Vitamin D and Covid: Looked at this video at... - AF Association

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Vitamin D and Covid

Physalis
Physalis

Looked at this video at the weekend. Small trial but it showed that patients given vitamin D on admission to hospital with Covid fared much better than the control group.

Vitamin d 25ug is very cheap, 270 days for £7 at Tesco but there are lots of other places you can buy it. Maybe we could all try it for a month and then compare notes.

youtube.com/watch?v=V8Ks9fU...

64 Replies
oldestnewest

I've been taking vitamin D3 (in liquid form) for the last few years, along with a slow release vitamin C pill. I used to have lots of bad chest infections every winter. For the last two I've been totally free of them and I put it down to the benefits of these vitamins.

Jean

Amazon have got 2000 25ug drops for £16 so cheaper than chips!

I have been taking Vit D3 capsules for some time on prescription because I was found to be deficient following a blood test .

The deficiency was affecting my mobility, I had pains in my legs and at the base of my spine and was finding it difficult to walk upstairs or to get up from a chair.

I couldn't believe the difference a few months of taking the capsules made my mobility was restored and I felt much better.

My GP said of all the supplements Vit D3 is the one she would recommend people over 60 who are living through UK winters to take.

Quinnie
Quinnie in reply to doodle68

Can I ask what time of day is best for taking this?

doodle68
doodle68 in reply to Quinnie

Hi Quinnie 😊 I don't know if there is a best time I take mine in the morning after my porridge which I have for breakfast every day .

Gertsen
Gertsen in reply to Quinnie

I have been taking mine on prescription for a couple of years one in the morning and one in the evening.

Both Vit C and Vit D have been successfully used to treat Covid patients — including those in ICU — since early spring, in China, in Italy, in parts of the US, and elsewhere. Maybe under the radar in the UK as well.

Unfortunately these results tend to be labelled as 'fake news' (I have personal experience on Facebook of that!) and we are instead repeatedly told that only a vaccine can save us...

jeanjeannie50
jeanjeannie50 in reply to emv54

Yes, I've read that about Covid too. The Chinese were giving large doses of vitamin C to covid patients and apparently it helped.

Vit D supplments are recommended by the NHS:

nhs.uk/conditions/vitamins-...

Physalis
Physalis in reply to Drounding

That is interesting, they are saying 10ug or 500mg should be adequate for most people. They also say "There have been some news reports about vitamin D reducing the risk of coronavirus. However, there is currently not enough evidence to support this."

I think this is wrong and the site should be amended. If you watch Dr. John Campbell's youtube videos then you will see his increasing irritation that Vit D supplements are not being taken seriously and recommended.

Maybe, a bit like face masks, the government thinks a surge in demand might result in a shortage.

The video above has convinced me.

Yes but the amount they recommend is far too low. The scientists who research vit D recommend 10x as much in the winter.

Hilly22
Hilly22 in reply to Auriculaire

Hi Auriculaire. Another interesting discussion on what has become one of my favourite topics.

An update since our last discussion ... husband and I are now each taking 3000 iu a day along with K2, in spite of our GP saying we shouldn’t take more than 1000, which is in spite of my husband’s borderline deficiency.

However I managed to catch up with my brother who’s also a GP, and I’m proud to say he’s either more up-to-date, and/or doesn’t mind contradicting the current UK guidelines. He himself is taking 20,000 iu a week in 4 doses of 5000, and recommends that we do the same. In future I’ll be ordering them in 5000s - even cheaper 😊

Physalis
Physalis in reply to Hilly22

I'm going to start taking 2 - 1000iu a day. Will be interesting to see if it makes any noticeable difference to how I feel.

Auriculaire
Auriculaire in reply to Hilly22

20,000iu a week is actually 1000iu less than you are taking now . If your husband is borderline deficient by UK measurements then he is well and truly deficient as the normal range in the uk starts 25nmol /l lower than in most European countries. Worse he would be in the at risk range for a bad Covid outcome according to the studies which show that you need to have a level of at least 75nmol/l to have a better chance of not being really ill. I would be inclined to get a test to see if your dose is enough. You can then adjust upwards or stay on 3000iu as a maintenance dose through the winter. Remember you should also be taking magnesium. This helps the vit D be absorbed better so less is needed. If you take a calcium supplement or eat loads of dairy K2 would be a good idea as well.

