Magnesium and Vitamin D Deficiency as a Potential Cause of Immune Dysfunction, Cytokine Storm and Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation in COVID-19 Patients
January/February 2021 | Missouri Medicine pg 68+
by James J. DiNicolantonio, PHarmD & James H. O'Keefe, MD, Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute, Kansas City, Missouri.
Patients with COVID-19 who received the magnesium and vitamin D and B12 had an 87% lower risk for requiring oxygen therapy and an 85% lower risk for needing intensive care support.
Magnesium and vitamin D each have the possibility of affecting the immune system and consequently the cytokine storm and coagulation cascade in COVID-19 infections. Vitamin D is important for reducing the risk of upper respiratory tract infections and plays a role in pulmonary epithelial health. While the importance of vitamin D for a healthy immune system has been known for decades, the benefits of magnesium has only recently been elucidated. Indeed, magnesium is important for activating vitamin D and has a protective role against oxidative stress. Magnesium deficiency increases endothelial cell susceptibility to oxidative stress, promotes endothelial dysfunction, reduces fibrinolysis and increases coagulation. Furthermore, magnesium deficient animals and humans have depressed immune responses, which, when supplemented with magnesium, a partial or near full reversal of the immunodeficiency occurs. Moreover, intracellular free magnesium levels in natural killer cells and CD8 killer T cells regulates their cytotoxicity. Considering that magnesium and vitamin D are important for immune function and cellular resilience, a deficiency in either may contribute to cytokine storm in the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) infection.
Summaries by Dr. Grant
A study conducted in Singapore between January and April 2020 tested 43 COVID-19 patients aged 50 or above. A group of 17 patients received magnesium, vitamin D, and B12 daily, while the other 26 did not. Those who received supplementation had an 87 percent lower risk of requiring oxygen therapy and an 85 percent lower risk of needing intensive care.
Another study tested 40 COVID-19 patients who were asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic. Some took vitamin D supplements for two weeks until they achieved a healthy blood level, others took a placebo. After three weeks, three times as many patients in the vitamin D group tested negative for COVID-19 than those who took the placebo.
Low levels of magnesium and vitamin D are a common characteristic in a majority of patients with COVID-19. Getting these levels back into the normal range is a safe and inexpensive over-the-counter treatment that can strengthen immune function. Dr. DiNicolantonio’s and Dr. O’Keefe’s paper concluded that magnesium and vitamin D should get special consideration in the general population during the pandemic.
Note: The #1 deficiency is Vitamin D, #2 is Magnesium
- Overview Magnesium and vitamin D
- Magnesium is needed by Vitamin D in 8 places - 2013
- Magnesium and Vitamin D very synergistic – Aug 2013
- Cytokine storms (COVID-19, etc.) eliminated by Vitamin D (Magnesium helps)
- Magnesium and Vitamin D deficiencies associated with worse COVID-19 – Jan, 2021
- Excessive insulin decreases vitamin D in 4 ways – problems for diabetic COVID-19 – Dec 2020
- Magnesium (which increases vitamin D) may fight COVID-19 - Oct 2020
- COVID-19 1.8 X more likely if proton pump inhibitor (which decreases Mg needed for Vitamin D) – Aug 2020
- COVID-19 might be treated with Mg IV and Potassium – July 2020
- COVID-19 prompts awareness of deficiencies of Vitamin D, C and Magnesium - April 6 2020
- Obesity pandemic since 1975 - is it due to Vitamin D, Magnesium, Iodine, adenovirus, or what
COVID-19 treated by Vitamin D - studies, reports, videos in VitaminDWiki
As of Feb 28 had: 34 trials, 5 trial results, 14 meta-analyses and reviews, 47 observations, 30 recommendations, 47 associations, 85 speculations, 40 videos see also COVID-19 and Vitamin D: Governments, HealthProblems, Hospitals, Dark Skins, 26 COVID-19 risk factors are associated with low Vit D, Recent Virus pages
- SARS-CoV-2: influence of phosphate and magnesium, moderated by vitamin D, on energy (ATP) metabolism and on severity of COVID-19.
- Nov 2020 DOI: 10.1152/ajpendo.00474.2020 FREE PDF
- Magnesium deficiency and COVID-19 – What are the links? June 2020  PDF