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Jun 11, 2020 News AMC Team 427 views

Vitamin D is in the spotlight again. This time, for its potential in the prevention and severity of COVID-19. Below is an excerpt drawn from an interview with Prof Ebeling by Dr Harry Nespolon on the Healthed podcast Going Viral. These statements were published on the Healthed website on June 3, 2020.

  •  It has been suggested that Vit D supplementation could help prevent and reduce the impact of COVID-19
  • A meta-analysis published in the British Medical Journal in 2017 showed that Vit D supplementation reduced the incidence of viral respiratory tract infections
  • In the current pandemic, COVID-19 has been associated with a lower mortality in populations closer to the equator compared to those populations further away from the equator where Vit D deficiency is more likely
  •  To date, there are no randomised controlled trials to determine if intervention with Vit D affects COVID-19 infection. However, such studies are currently underway
  • Lab studies have shown that Vit D has antiviral, anti-inflammatory and lung protective properties• Mechanisms by which Vit D could influence COVID-19 include:
    o The conversion of the inactive form of Vit D to the active form not only takes place in the kidney, but can also occur in cells in the lung and in lymphocytes with the overall effect being anti-inflammatory
    o The SARS-Cov-2 enters cells in the respiratory system via ACE2 receptors. Vit D can also activate these receptors and thereby inhibit the coronavirus entering the cells
    o Vit D can inhibit one of the specific proteins that is important in the viral replication of COVID-19
  • While yet to be proven, it would be prudent to consider Vit D supplementation particularly in the southern states of Australia where Vit D deficiency is more likely, as a means of protecting against COVID-19
  • It is known that 23% of Australia’s population is Vit D deficient (<50nmol/L), the prevalence is higher in the southern states especially in the winter months


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