Vitamins for COVID-19 and trials now underway to see if they work

As of July 2020, there are more than 2,500 studies that have been launched to investigate various treatments for COVID-19. You can review the details of these trials on ClinicalTrials.gov. Out of the 2,553 studies (as of July 14, 2020), there are 57 studies launched and underway to investigate the benefits of Vitamins on COVID-19. What are the vitamins that are been tested for COVID-19?



Vitamin D and COVID-19

As of July 14 2020, 31 studies have been launched and in progress on the use of vitamin D in COVID-19. Various combination treatment protocols are been tested with Vitamin C and/or Zinc and/or Resveratrol and/or Quercetin and/or Hydroxychloroquine.

According to an editorial review (Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2020) published in June 2020 by Irish researchers, people with vitamin D deficiency appear to be far more prone to severe COVID-19 infections.

The epidemiology of COVID-19 provides evidence that vitamin D might be helpful in reducing risk associated with COVID-19 deaths. A May 6, 2020, report published in Aging Clinical and Experimental Research (its prepublication featured in the Daily Mail) found that countries with lower vitamin D levels also have higher mortality rates from COVID-19.

The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA) published in April 2020, suggested that vitamin D deficiency could have serious implications for COVID-19.

"Results from the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA),' finds that vitamin D plays a critical role in preventing respiratory infections, reducing antibiotic use, and boosting the immune system response to infections...

Though we do not know specifically of the role of vitamin D in COVID infections, given its wider implications for improving immune responses ... at-risk cohorts should ensure they have an adequate intake of vitamin D.'"


Similarly, a May 6, 2020, report (Nutrients. 2020) in the journal Nutrients pointed out that vitamin D concentrations are lower in patients with positive PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests for SARS-CoV-2. As noted in this report, which retrospectively investigated the vitamin D levels obtained from a cohort of patients in Switzerland.

Another study, published in the journal Nutrients (April 2, 2020), carries the telling title, "Evidence That Vitamin D Supplementation Could Reduce Risk of Influenza and COVID-19 Infections and Death."

Mark Alipio with GrassrootsHealth conducted a retrospective multicenter study involving 212 patients in Southeast Asia who had COVID-19. He too found a strong correlation between vitamin D levels and disease severity. Those with the mildest disease had the highest vitamin D levels, and vice versa.

Another study, which looked at data from 780 hospital patients in Indonesia, found those with a vitamin D level between 20 ng/mL and 30 ng/mL had a sevenfold higher risk of death than those with a level above 30 ng/mL, and having a level below 20 ng/mL was associated with a 12 times higher risk of death.

In a May 18, 2020, letter to the Federal Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel; Bernd Glauner and Lorenz Borsche highlight these and other studies and ask whether a nationwide supply of vitamin D has been considered in Germany.

A preprinted study published in May 2020, looked at Vitamin D levels and inflammatory markers in hospitalized COVID-19 patients in Germany, South Korea (S. Korea), China (Hubei), Switzerland, Iran, UK, US, France, Spain, Italy (MedRxiv). Patients with the lowest Vitamin D levels were about 15% more likely to get severe COVID-19 and cytokine storm. Vitamin D3 plays a role in inhibiting the cytokine storm that causes viral infections to become lethal.

Vitamin C and COVID-19

As of July 14 2020, there were 27 studies in progress on the use of vitamin C in COVID-19 and some are in combination with Vitamin D and/or Zinc and/or Hydroxychloroquine.

Most people turn to vitamin C after they've caught a cold. That’s because it helps build up your immune system. Vitamin C is thought to increase the production of white blood cells. These are key to fighting infections. Some of the most vitamin C-rich foods include citrus fruits, from tangerines to limes, along with leafy greens, bell peppers and broccoli. Berries are another great source, and they all provide this and other potent antioxidants, which support your immune response and help to rebuild collagen. Because your body doesn't produce or store it, you need daily vitamin C for continued health. Almost all citrus fruits are high in vitamin C.

Vitamin C appears to be able to both prevent and treat respiratory and systemic infections by enhancing various immune cell functions. Prophylactic prevention of infection requires dietary vitamin C intakes that provide at least adequate, if not saturating plasma levels (i.e., 100–200 mg/day), which optimize cell and tissue levels. In contrast, treatment of established infections requires significantly higher (gram) doses of the vitamin to compensate for the increased metabolic demand. (PubMed).

A large review of 29 studies in 11,306 people demonstrated that regularly supplementing with vitamin C at an average dose of 1–2 grams per day reduced the duration of colds by 8% in adults and 14% in children (PubMed).

Interestingly, the review also demonstrated that regularly taking vitamin C supplements reduced common cold occurrence in individuals under high physical stress, including marathon runners and soldiers, by up to 50% (PubMedPubMed).

Additionally, high dose intravenous vitamin C treatment has been shown to significantly improve symptoms in people with severe infections, including sepsis and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) resulting from viral infections (PubMedPubMed).

Precaution: Experts are urging people to be cautious about gobbling down high doses of supplements. Please consult your local doctor.

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