Last year, just a few months into the global COVID-19 pandemic, so much misinformation spread that the World Health Organization published a page to dispel rumors, explaining that methods including eating garlic, drinking bleach and taking hot baths will not protect against or kill the virus and some methods can in fact be extremely dangerous.
As these myths were fuelled by social media as people grew impatient of waiting for a COVID vaccine to emerge, preliminary findings began to circulate about the efficacy of vitamin D in preventing coronavirus. These were hesitantly received and dismissed as speculative due to a lack of further research, ensuring the focus remained on social distancing as the most trusted way to defend yourself against infection.
Does vitamin D help with coronavirus?
Vitamin D’s well-researched role in general immunity—particularly the conclusions that “Vitamin D can modulate the innate and adaptive immune responses” and “Deficiency in vitamin D is associated with [...] an increased susceptibility to infection”—gave enough credibility to prompt members of the medical community into further probing of its potential role in COVID immunity specifically.
A recent study on patients at Hospital del Mar, Barcelona, claims that "In patients hospitalized with COVID-19, calcifediol (vitamin D3) treatment at the time of hospitalization significantly reduced ICU admission and mortality." While some find these findings significant, others have criticized the parameters in which the study was conducted and so it is currently under investigation.
As of the time of publishing this article, The World Health Organisation advises: “Vitamin and mineral supplements cannot cure COVID-19. Micronutrients, such as vitamins D and C and zinc, are critical for a well-functioning immune system and play a vital role in promoting health and nutritional well-being. There is currently no guidance on the use of micronutrient supplements as a treatment of COVID-19. WHO is coordinating efforts to develop and evaluate medicines to treat COVID-19.”
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), in collaboration with Public Health England and the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition, have published a rapid review of studies on vitamin D and COVID-19 to monitor emerging evidence. The review supports the UK government’s advice to supplement with vitamin D during the winter months, and to use the NHS free daily vitamin D scheme if you are at high-risk.
Ultimately, vitamin D remains of interest in its potential to influence the effects of coronavirus but it is still too early to draw conclusive results and so studies continue to be closely monitored.
What is the daily requirement of vitamin D?
It is estimated that one billion people globally have insufficient levels of vitamin D in heir blood. Recommendations from the US National Institutes of Health suggest a daily intake of between 400–800 IU (international units), or 10–20 micrograms, depending on your age. The NHS recommends that you should take 400 IU/10 micrograms of vitamin D a day between October and early March to keep your bones and muscles healthy, but you should also supplement during the other months if you are indoors more than usual as you will not be able to get the amount of vitamin D you need from sunlight.
If your doctor has recommended you take a different amount of vitamin D, or you have a medical condition that means you can’t safely take as much as the guidelines, you should follow their advice.
People most at risk of a vitamin D deficiency include the elderly, those with darker skin and those who are exposed to low levels of sunlight.
Which is the best vitamin D?
The body creates vitamin D from direct sunlight on the skin when outdoors, and vitamin D can be found in some foods such as oily fish, red meat mushrooms and egg yolks. Cereals are often fortified with vitamin D however this is usually vitamin D2 which is cheap to produce but isn’t as well metabolized by the body as vitamin D3.
What’s the best way to take vitamin D?
We deliver our vitamin D as a tincture/liquid supplement spray, ensuring that it’s extracted, blended and delivered in the most efficient way for your body to absorb. Our under-the-tongue spray offers 2.6x higher absorption rate than when taken as a capsule. We recommend a daily dose of three sprays, which enter the bloodstream via the tongue’s mucosal membrane (the complex network of capillaries and veins in the mouth).
The average supplement can be up to 50% fillers, bulking agents, sweeteners, excipients, flavorings and colorings, making it cheaper for the manufacturer to produce. Our formulas are 97% active ingredients and free from harmful fillers, bulking agents and excipients. VITAMIN D delivers 3,000 IU/75 micrograms per dose.