Hilly22
Hilly22 in reply to Auriculaire

Because of my husband’s wariness we were only on 2000iu a day until I spoke to my brother, since then we’ve been on 3000 a day with a few extra iu here and there. I use the oral spray for better absorption as I’m taking a PPI (I know, not good!!) so extra squirts for luck! You’re quite right, we really must get another test done soon so we know where we are, and increase our doses if necessary. We’ve been dousing ourselves in the summer sun too, hope it’s helped 🤞. We’re taking magnesium too 👍🏼

Auriculaire
Auriculaire in reply to Hilly22

A combo of 3000iu a day plus sunbathing should have made a difference. Sunbathing is good for you anyway even when tbe angle of the sun means no vitD is made as the UVA provokes the formation of nitric oxide which is good for arterial health. I sun bathe for a short time all year round if it is warm enough. I also have a UVB lamp for winter use but tend not to use it enough.

The Vit D given to COVID patents was huge intravenous doses as a treatment but certainly our GPs have been advising taking both Vit D + Zinc + Vit C - slow release, to boost immune system.

Having ‘not enough evidence’ means exactly that ie they have not enough hard data from blind clinical trials but who is going to volunteer for blind clinical trials with COVID?

My neuro says that 400IU of VitD is a good maintenance level as in some people it can cause kidney stones if taken in large doses.

You can do a VitD serum test very easily online - cost about £40 at our local hospital lab - all done through the post.

Physalis
Physalis in reply to CDreamer

I wonder if they are giving large doses to inpatients with Covid in this country.

Because I very rarely go outside I've bought the 1000 iu ones. Hope I've done the right thing. I virtually never get infections, can't remember when I last had a cold, must be years ago.

We had a family gathering last Christmas, there must have been about twelve of us there plus two small children. I used to go to U3A meetings about four times a month. I've been travelling on the bus for about six years or so, since I gave up my car so could have picked things up but didn't. The last feverish illness I had was about fifteen years ago.

Perhaps I'm tempting fate by saying all that!

CDreamer
CDreamer in reply to Physalis

Yes they are - look at the work Imperial are doing - there is a link to the video you posted from that study - if you download the Zoe COVID App you can become part of the study and get access to info that is not released elsewhere.

covid.joinzoe.com/data

If you have the 1000IU VitD maybe take 3-4 times a week rather than daily?

I know that Exeter Uni were working with U3A on dementia and the one thing that they found was that there was a link between those people who had higher cognitive functioning and less dementia when VitD serum levels were high. They couldn’t say that it prevented dementia, only that it seemed to be an observational link on the 75+

Physalis
Physalis in reply to CDreamer

Yes, I've joined.

belindalore
belindalore in reply to Physalis

My ex was tested for vitamin D deficiency at the VA clinic he goes to in Daytona Beach FL. He was deficient and he takes a 5000 iu (125mcg). I've read where you can take up to twice that and it's supposed to be safe. I don't get sun. I take 2000 iu twice a day. I also take vitamin C and magnesium. I have found all three have helped a great deal to lower the number of palpitations I get. (The metoprolol I was on made those MUCH WORSE. So I quit that med. Told the cardio Dr I'd use it as a pip. ) I also take zinc. I don't take the D and magnesium together because they can lower blood pressure and mine is already low but good. So I eat some Himalayan pink salt and I keep my BP pretty level. And I always take my supplements with a meal.

What Drs don't tell us is that a lot of these meds leech the nutrients from our bodies. Why it's important to eat well and take a good multi vitamin, which I also take, and some extra supplements. No sugar. I do eat a tiny piece of dark chocolate once in awhile. And I loved sweets. Now I don't really miss sugar. I also take a probiotic. I believe CDreamer posted a different post on here how important it is to keep the gut healthy. (CDreamer does a lot of research). And it's hard to do taking these meds. If the Drs would just do their job and test us things might just be a little easier for all of us........ Everyone take care.

Auriculaire
Auriculaire in reply to CDreamer

A good maintenance level IF the baseline is within the desirable range to start with and if regular sunbathing is done- maybe. It certainly would not treat a deficiency. I would prefer to take the advice of the scientists who research vit D like Holick and Cannell who recommend always supplementing in accordance with blood tests as variations in individuals re absorption are enormous. I took vitD in calcium supplements (400iu ) for years along with cod liver oil (an additional 200iu ) ate oily fish most days , eggs liver etc. I was still diagnosed with a severe deficiency. Kidney stones are only likely if high calcium supplements are taken or if the diet is high in oxalates ( and this can cause stones irrespective of vit D intake) . The answer to this is vit K2 which directs calcium into bones and teeth rather than tissues where it does not belong.

tunybgur
tunybgur in reply to Auriculaire

Unfortunately the K2 affects INR levels often neutralising the anticoagulants so many of us AF sufferers have to take.

