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Preventing a COVID-19 pandemic with Vitamin D – Grant April 2020

Re: Preventing a covid-19 pandemic:
Can vitamin D supplementation reduce the spread of COVID-19?
Try first with health care workers and first responders.

01 April 2020, William B. Grant, Research, Sunlight, Nutrition and Health Research Center
PO Box 641603, San Francisco, CA 94164-1603, @wbgrant2


There are better ways to prevent the spread

The best way to reduce the spread of COVID-19 is to massively apply Vitamin D to the hotspots
The increased herd immunity will decrease the the number of individuals to which the virus can spread.
Removing the fuel will make a fire go out.
Outbreaks include
Senior home residents
Sailors on Navy Ships
Patients of psych wards
Local Hotspots
Should also provide Vitamin D "insurance" to people who contact many others
Hospital staff
Should also provide Vitamin D "insurance" to essential workers
Grocery clerks
Amazon distribution workers
WalMart employees
Social distancing and masks just flatten the curve
Vitamin D should actually reduce the total number who will ever get symptoms or go into the hospital

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Id Page Hits Last modification Creator Categories
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20 Jan, 2021 20:07
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12232 400,000 COVID deaths, 400,000 IUs of Vitamin D needed to prevent COVID death - Jan 2021 117
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12223 Herd immunity occurs only via vaccination - W.H.O. Oct 2020 61
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12229 Many COVID-19 risks are associated with low vitamin D (7 studies) – Systematic Review Jan 2021 104
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12242 1 in 8 Recovered COVID-19 Patients Die Within 5 Months - Jan 18, 2021 34
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11925 Long term fatigue, etc. common after viral infections (SARS1,2, MERS, Swine, 1918,...) 575
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12067 Governments are starting to use vitamin D to fight COVID-19 882
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11728 COVID-19 treated by Vitamin D - studies, reports, videos 25213
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12233 Vitamin D to prevent COVID- strange trial recommendations from the UK – Jan 2021 77
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16 Jan, 2021 11:23
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12213 30 x fewer COVID-19 deaths in those getting 400,000 IU of Vitamin D - Jan 2021 412
15 Jan, 2021 16:23
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11959 Admission to COVID-19 ICU 1.7X more likely to have less than 20 ng of vitamin D – Sept 2020 235
15 Jan, 2021 14:07
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12043 COVID-19 survivors can have poor health for a long time 192
14 Jan, 2021 20:40
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12221 Poor COVID-19 prognosis was 6 X more likely if low vitamin D – Jan 21, 2021 188
13 Jan, 2021 21:04
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12220 4X fewer COVID-19 deaths in those having high Omega-3 index – Jan 6, 2021 101
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12195 Vitamin D reduces COVID-19 by 80 percent - anonymous meta-analysis - Jan 5, 2021 503
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12216 Many increased risks for dying of COVID-19 in nursing home (Vitamin D not even mentioned) - Jan 6 2021 46
11 Jan, 2021 23:36
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12217 Active vitamin D (calcitriol) might fight COVID-19 – Jan 5, 2021 91
11 Jan, 2021 23:28
admin Calcitriol

A single megadose of vitamin D results in good enough levels to fight COVID-19 in 3 days

Standard dosing (10,000 IU/day) takes ~3 months

Dear Editor,

There is reasonable evidence that higher 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] concentrations reduce the risk of respiratory tract infections. A meta-analysis of vitamin D supplementation trials found an inverse relationship between vitamin D supplementation and incidence of acute respiratory tract infections, especially for those with 25(OH)D concentrations below 25 nmol/l [1]. Several mechanisms by which vitamin D reduces risk of respiratory tract infections have been identified. One is that cathelicidens and defensins are induced that have antimicrobial and antiendotoxin properties [2]. Another is that vitamin D reduces the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and increases production of anti-inflammatory cytokines 2. The innate immune system often goes into overdrive during respiratory tract infections, resulting in the cytokine storm that can damage the lining of the lungs [3]. Serum 25(OH)D concentrations have been found to be inversely correlated with development of acute respiratory distress syndrome [4].

