Speaking of messages I plan to keep repeating until I’m certain they’ve sunk in… today I want to focus on the deadly risks of vitamin D deficiency.
And those risks are especially apparent right now, while the coronavirus pandemic is still in full swing.
You may recall recent research that showed how being deficient in D increases risk of both infection and severe illness with COVID-19.
But here comes yet another study. This time showing that low levels of this critical nutrient quadruples—yes, quadruples—your risk of dying from the virus.
A reliable risk factor
Research that looked back on data from the pandemic’s first wave in the spring of last year linked vitamin D deficiency upon hospital admission with a 3.7 fold increase in risk of dying from COVID-19.
This research found that nearly 60 percent of COVID-19 patients were deficient in vitamin D upon admission. (Researchers considered levels below 20 ng/mL as deficient. Though, as you may know, I consider anything below 50 ng/mL to be concerningly low. And I target optimal levels between 80 and 100 ng/mL for both myself and my patients.)
More specifically, men in advanced stages of the virus showed the greatest deficiencies. And rates of deficiency increased with worsening disease:
- 55 percent of men in first stage of illness were D deficient.
- Nearly 75 percent of the men with stage 3 pneumonia upon admission had deficiencies.
And this was independent of any other co-morbidities related to low levels of vitamin D. (Which, as you know by now, are many—including diabetes and heart disease.)
But then, we’ve known since at least the spring that low vitamin D levels are a big problem for COVID-19 patients, leaving them vulnerable to hospitalization and more lethal disease. The research really couldn’t be any clearer.
(Probably because of the role that vitamin D plays in calming the inflammatory “cytokine storms” that lead to advanced respiratory distress syndrome, or ARDS. In fact, I talk more about that excessive lung inflammation—and ways to calm the path of destruction—in the September 2020 issue of my monthly Logical Health Alternatives newsletter. Click here to become a subscriber and search my archives!)
For best results, aim high
Needless to say, we should be ramping up this type of research to deliver those gold standard trials that conventional medicine can’t live without. (Though Big Pharma has fast tracked at least three vaccines now—and I don’t hear anyone complaining that we don’t have enough evidence to roll them out.)
The good news is, there are actually around 40 intervention trials currently underway, all looking at vitamin D’s role in preventing and treating COVID-19.
Of course, these results aren’t in yet, obviously. But that shouldn’t stop doctors from recommending higher doses of vitamin D to everyone throughout this pandemic (and beyond). Especially when you consider how the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave new vaccines the green light without long-term testing!
At the very least, every person on this planet should be monitoring their vitamin D levels. Because it might be the safest and most inexpensive way to keep our rising death toll at bay.
So, ask your doctor for 25-hydroxyvitamin D blood levels at least twice a year to ensure you stay up to my target range. And tailor your vitamin D3 dosages accordingly.
I recommend at least 125 mcg (5,000 IU) per day. But I take between 250 mcg (10,000 IU) to 375 mcg (15,000 IU) myself. As long as your blood levels are screened regularly, that’s a perfectly safe—and in many cases, necessary—dosage to get you where you need to be.
“Vitamin D Deficiency in COVID-19 Quadrupled Death Rate.” Medscape Medical News, 12/11/2020. (medscape.com/viewarticle/942497)