Auriculaire
Auriculaire in reply to tunybgur

There are people here on Warfarin who take K2 as a way of stabilising their INR. It smoothes out variations caused by the K1 in veg. I can't remember who wrote about it.

tunybgur
tunybgur in reply to Auriculaire

Possibly, but if I take D3(100mcg) with K2(250mcg) my INR drops by over a point.

Auriculaire
Auriculaire in reply to tunybgur

That is a big dose of K2. I take 100mcg . It is present in food as well.

tunybgur
tunybgur in reply to Auriculaire

It's all in the same tablet....supposed to be balanced to help prevent calcification of the arteries which can be a consequence of taking Vit D supplements.

Auriculaire
Auriculaire in reply to tunybgur

It is more a consequence of excess calcium. Vit D increases absorption of calcium from the gut. The danger of artery calcification comes mainly from ingestion of calcium supplements which many women were encouraged to take to prevent osteoporosis - especially if they had a low intake of dairy. These calcium supplements nearly always contained vit D to increase absorption .Without the vit K2 ( found in hard cheeses) the calcium risks not going where it should.

MarkS started a thread some years ago about the benefits of K2, generally but also helping stabilising INR levels and that's when I started too.

Redders
Redders in reply to CDreamer

Hi CD, I’ve been taking 1000iu D3 do you think that’s too high a dose ?

Physalis
Physalis in reply to Redders

You could get a test - £7.45 on Amazon, free postage if you accept a month's free trial of Amazon Prime before cancelling it.

CDreamer
CDreamer in reply to Redders

As Auriculaire says - depends upon your baseline. My GP did a VitD for me recently which came back into normal range’ but for this winter you would want to be at the high end of normal. The Dr mentioned in this video - or may have the Dr Cambell latest video? took 6000iu & Dr Cambell takes 2000iu. Who knows? I started on 1200iu - got my levels up & now stick at 400 but may go to 1000 during the winter.

Auriculaire
Auriculaire in reply to CDreamer

It was Fauci who was taking 6000iu according to the Dr John video. Holick who is one of the foremost vit D researchers has written an interesting book called "The Vitamin D Solution". He says he takes 5000iu in winter but ups it to 10,000iu at the first sign of any cold or flu. Please be aware CD that the normal range in the UK starts at a lower range than in most of Europe. Unless it has changed recently vitamin D levels in the UK are considered sufficient at 50nmol/l ( 20ng/l). This is 25 nmol/l below the start of normal range in most European countries and crucially 25nmol/l below the level that was shown to be sufficient in the first study that came out showing the correlation between low vit D and poor covid outcomes. So if your "normal" vit D level was between 50 and 75 nmol/l you would still be in the category shown to be at risk. I would be inclined to find out what the actual figure was. I suffered 7 years of undiagnosed hypothyroidism because my GP in England told me my thyroid tests were normal. Actually they weren't and if I had had the figures I would have queried her interpretation and insisted on further testing . There have been more studies recently from various countries confirming the link between low vit D and poor covid outcomes. I am convinced that going into winter having a high normal vit D level is the best thing one can do to protect oneself in the pandemic until a safe and effective vaccine becomes available. You might find the blog of Dr David Grimes interesting. He is a Lancashire GP who has been very proactive in trying to correct the abysmally low levels of vit D in his Asian patients. He has written an ebook with another doctor about the link between low levels of vit D and respiratory viral illness and is having trouble getting it distributed. Apparently the book is "fake news" despite references to peer reviewed papers on vit D research!

CDreamer
CDreamer in reply to Auriculaire

I take all your points and thank you for your information and agree.

I lived near Slough as I worked there for 13 years which also has a very high Asian population and many of the women rarely left the home for various reasons and many suffered with various illnesses because of low VitD. All the GP’s in the area were super alert and had posters in about 5 languages alerting people to take supplements. This was from 1992 and where I first became aware of VitD and the affect.

I am going to have a private VitD test every 6 months I think from now on.

Auriculaire
Auriculaire in reply to CDreamer

I think that is a good idea. I haven't been tested for a while now - I am sure my doctor thinks my very high normal level is not likely to drop into deficiency as long as I keep taking my Calcifediol drops but I think the next time I go for my prescription renewal I will ask for a prescription for a test. I should be due for blood tests for kidney and liver function because of being on Apixaban anyway so they can just take an extra phial of blood at the lab. I will have to be tested for covid before going for my hip replacement.

I've been on 600iu for the last two years and have just gone up to 1000iu as from yesterday.

As a follow up @Physalis this is what the Lancet says:-

Perhaps the best hope for showing a clinical benefit lies in a population-based trial investigating prophylactic vitamin D supplementation as a means of attenuating the severity of incident COVID-19, to the extent that it is either asymptomatic or does not result in hospitalisation. The design of such a trial should be informed by findings of meta-analyses of randomised controlled trials of vitamin D to prevent other acute respiratory infections, which suggest that the intervention would work best when given in daily doses of 400–1000 IU to individuals with lower baseline vitamin D status.

From thelancet.com/journals/land...

Auriculaire
Auriculaire in reply to CDreamer

No the intervention would work best if individual dosing was given so as to raise the baseline to a minimum 30ng/l- which is the level shown by various recent studies that needs to be attained so as to mitigate covid outcomes. This involves testing for baseline then testing again to see that the level has increased sufficiently after supplementation. Just giving a set amount and hoping for the best is not going to do any good for the people who need 5x or 10x that amount to reach 30ng/l ( 75nmol/l in uk measurements). But you can bet your bottom dollar this won't be done because of cost. Nor will loading dose by ampoule ( used widely here) be given . I remember my ex GP in Brum ( who was a friend that I still keep in touch with) telling me years ago these ampoules were not used in the UK because of cost. If your baseline is in the doldrums - say 8 or 9 ng/l 400iu just will not cut it . Even taking 1000iu a day could take months to raise it to a still not good enough 20ng/l by which time you could be long dead and buried . There are lots of studies in the vit D scientific research literature showing at what rates ( on average ) various doses raise levels .Those with severe vit D deficiency need to be identified quickly , given loading and maintenance doses quickly.

Physalis
Physalis in reply to Auriculaire

I guess the trouble is that we may be deficient in vit d but it doesn't cause symptoms in most people. My levels may be low but I feel fine.

However, "There were 101,136 admissions last year where vitamin D deficiency was a primary or secondary factor in the admission, a rise of 34 per cent in a year, analysis of NHS Digital data shows."

And the coronavirus pandemic has raised awareness now.

I wonder if it plays any part in AFib.

Hidden
Hidden

Shame that Matt Hancock says they have done trials and "it doesn't work"

However, the mounting evidence shows that it is efficacious. So for a few pence a day my whole family is taking it. Personally I've been taking it for over 3 years.

As for people getting kidney stones, that is very rare and when they had taken massive doses

KMRobbo
KMRobbo in reply to Hidden

That does it for me! if Matt Hancock says it is no good I will order a supply!

I already take a cod liver oil capsuke so get some from that

Hidden
Hidden in reply to KMRobbo

Agreed!

It's worth watching a few of the Dr Campbell videos on the subject, the evidence is really stacking up.

I take 4000 iù a day, Dr Fauchi the eminent US immunology expert takes 6000 iù a day. Yet neither government advocate us plebs take it.

If it's good enough for him .....

CDreamer
CDreamer in reply to Hidden

So right!

Auriculaire
Auriculaire in reply to KMRobbo

It is a bad idea to rely on cod liver oil for vit D supplementation as to get sufficient you would be overdosing on vit A which is present in far greater quantities.

CDreamer
CDreamer in reply to KMRobbo

👏🤣👍

Auriculaire
Auriculaire in reply to Hidden

He's lying .

My husband and I had Vitamin D3 tests done over three months ago and whilst I was adequate my husband just scraped into adequate. I ordered D3 for us both, (5000 IU for him and 1000 IU for me). We will retest in a couple of weeks. Interestingly, when I broke my wrist here in Spain almost 6 weeks ago, both consultants checked if I was taking calcium and Vitamin D3 . The plaster comes off on Friday so we'll see!

Physalis
Physalis in reply to irene75359

Do you spend much time in the sun? This year I've spent virtually no time outdoors.

I had thought that my 10ug daily meant that my vit d level would be fine but now I am totally confused as to whether I should take 25ug or even a lot more.

Hidden
Hidden in reply to Physalis

Even spending all your time in the sun in the northern hemisphere you are likely to still be deficient. I take 4000 iù a day which is 100 ug , the dose you are taking is probably enough to stop you getting rickets

Physalis
Physalis in reply to Hidden

That's nice to know!!

