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3.
Clin Med (Lond) ; 21(2): e144-e149, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1089178

ABSTRACT

The value of vitamin D supplementation in the treatment or prevention of various conditions is often viewed with scepticism as a result of contradictory results of randomised trials. It is now becoming apparent that there is a pattern to these inconsistencies. A recent large trial has shown that high-dose intermittent bolus vitamin D therapy is ineffective at preventing rickets - the condition that is most unequivocally caused by vitamin D deficiency. There is a plausible biological explanation since high-dose bolus replacement induces long-term expression of the catabolic enzyme 24-hydroxylase and fibroblast growth factor 23, both of which have vitamin D inactivating effects. Meta-analyses of vitamin D supplementation in prevention of acute respiratory infection and trials in tuberculosis and other conditions also support efficacy of low dose daily maintenance rather than intermittent bolus dosing. This is particularly relevant during the current COVID-19 pandemic given the well-documented associations between COVID-19 risk and vitamin D deficiency. We would urge that clinicians take note of these findings and give strong support to widespread use of daily vitamin D supplementation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Dietary Supplements , Respiratory Tract Infections , Rickets , Vitamin D Deficiency , Vitamin D , Humans , Pandemics , Respiratory Tract Infections/prevention & control , Rickets/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Vitamin D/therapeutic use , Vitamin D Deficiency/drug therapy , Vitamin D Deficiency/epidemiology , Vitamin D Deficiency/prevention & control
4.
R Soc Open Sci ; 7(12): 201912, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1003869

ABSTRACT

Vitamin D is a hormone that acts on many genes expressed by immune cells. Evidence linking vitamin D deficiency with COVID-19 severity is circumstantial but considerable-links with ethnicity, obesity, institutionalization; latitude and ultraviolet exposure; increased lung damage in experimental models; associations with COVID-19 severity in hospitalized patients. Vitamin D deficiency is common but readily preventable by supplementation that is very safe and cheap. A target blood level of at least 50 nmol l-1, as indicated by the US National Academy of Medicine and by the European Food Safety Authority, is supported by evidence. This would require supplementation with 800 IU/day (not 400 IU/day as currently recommended in UK) to bring most people up to target. Randomized placebo-controlled trials of vitamin D in the community are unlikely to complete until spring 2021-although we note the positive results from Spain of a randomized trial of 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (25(OH)D3 or calcifediol) in hospitalized patients. We urge UK and other governments to recommend vitamin D supplementation at 800-1000 IU/day for all, making it clear that this is to help optimize immune health and not solely for bone and muscle health. This should be mandated for prescription in care homes, prisons and other institutions where people are likely to have been indoors for much of the summer. Adults likely to be deficient should consider taking a higher dose, e.g. 4000 IU/day for the first four weeks before reducing to 800 IU-1000 IU/day. People admitted to the hospital with COVID-19 should have their vitamin D status checked and/or supplemented and consideration should be given to testing high-dose calcifediol in the RECOVERY trial. We feel this should be pursued with great urgency. Vitamin D levels in the UK will be falling from October onwards as we head into winter. There seems nothing to lose and potentially much to gain.

7.
Clin Med (Lond) ; 21(1): e48-e51, 2021 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-914784

ABSTRACT

There is growing evidence linking vitamin D deficiency with risk of COVID-19. It is therefore distressing that there is major disagreement about the optimal serum level for 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) and appropriate supplement dose. The UK Scientific Advisory Committee for Nutrition has set the lowest level for defining sufficiency (10 ng/ml or 25 nmol/L) of any national advisory body or scientific society and consequently recommends supplementation with 10 micrograms (400 IU) per day. We have searched for published evidence to support this but not found it. There is considerable evidence to support the higher level for sufficiency (20 ng/ml or 50 nmol/L) recommended by the European Food Safety Authority and the American Institute of Medicine and hence greater supplementation (20 micrograms or 800 IU per day). Serum 25(OH)D concentrations in the UK typically fall by around 50% through winter. We believe that governments should urgently recommend supplementation with 20-25 micrograms (800-1,000 IU) per day.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Vitamin D Deficiency/prevention & control , Vitamin D/analogs & derivatives , Vitamin D/administration & dosage , Dietary Supplements , Dose-Response Relationship, Drug , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Vitamin D/blood , Vitamin D Deficiency/blood , Vitamin D Deficiency/epidemiology , Vitamins/administration & dosage
8.
JBMR Plus ; 2020 Aug 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-724072

ABSTRACT

Regulation of immune function continues to be one of the most well recognised extra-skeletal actions of vitamin D. This stemmed initially from the discovery that antigen presenting cells such as macrophages could actively metabolise precursor 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25D) to active 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (1,25D). Parallel observation that activated cells from the immune system expressed the intracellular vitamin D receptor (VDR) for 1,25D suggested a potential role for vitamin D as a localised endogenous modulator of immune function. Subsequent studies have expanded our understanding of how vitamin D exerts effects on both the innate and adaptive arms of the immune system. At an innate level, intracrine synthesis of 1,25D by macrophages and dendritic cells (DC) stimulates expression of antimicrobial proteins such as cathelicidin, as well as lowering intracellular iron concentrations via suppression of hepcidin. By potently enhancing autophagy, 1,25D may also play an important role in combatting intracellular pathogens such as M. tuberculosis and viral infections. Local synthesis of 1,25D by macrophages and DC also appears to play a pivotal role in mediating T cell responses to vitamin D, leading to suppression of inflammatory T helper (Th)1 and Th17 cells, and concomitant induction of immunotolerogenic T regulatory (Treg) responses. The aim of this review is to provide an update on our current understanding of these prominent immune actions of vitamin D, as well as highlighting new, less well-recognised immune effects of vitamin D. The review also aims to place this mechanistic basis for the link between vitamin D and immunity with studies in vivo that have explored a role for vitamin D supplementation as a strategy for improved immune health. This has gained prominence in recent months with the global COVID-19 health crisis and highlights important new objectives for future studies of vitamin D and immune function. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

9.
Eur J Endocrinol ; 183(5): R133-R147, 2020 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-695333

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 virus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic has generated an explosion of interest both in the mechanisms of infection leading to dissemination and expression of this disease, and in potential risk factors that may have a mechanistic basis for disease propagation or control. Vitamin D has emerged as a factor that may be involved in these two areas. The focus of this article is to apply our current understanding of vitamin D as a facilitator of immunocompetence both with regard to innate and adaptive immunity and to consider how this may relate to COVID-19 disease. There are also intriguing potential links to vitamin D as a factor in the cytokine storm that portends some of the most serious consequences of SARS-CoV-2 infection, such as the acute respiratory distress syndrome. Moreover, cardiac and coagulopathic features of COVID-19 disease deserve attention as they may also be related to vitamin D. Finally, we review the current clinical data associating vitamin D with SARS-CoV-2 infection, a putative clinical link that at this time must still be considered hypothetical.


Subject(s)
Adaptive Immunity/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/immunology , Immunity, Innate/immunology , Immunocompetence/immunology , Lung/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Vitamin D/immunology , Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides/immunology , Autophagy/immunology , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Defensins/immunology , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory/immunology , Th1 Cells/immunology , Th17 Cells/immunology , Th2 Cells/immunology , Vitamin D/analogs & derivatives
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