The growing evidence on vitamin D and Covid | The Spectator


('Jackie P') #1

I have been reading more and more about this. I wondered about it when I noticed the BAME community being so disproportionately affected.
It seems to be gaining ground. When will they advise people to supplement? When they have all the data of course :no_mouth:


(Vic) #2

I’ve seen more then many articles advising people take D for this reason over the last several weeks


(Jane) #4

Interesting. I know most folks would say the prisons and nursing homes are harder hit because of enforced confinement (and fragility of nursing home patients) but I wonder if their confinement has led to lower vitamin D levels and weakened their ability to fight the disease?


('Jackie P') #5

Aww, shame I couldn’t get that one. It says private :smirk:


('Jackie P') #6

Try this one.

(Peter) #7

Ivor now appears to have decided he’s a pandemic expert as well. Talk about getting outside your lane…


#8

EVERYBODY with a public voice is aren’t they? I decided after Bill Gates apparently became a Covid expert that I was too, aren’t you? At least with Ivor he understands a lot of really deep biological stuff though. I’d honestly give him more credit to figure some stuff out than many mainstream docs. That said he’s definitely not an expert and it’s still a guess. But correlating disconnected stuff IS kinda his thing!


(Bob M) #9

Concerning vitamin D, the Kawasaki disease people keep referencing for children has a high correlation with vitamin D levels. Saw a study where about 90% of kids who got Kawasaki disease had low vitamin D levels, relative to a set of controls without the disease. Correlation, not causation, but possible.

Anyway, if it is Kawasaki disease, that damages the endothelium, which is very bad. Damaging the endothelium causes heart disease. That might be why some of the kids can go into heart failure.

I had to stop following Ivor on Twitter. People were getting extremely rude. When it devolves into calling people “screechers” for disagreeing, I gave up.

There were 4,000 published papers LAST WEEK on covid-19. If anyone thinks they can currently make sense of the disease, they are wrong. They only have guesses.

No one can decide – at all – what the seroprevalence of covid-19 is in Stockholm, let along NYC. Weird things are occurring, like dividing the number of deaths in NYC by the entire population of NYC, which yields higher IFR (infection fatality rate) than people are calculating using other techniques. That seems to mean that lower IFRs might not be correct.

I personally think Ivor has begun to cherry pick data to prove his points, rather than objectively looking at the data. I could be wrong, though.


(Doug) #10

Good post, Jackie. :slightly_smiling_face: My wife and I are making an effort to get out in the sun a little, and I’m going to order supplements. Some caution is due - vitamin D is a hormone (which sounds kind of scary) and it’s certainly possible to take too much with harmful results.

I think there’s a solid case for making sure one is not deficient in vitamin D. Agreed that it’s not a ‘magic bullet’ - it may well not be as simple as low D saying, “Virus, come get me” - it may be that the body’s response to severe infections by the new coronavirus consumes vitamin D and leaves low levels after the fact.

However, it’s well-established that vitamin D plays an important part with our immune system. A few types of our immune cells have vitamin D receptors built right into them, and vitamin D can help them “talk to themselves and do the right thing.”

Not the easiest reading, but not too long and there is some good stuff in it.

Deficiency in vitamin D is associated with increased autoimmunity as well as an increased susceptibility to infection.

There have been multiple cross-sectional studies associating lower levels of vitamin D with increased infection. One report studied almost 19,000 subjects between 1988 and 1994. Individuals with lower vitamin D levels (<30 ng/ml) were more likely to self-report a recent upper respiratory tract infection than those with sufficient levels, even after adjusting for variables including season, age, gender, body mass and race.

Vitamin D additionally suppresses T cell proliferation… Furthermore, it affects T cell maturation with a skewing away from the inflammatory Th17 phenotype, and facilitates the induction of T regulatory cells. These effects result in decreased production of inflammatory cytokines with increased production of anti-inflammatory cytokines…

We hear about “cytokine release syndrome” or a “cytokine storm” with Covid-19 that really messes with the lungs and pushes people toward death. Definitely a layperson’s take here, but I wouldn’t want to start out deficient in Vitamin D.


(bulkbiker) #11

Not really he’s a data man who is looking at the data and sharing his thoughts… which to be honest I find refreshing. And some of the participants have been amazing…

Edit to add

Nobel prize winner anyone?


#12

The youtube video I referenced is no longer available for some reason.


(Jane) #13

Freedom of speech at its finest /sarc :roll_eyes:


#14

Interesting little chat (just over 20 minutes) between Dr Campbell and a colleague in New Zealand on Vitamin D.


(Jennifer Kleiman) #15

What I have NOT seen is any evidence that vitamin D supplementation helps. Yes supplements can increase serum blood levels, but does that help, or is it mainly naturally produced vitamin D via sunlight that helps? Or is it the act of being outside and getting exercise and fresh air?


#16

I expect it’s like most vitamins/minerals/hormones - endogenously produced or naturally sourced as our ancestors did is likely your best bet. There are certainly benefits to getting out in the sun and fresh air that you couldn’t hope to gain from taking a pill.

Edit: a meta-analysis on supplementation https://www.bmj.com/content/356/bmj.i6583


('Jackie P') #17


I particularly like this one. Again, observational and clearly states correlation doesn’t cause causation. It is interesting to note that Scandinavian countries have a policy of vit d supplementation and fortification and have a lower incidence.
https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1403494819896878
Of course, this could be due to other factors, for example population density.
But for me, overall, it makes enough sense to make sure I get enough sunlight and supplement to safe levels. Furthermore, I feel confident to advise my friends and family to do the same.
Thank you @ctviggen for the Kawisaki reference. It was a missing link in my mind (one of many :roll_eyes:) Thank you also @OldDoug @MarkGossage and @TheOrangePimpernel for the interesting links.


(Ron) #18

As president Trump would say…what have you got to lose?
I have upped my sunlight exposure and take a supplement to get the recommended daily requirement because it can’t hurt. :call_me_hand:


#19

I’m also supplementing 3 - 4 days a week. I didn’t get as much sun this past summer as I normally would and we’re now coming into winter when we get some sun but not nearly enough.


(Utility Muffin Research Kitchen) #20

This.
You always need success with an intervention to prove causality. And the evidence for vitamin D seems to be mixed: I remember Ivor citing a study where vitamin D supplementation improved all-cause mortality, while Paul Mason quoted a study with the opposite result. (Low vitamin D correlated with higher mortality, but supplementation didn’t help). Too lazy to dig them out, though.

Just keep in mind that a deficiency could play the role of scars: Many scars mean that you had many wounds, but the scars itself are not responsible for the damage, and treating them cosmetically won’t heal us. More research is needed.


('Jackie P') #21

I agree, but in the meantime, I will take as much sunlight as a British summer affords, and a daily supplement :slightly_smiling_face: