Swiss doctors are making an urgent appeal to the population: The study situation on vitamin D and its benefits in the prevention and treatment of Covid-19 is now overwhelming.
With the support of the SSAAMP (Swiss Society for Anti Aging Medicine and Prevention), around 30 Swiss doctors are making the following appeal to the Swiss population regarding the use of vitamin D in COVID19:
What would politicians, scientists, journalists, doctors and the general public say if there was a drug that would
- probably reduce the severity of the courses significantly - reduce the rate of intensive care in inpatients from 50 to 2% - and reduce mortality in high-risk patients from over 50 to under 20%?
Wouldn't we all demand an emergency authorization for this drug, as has already been done for vaccinations (eg UK, USA) or in some other European countries? Wouldn't we provide the entire population with this miracle drug as a preventive measure, or at least the high-risk groups? Wouldn't we want to give high doses of this drug when the disease occurs, but at the latest when the patient is inpatient and at the latest when the patient is transferred to the intensive care unit? This is not necessary at all, because this drug is already approved, it is inexpensive, does not require a prescription (except for high doses) and has almost no side effects! It's called: VITAMIN D! The importance of vitamin D for the immune system and for the risk of viral infections has been known for a long time and yet is not taken into account, especially in health policy!
In their letter, the doctors refer to various investigations and studies that prove that vitamin D is of great benefit in the prevention, but also in the treatment of viral respiratory diseases in general and COVID infections in particular:
Vitamin D deficiency A German study (Rabenberg et al., 2016), for example, shows that in our latitudes more than half of the adult population suffers from a vitamin D deficiency.
Increased risk of respiratory diseases in vitamin D deficiency A meta-analysis (Pham et al., 2019) clearly answers the question of whether there is an increased risk of respiratory diseases in vitamin D deficiency. In the low vitamin D group:
- there were 83% more respiratory infections,
- a threefold increase in mortality from respiratory infections was found.
- The increase in risks was not linear, but an exponential increase was found with falling vitamin D levels.
Epidemiological studies on Covid-19 and vitamin D Reference is made to several epidemiological studies that provide convincing evidence of a benefit of vitamin D in terms of infection rate, severity of the disease, intensive care and mortality in Covid-19, but which are not considered conclusive.
Intervention Studies This requires intervention studies, of which there have only been a few so far. Among other things, the doctors refer to a Spanish study in a hospital (Castillo et al., 2020): One group of patients admitted to hospital with Covid-19 was given vitamin D, the other not. While in the group without vitamin D 50% of the patients had to be transferred to the intensive care unit and 15% died, in the group with vitamin D this was only 2% and none died. However, one critical aspect of the study was that there was no placebo in the control group, not the “normal” vitamin D, but only a similar one, and that the groups were made up inhomogeneously.
However, all of the studies mentioned show similarly positive results for the administration of vitamin D, but they took place on a "small scale". There is now an urgent need for larger studies that can also withstand any methodological criticism.
Ongoing meta-analysis Physicians recommend considering an ongoing meta-analysis:
"Vitamin D is effective for COVID-19: real-time meta analysis of 37 studies Covid Analysis, Dec 17, 2020 (Version 9, Jan 10, 2021) @CovidAnalysis."
It is a meta-analysis that includes 37 studies on vitamin D and Covid-19. It is statistically significant that a good supply of vitamin D protects against Covid-19 or severe courses.
Enough scientific evidence – action is required! The Swiss Doctors Group considers that the scientific evidence given supporting the benefit of vitamin D in viral respiratory infections in general, but also in Covid-19 in particular, is sufficient to take it seriously and act now! Yes, that according to current data it must be considered negligent omission if the healthy population, risk groups and especially people who are already ill are deprived of vitamin D or even warned about it.
Postulates of the group of Swiss doctors:
- Every adult should take at least 800 IU of vitamin D supplements from October to April. Just as every Swiss resident in the slipstream of a nuclear power plant receives free iodine tablets for emergencies, vitamin D should be paid for by the state. The cost of this is only a fraction of a lockdown, but should be far more effective according to the available data.
- People at risk should take around 4000 IU of vitamin D (depending on their weight) as a supplement from October to April.
- Ideally, vitamin D levels should be measured to avoid overdoses, but above all to ensure that a level of at least 50 nmol/l, better or at least 100 nmol/l in risk persons, is guaranteed.
- In the event of illness from Covid-19, every sick person (exceptions: medical contraindications such as hypercalcemia, sarcoidosis) should receive a one-time bolus of 50-100,000 IU of vitamin D (depending on body weight), then 20,000 IU for 10 days, then approx. 5000 IU up to end of infection. These recommendations are not validated, but derived from the experience of previous successful studies.
- Scientific studies to evaluate the recommended vitamin D measures should be carried out by university institutes.
These recommendations are to be officially disseminated by state, cantonal and municipal authorities as well as in the major media. If you really care about the health of your citizens, don't neglect the facts about vitamin D!