Could Vitamin D Supplements Help People With Long COVID?

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May 16, 2023 -- Patients pinch agelong COVID had little levels of vitamin D than patients who had recovered from COVID-19, a caller study shows, suggesting taking vitamin D supplements whitethorn thief forestall aliases easiness nan debilitating condition.

The little levels of vitamin D successful patients pinch agelong COVID — wherever effects of nan first COVID infection past much than 12 weeks — were astir notable successful those pinch "brain fog." 

These findings by Luigi di Filippo, MD, and colleagues, were precocious presented astatine nan European Congress of Endocrinology successful Istanbul, and the study was besides published successful nan Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

"Our information propose that vitamin D levels should beryllium evaluated successful COVID-19 patients aft infirmary discharge," nan researchers from San Raffaele Hospital, successful Milan, Italy, wrote.

The researchers highlighted arsenic a spot that this controlled study included patients pinch aggregate symptoms of agelong COVID, and it had a longer follow-up than astir erstwhile studies (6 months vs. 3 months).

"The highly controlled quality of our study helps america amended understand nan domiciled of vitamin D deficiency successful agelong COVID and found that location is apt a nexus betwixt vitamin D deficiency and agelong COVID," elder writer Andrea Giustina, MD, said successful a news release.

But, he said, "it is not yet known whether vitamin D supplements could amended nan symptoms aliases trim this consequence altogether."  

Supplement if Deficient? 

Amiel Dror, MD, PhD, who led a related study that showed that group pinch a vitamin D deficiency were much apt to person terrible COVID, agreed. 

"The novelty and value of this [new] study dishonesty successful nan truth that it expands connected our existent knowing of nan interplay betwixt vitamin D and COVID-19, taking it beyond nan acute shape of nan disease," said Dror, who's pinch nan Azrieli Faculty of Medicine astatine Bar-Ilan University successful Safed, Israel.

"It's striking to spot really vitamin D levels proceed to power patients' wellness moreover aft betterment from nan first infection," he said. 

"The findings surely adhd weight to nan statement for conducting a randomized, controlled trial," he said, which "would alteration america to conclusively find whether vitamin D supplementation tin efficaciously trim nan consequence aliases severity of agelong COVID." 

"In nan interim," Dror said, "given nan information floor plan of vitamin D and its wide wellness benefits, it could beryllium reasonable to trial for vitamin D levels successful patients admitted pinch COVID-19. If levels are recovered to beryllium low, supplementation could beryllium considered." 

"However, it's important to statement that this should beryllium done nether aesculapian supervision," he said, "and further studies are needed to found nan optimal timing and dosage of supplementation." 

Low Vitamin D and Risk of Long COVID

Low levels of vitamin D person been associated pinch accrued likelihood of needing mechanical ventilation and worse endurance successful patients hospitalized pinch COVID, but nan consequence of agelong COVID associated pinch vitamin D is not good known. 

The researchers analyzed information from adults property 18 and older who had been hospitalized astatine San Raffaele Hospital pinch a confirmed COVID test and past discharged during nan first pandemic activity from March to May 2020, and past seen 6 months later astatine a follow-up clinic.

Patients were excluded if they had been admitted to nan intensive attraction portion during their hospitalization aliases if they had missing aesculapian information aliases humor samples disposable to find vitamin D levels astatine admittance and astatine nan 6-month follow-up.

Guidelines from nan UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence were utilized to specify agelong COVID arsenic nan beingness of astatine slightest 2 aliases much of 17 symptoms that were absent anterior to nan COVID infection and could only beryllium attributed to that acute disease.

The researchers identified 50 patients pinch agelong COVID astatine nan 6-month follow-up and matched them pinch 50 patients without agelong COVID astatine that aforesaid constituent successful clip based connected age, sex, different aesculapian conditions, and request for noninvasive mechanical ventilation. 

The patients had an mean property of 61 and 56% were men; 28% had been connected a ventilator during their hospitalization for COVID.

The astir predominant symptoms astatine 6 months successful nan patients pinch agelong COVID were weakness (38%), bad sensation successful nan rima (34%), shortness of activity (34%), and nonaccomplishment of consciousness of smell (24%).

Most symptoms were related to nan cardiorespiratory strategy (42%), nan emotion of well-being (42%), aliases nan senses (36%), and less patients had symptoms related to neurocognitive impairment (headache aliases encephalon fog, 14%), aliases ear, nose, and pharynx (12%) aliases nan gastrointestinal strategy (4%).    

Patients pinch agelong COVID had little mean vitamin D levels than patients without agelong COVID, and vitamin D levels were importantly little successful patients pinch symptoms for illustration headache aliases encephalon fog. 

The researchers utilized a type of study called aggregate regression that showed vitamin D astatine follow-up was nan only adaptable that was importantly associated pinch agelong COVID. 

The findings “strongly reenforce nan objective usefulness of ... vitamin D information arsenic a imaginable modifiable pathophysiological facet underlying this emerging worldwide captious wellness issue,” nan researchers concluded. 

Source Health