An article tying this and other information together suggests that raising serum 25(OH)D concentrations to 100 – 150 nmol/l should be able to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection and death [5]. To reach those concentrations rapidly would take large doses of vitamin D for a week or two, followed by several thousand IU/d vitamin D for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. Such doses have been found not to have adverse health effects [6]. In addition, vitamin D reduces risk of many chronic diseases such as cancer and diabetes mellitus in secondary analyses of large clinical trials [7], and observational studies have found inverse correlations between serum 25(OH)D concentration and all-cause mortality rate up to 100 nmol/l [8].

No results of clinical trials regarding vitamin D supplementation for prevention or treatment of COVID-19 have been reported. Thus, an important question is whether making a public health announcement that taking enough vitamin D to raise serum 25(OH)D concentrations is a good idea. On the pro side, high-dose vitamin D supplementation and 25(OH)D concentrations have very few adverse side effects [6, 9]. It is also very inexpensive in markets that are not regulated, such as in the United States. Also, high 25(OH)D concentrations are associated with many health benefits [10] (see, also, information at vitaminDWiki.com and Grassrootshealth.net). On the anti side, physicians and health policy makers are reluctant to recommend health interventions that have not been rigorously tested and approved.

In my opinion, supplementation with substantial vitamin D doses is justified based on the enormous health and economic magnitude of the COVID-19 pandemic, the likely benefit in reducing risk of COVID-19 infection incidence and severity, and the preponderance of other health benefits from vitamin D supplementation and higher 25(OH)D concentrations with minimal adverse effects.

In terms of rolling out this recommendation, it is proposed that health care providers and first responders might try it first. Many of them lack adequate personal protective equipment and are contracting COVID-19 as a result. They have the training and motivation to lead the way in evaluating the benefit of vitamin D supplementation to help stem the COVID-19 pandemic. Measuring serum 25(OH)D concentrations at baseline and after supplementing for some time would be useful, especially in terms of evaluating the results in a field study rather than a randomized controlled trial [5].


  • 1. Martineau AR, Jolliffe DA, Hooper RL, et al. Vitamin D supplementation to prevent acute respiratory tract infections: systematic review and meta-analysis of individual participant data. BMJ 2017;356:i6583. doi: 10.1136/bmj.i6583
  • 2. Gombart AF, Pierre A, Maggini S. A Review of Micronutrients and the Immune System-Working in Harmony to Reduce the Risk of Infection. Nutrients 2020;12(1):E236. doi: 10.3390/nu12010236
  • 3. Guo XJ, Thomas PG. New fronts emerge in the influenza cytokine storm. Semin Immunopathol 2017;39(5):541-50. doi: 10.1007/s00281-017-0636-y
  • 4. Dancer RC, Parekh D, Lax S, et al. Vitamin D deficiency contributes directly to the acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Thorax 2015;70(7):617-24. doi: 10.1136/thoraxjnl-2014-206680
  • 5. Grant WB, Lahore H, McDonnell SL, et al. Evidence That Vitamin D Supplementation Could Reduce Risk of Influenza and COVID-19 Infections and Deaths. Nutrients 2020 doi: 10.20944/preprints202003.0235.v2 [published Online First: 30 March 2020]
  • 6. McCullough PJ, Lehrer DS, Amend J. Daily oral dosing of vitamin D3 using 5000 TO 50,000 international units a day in long-term hospitalized patients: Insights from a seven year experience. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol 2019;189:228-39. doi: 10.1016/j.jsbmb.2018.12.010
  • 7. Grant WB, Boucher BJ. Why Secondary Analyses in Vitamin D Clinical Trials Are Important and How to Improve Vitamin D Clinical Trial Outcome Analyses-A Comment on "Extra-Skeletal Effects of Vitamin D, Nutrients 2019, 11, 1460". Nutrients 2019;11(9) doi: 10.3390/nu11092182
  • 8. Garland CF, Kim JJ, Mohr SB, et al. Meta-analysis of all-cause mortality according to serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D. Am J Public Health 2014;104(8):e43-50. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2014.302034
  • 9. Grant WB, Karras SN, Bischoff-Ferrari HA, et al. Do studies reporting 'U'-shaped serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D-health outcome relationships reflect adverse effects? Dermatoendocrinol 2016;8(1):e1187349. doi: 10.1080/19381980.2016.1187349
  • 10. Charoenngam N, Shirvani A, Holick MF. Vitamin D for skeletal and non-skeletal health: What we should know. J Clin Orthop Trauma 2019;10(6):1082-93. doi: 10.1016/j.jcot.2019.07.004

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