key to better outcomes for patients battling the virus. In this article, we delve into the intriguing findings that shed light on the role of vitamin D in the fight against COVID-19.

The Vitamin D Connection: From Respiratory Distress to COVID-19

In previous explorations within the realm of Lifestyle Medicine Updates, we delved into the significance of vitamin D in preventing acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). It became evident that optimal blood levels of vitamin D could serve as a shield against this life-threatening condition. But could this shield extend its protective reach to encompass COVID-19 as well? A growing body of research hinted at this possibility, with studies from various countries suggesting that individuals with lower vitamin D levels were more vulnerable to severe COVID-19 infections and faced a higher risk of mortality.

The Spanish Hospital Study: A Glimmer of Hope

To put this theory to the test, a pioneering study was undertaken in a Spanish hospital. This study embarked on a mission to decipher the impact of vitamin D supplementation on COVID-19 patients. Seventy-six patients, all bearing the undeniable mark of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19, became the subjects of this critical investigation. The approach was methodical, employing computer-generated randomization to eliminate any potential doctor bias. Out of these 76 patients, 50 were provided with vitamin D supplementation, while the remaining 26 received standard medical treatment for COVID-19 without vitamin D. The results unveiled a compelling narrative.

Vitamin D: A Shield Against Intensive Care

Among the cohort of 26 patients who did not receive vitamin D supplementation, a startling fifty percent, equivalent to 13 individuals, saw their COVID-19 infections escalate to a critical point, necessitating admission to the intensive care unit (ICU). Tragically, two of these patients succumbed to the virus. In stark contrast, within the group of 50 patients who received vitamin D as part of their treatment, only one patient required ICU admission, and miraculously, none of them lost the battle against COVID-19. The chasm in outcomes was undeniable, and the implications profound.

Vitamin D’s Immune Arsenal: Unveiling the Mechanism

The question arises: What transforms vitamin D into a potent defender against COVID-19? The answer lies in the realm of immune function. Vitamin D plays a pivotal role in empowering immune cells to synthesize agents with the remarkable ability to obliterate invading viruses upon contact. These immune warriors include cathelicidin peptide, defensins, and the TLR co-receptor CD14. These agents form the frontline of the immune system’s defence, mounting a rapid and effective counterattack against pathogens. With vitamin D in their arsenal, immune cells are fortified, enabling them to strike down viruses with unparalleled efficiency.

A Glimpse into the Future: The Upcoming Multi-Center Trial

While this study represents a significant step forward, it is essential to acknowledge its limitations due to its relatively small sample size. However, the encouraging results have catalyzed a more extensive, multi-center trial spanning 15 hospitals across Spain. This comprehensive study will enrol COVID-19 patients and administer vitamin D or a placebo alongside other approved COVID-19 treatments. These treatments encompass a spectrum of approaches, including hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin, and, in cases with pneumonia, broad-spectrum antibiotics. For patients on ventilators, the addition of the steroid drug dexamethasone, known to reduce mortality in such cases, is part of the protocol. Intriguingly, these drugs were administered uniformly across all 76 COVID-19 patients in the initial study, but the introduction of vitamin D supplementation led to significantly improved outcomes compared to those who did not receive it.

The Pursuit of Optimal Vitamin D Levels

As we navigate the intricate landscape of COVID-19, a crucial lesson emerges – the importance of maintaining optimal vitamin D levels in the bloodstream. A range between 85-125 nmol/L (34 ng/ml – 50 ng/ml) is the sweet spot, enabling immune cells to launch a potent defence against invading viruses and pathogens. While the quest for effective treatments against COVID-19 continues, the role of vitamin D stands as a shining beacon of hope in the relentless fight against the pandemic.


  1. Castillo ME et al. *Effect of calcifediol treatment and best available therapy versus best available therapy on intensive care unit admission and mortality among patients hospitalized for COVID-19: A pilot study.* J Biochem Mol Biol. 2020; 203:105751                          [Read more](
Eat Smart, Live Well, Look Great

Dr. Meschino

Dr. James Meschino


Dr. James Meschino, DC, MS, ROHP, is an educator, author, and researcher having lectured to thousands of healthcare professionals across North America. He holds a Master’s Degree in Science with specialties in human nutrition and biology and is recognized as an expert in the field of nutrition, anti-aging, fitness, and wellness as well as the author of numerous books.

Share this: