Vitamin D & Long Covid
Early on in the pandemic, folks in the alternative communities started to share that insufficient Vitamin D levels contributed to more severe cases of Covid and increase the risk of ending up in the ICU.
Part of the reason that darker-skinned humans had a rougher time with Covid is that their skin doesn’t manufacture as efficiently, Vitamin D. So they can often become insufficient or deficient in Vitamin D if not supplemented.
But mainstream medicine didn’t want to hear that it seemed.
Now patients with long COVID-19 — where the effects of an initial COVID infection last more than 12 weeks — are found to have lower levels of 25(OH) vitamin D than other patients who survived COVID-19. This was shown in a retrospective, case-matched study.
The lower levels of vitamin D in patients with long COVID were most notable in those with brain fog.
These findings, by Luigi di Filippo, MD, and colleagues, were recently presented at the European Congress of Endocrinology (ECE) in Istanbul, Turkey, and published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
"Our data suggest that vitamin D levels should be evaluated in COVID-19 patients after hospital discharge," write the researchers from San Raffaele Hospital, Milan, Italy.
"The role of vitamin D supplementation as a preventive strategy of COVID-19 sequelae should be tested in randomized controlled trials," they urge.
"Our study shows that COVID-19 patients with low vitamin D levels are more likely to develop long COVID, but it is not yet known whether vitamin D supplements could improve the symptoms or reduce this risk altogether," he cautioned.
Low Vitamin D and Risk of Long COVID
Long COVID is an emerging syndrome that affects 50% to 70% of COVID-19 survivors.
Most patients that had early interventions do not seem to have as much long Covid, as those who had been treated classically. This was, “Go home, take Tylenol, and don’t do anything unless you have trouble breathing and then go to the ER.
Functional doctors were calling for prompt early interventions.
This seems to have thwarted, in most cases, Long Covid. (Nothing works 100% so there are exceptions, but for example, our patients at our clinic that did early intervention mostly did not get Long Covid.)
Long Covid is being discussed and labeled as the “new epidemic”.
Low levels of vitamin D have been associated with an increased likelihood of needing mechanical ventilation and worse survival in patients hospitalized with COVID-19, but the risk of long-COVID associated with vitamin D has not been known.
Two-thirds of patients with low vitamin D levels at hospital admission still presented with low levels at the 6-month follow-up. So they had not been recommended to take any vitamin supplements.
Vitamin D levels were significantly lower in patients with neurocognitive symptoms at follow-up than in those without such symptoms.
In patients with vitamin D deficiency (< 20 ng/mL) at admission and follow-up, those with long COVID had lower vitamin D levels at follow-up than those without long COVID.
And in multiple regression analyses, a lower 25(OH) vitamin D level at follow-up was the only variable that was significantly associated with long COVID.
The findings "strongly reinforce the clinical usefulness of 25(OH) vitamin D evaluation as a possible modifiable pathophysiological factor underlying this emerging worldwide critical health issue," the researchers conclude.
Knowledge is Power.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. Published online April 13, 2023. Article
Could Vitamin D Supplementation Help in Long COVID? - Medscape - May 16, 2023.