CDreamer
CDreamer in reply to Physalis

Then get a test.

irene75359
irene75359 in reply to Physalis

I don't lie down and sunbathe but I do spend a lot of time in the sun, as does my husband, particularly here in Spain, but that didn't help his levels. I was going to refer you to Auriculaire who is very knowledgeable about Vitamin D3 but I see she has already answered. It may be worth your while getting your levels tested (I used vitamindtest.org.uk/), we bought a pack of 10 and all of the family did a test and my son-in-law's levels were inadequate as well. We have two tests left which we are going to use when we return to the UK in 10 days time to see what difference our substantial dosage made. If you are interested I am happy to post the results on here.

I'm not sure where I got this info, or even if it's accurate with new research an all, but I have a couple of notes on Vit. D and Vit C.

Notes:

Vit D should be taken at the same time as Vit K because they both work together and one without the other is not helpful, and both should be taken with oil or in a gel cap with oil so as to be bioavailable.

Vit C as a Lypo-Spheric encapsulated liposome (I don't even pretend to understand this) is ultra potent--it comes in 1000mg per packet, & apparently you drop it in water and swig it back in one swallow.

If anyone can tell me if my notes are accurate or not, I'd appreciate it!

Thanks!

Coincidentally hubby and I started taking vit D last October after reading Cdreamers comments. We have both probably had Covid in Feb March thus year but the symptoms were mild. I do wonder if it would have been worse if we hadn’t taken vit D daily

I was tested and found to be deficient and prescibed some vials to take for 10 days with calcium. Since then I take Vit D3 3000iu once a day.

Physalis
Physalis in reply to Drounding

Fancy, wonder what I will end up taking.

Research showing higher dose linked to falls in elderly so maybe stick to lower doses.

nhs.uk/news/older-people/do...

Hidden
Hidden in reply to lallym

If you read the whole page it also states that this goes against other trials that showed the exact opposite

lallym
lallym in reply to Hidden

Indeed. Just flagging up that nhs recommends 800iu

CDreamer
CDreamer in reply to lallym

I am not sure how this is relevant to this discussion as the amounts given in the trial are so far above mentioned here.

I agree with Dr Cambell - we need more trials & why aren’t they happening?

Nutrition is very complex but this is specifically about the value of maintaining baseline VitD levels on the high side of normal to help immune system fight COVID. And everyone absorbs differently.

With some evidence (not enough) that very large doses given early in treatment process of COVID may help - but with only one study - convincing as the data in that may be - we just cannot yet say that there is enough evidence to prove or disprove.

lallym
lallym in reply to CDreamer

These are monthly figures. Some on here are saying NHS recommended levels are too low. The 60,000 dose is 2000iu but lots on the market are 4000iu.

So just sounding a warning and agree re research.

Auriculaire
Auriculaire in reply to CDreamer

That is true but loading doses of vit D have been used here in France for years without evidence of harm. They ARE less effective than daily or weekly dosing and if no maintenance doses are taken the levels can plummet after a few weeks. I have taken 200.000iu in an ampoule several times before switching to daily drops. It did me no harm. The first time I was able to walk normally within a few days after spending months limping . A trial is ongoing at the University Hospital of Angers using doses of 400,000 iu and 200,000 iu of cholecalciferol in covid patients. I do not think it has reported yet. But I don't think the doctors there would be using these very high doses if loading doses had been shown to be harmful . I actually think that given the very positive results from the Reina Sofia trial in Cordoba and the mounting evidence from studies round the world that low vit D is dangerous re covid infections it is negligent not to try this protocol. How many more people have to die or suffer serious complications?

Hi Physalis,

Vit D is essential for health and the best way to get it is from the sun, however there are a few things people should be aware of.

Vit D comes from an interaction between UVB radiation and our skin, however UVB radiation only penetrates the atmosphere when the sun is more than 50 degrees above the horizon, a rough guide is if your shadow is the same length or shorter than your height you are getting some UVB rays. In the UK for instance, this only happens between mid April and late August, that's why we should take supplements in the winter.

Half an hour in the midday sun is plenty to get all the Vit D you need, any more and you are damaging your skin, and always protect the delicate skin of your face by shading.

Another thing, the conversion to Vit D takes time and the oils in your skin are part of the process. You should avoid washing all these oils off with soap after sunbathing as this will inhibit the process, these oils are beneficial and soap is damaging to your skin. Rinse your body in the shower with water alone, and only use soap in the pits and crevices where bacteria will grow, your skin will thank you.

Good luck

There is also the matter of air pollution. Many cities in the world have reduced available UVB due to air pollution. Also if you use sunscreen no vit D will be made.

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