Fine tuning use of vitamin D supplements
Benefits will depend on getting enough into your blood.
In reading a new research article (cited below) and also re-examing an older paper (also cited below) it became clear that many people may not be taking enough vitamin D on a daily basis. Even more important, many people may not be having their blood tested for vitamin D. Research has shown that you need at least 50 ng/ml to get protection against COVID and other viral infections. Various studies have generally found most Americans with levels closer to 20-30 ng/ml. My studies of research causes me to conclude that most people would need to take 4,000 to 5,000 units daily to get sufficient protective blood levels.
The newest research article is Vitamin D3 Supplementation at 5000 IU Daily for the Prevention of Influenza-like Illness in Healthcare Workers: A Pragmatic Randomized Clinical Trial.
Here are some key excerpts:
Vitamin D supplementation has been shown to reduce the incidence of acute respiratory infections in populations at risk. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of preventing viral infections in healthcare workers. The aim of this study was to assess the hypothesis that vitamin D3 supplementation at 5000 IU daily reduces influenza-like illness (ILI), including COVID-19, in healthcare workers. We conducted a prospective, controlled trial at a tertiary university hospital. A random group of healthcare workers was invited to receive 5000 IU daily vitamin D3 supplementation for nine months, while other random healthcare system workers served as controls.
Workers in the intervention group were included in the analysis if they completed at least 2 months of supplementation to ensure adequate vitamin D levels.
A daily dose of 5000 IU is required to attain normal serum 25(OH)D concentrations in individuals who have concentrations below 55 nmol/L at baseline without supplementation
We found that daily vitamin D3 supplementation was associated with overall reduced IL
Daily vitamin D3 supplementation is an inexpensive and safe intervention . The results of the present study suggest that daily vitamin D3 supplementation can be recommended to reduce the incidence of ILI in healthcare workers. Reducing ILI is important to improve the health of healthcare workers, to improve patient safety due to less exposure to sick healthcare workers, and to reduce health care utilization and health care cost.
The older research article is Efficacy and Safety of Vitamin D Supplementation to Prevent COVID-19 in Frontline Healthcare Workers. A Randomized Clinical Trial.
Here are a few excepts:
Results: Of 321 recruited subjects, 94 VDG [vitamin D group) and 98 PG [placebo group] completed follow-up. SARS-CoV-2 infection rate was lower in VDG than in PG (6.4 vs. 24.5%, p <0.001). The risk of acquiring SARS-CoV-2 infection was lower in the VDG than in the PG (RR: 0.23; 95% CI: 0.09-0.55) and was associated with an increment in serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (RR: 0.87; 95% CI: 0.82-0.93), independently of VD deficiency. No significant adverse events were identified.
Conclusions: Our results suggest that VD-supplementation in highly exposed individuals prevents SARS-CoV-2 infection without serious AEs and regardless of VD status.
There is ample medical research to support regular use of vitamin D which is rather low cost approach to preventing infections; certainly a much safer alternative to mRNA COVID vaccines. The key point is twofold: regular daily use and a daily level of at least 4,000 to 5,000 units. And have your blood tested!
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I was taking 4000-6000 IUs per day, without vitamin K2, and had a recent level of 45, so I bumped that to 5000-10,000 and added the K. I live in the Pacific NW where we have short days and not great sun for half the year. I would definitely decrease that in the summer and have been telling my patients to take 5000 IUs with 100 mcgs vitamin K2
"Loading" dose of D3 - use of vitamin K-2 MK-7 with increased D3 supplementation - Nattokinase
From the study link provided by Joel Hirschhorn, please note: "Furthermore, in the state of New Jersey where this study was conducted, 28% of adults over the age of 20 are obese , and obese individuals require 2–3 times the normal dose of vitamin D supplementation for vitamin D deficiency . " (my note: these "2–3 times the normal dose of vitamin D supplementation" may only be needed during the "fat loading" (until the Vitamin D3 fat receptors are filled up which then allow for greater blood levels) stage for "obese" people.)
from the Dr Syed Haider site at https://drsyedhaider.com/covid-care-beyond-ivm-and-hcq/ March 1, 2021. note the use of a 1 time "100,000 IU of vitamin D3 dose to speed up increase of D3 blood levels. (my note: to load up the D3 fat storage depots so daily doses are able to raise D3 level blood levels)
"VITAMIN D (from Dr Haider's site)
Vitamin D, AKA the sunlight hormone, has long been known to boost immunity to viral infections, however much controversy has swirled around vitamin D and COVID-19.
Various studies showed remarkable effects when vitamin D was given early on to patients.
Other studies, seemingly designed to fail (reminds one of the HCQ controversy), used vitamin D far too late for it to be beneficial, especially considering it can take up to 2 weeks to become activated by the body when administered in its inactive form as has been the rule in all vitamin D studies thus far.
In my own practice everyone who comes with severe COVID-19 and is tested for vitamin D turns out to be low. And of those who come with mild disease, most have been on vitamin D for months.
Since it takes so long for vitamin D to be fully activated and available to your body, the time to top up your vitamin D levels is before you get sick and if you have not been taking at least 3000 IUs of vitamin D3 for a couple months you should either get tested and supplement accordingly or immediately take 100,000 IU of vitamin D3 and then start on at least 3000 – 5000 IU per day.
Such a high one time dose is not dangerous, even if you already have normal vitamin D levels and will help ensure that you reach vitamin D sufficiency within 2 weeks.
For patients who are already sick, do not know their vitamin D levels and have not been supplementing for long enough to be sure they are at a normal level an experimental prescription option is the synthetic activated vitamin D analog called calcitriol.
For hospitalized patients this can be given IV, but even when taken orally it is well absorbed and reaches peak blood levels within a few hours. There is one in vitro study showing significant activity against COVID-19, but no one has yet studied it in patients.
and from the comments and question area below
Dr Syed Haider
1 year ago
Reply to What is the appropriate amount of vitamin D in the
Generally speaking levels between 50 – 80 ng/ml are probably ideal. Within that range you can narrow it down further by checking a parathyroid hormone (PTH) level. If the d level is in the normal range, but the PTH level is above 30, it indicates the D level is likely still too low and should be raised. On the other hand if the D level appears borderline low and the PTH is below 30, the D level is probably sufficient.
my note: some science advises to add vitamin K2 MK-7 to help direct the calcium affected by higher D3 levels into the bones vs into the soft tissues ie the lining of the blood vessels. 100 mcg per about 5,000 iu D3 up to 200 mcg of K2 with 10,000 units D3, but not more than 200 mcg K2 per day if, for instance, taking higher doses or large D3 loading dose - do not increase the K2 even more for those doses. ( note: Dr John Campbell (youtube) takes 4,000 units D3 and 100 mcg K2 daily) but read up on K2 and clots in this covid clots and "clot shot" times
Is eating a bit (10 grams?) of natto, somehow. daily , a natural source for K2 and Nattokinase the best way? (Is Nattokinase a must have? for these fibrin times?) from https://www.swansonvitamins.com/blog/articles/will-nattokinase-and-k2-work-against-each-other-if-taken-together.html "One of the major reasons people take Vitamin K-2 for cardiovascular support is because it supports the formation of Osteocalcin, a protein carrier which helps to transfer calcium into the bone. Nattokinase helps breaks down fibrin, which is the webby structure that forms the basis of clots to help support circulation."