Vitamin-D help the body to better fight against Covid-19. According to 73 French-speaking experts, at least in part, gathered around professors Cédric Annweiler, head of the Geriatrics Department at the University Hospital of Angers, and Jean-Claude Souberbielle.
They signed a platform supported by six learned societies. According to this text, the French population as a whole should ingest more vitamin D to limit deficiencies, especially in winter, whether before or during a Covid-19 infection.
After reviewing the scientific literature available on the subject, they indicate how and when vitamin D can help fight against the disease caused by the Sars-CoV-2 coronavirus. The two experts nevertheless call for caution regarding self-medication which can lead to poisoning.
Several experts and medical associations are calling for the prescription of vitamin D to the entire French population.
“A growing number of studies shows vitamin-D supplementation (without replacing vaccination) could help reduce infection with Sars-CoV-2 as well as the risk of severe forms of Covid-19, resuscitation and death,” say dozens of doctors. Illustration “A growing number of scientific studies show that vitamin supplementation (without replacing vaccination) could help reduce Sars-CoV-2 infection as well as the risk of severe forms of Covid-19, in intensive care and death,” say dozens of doctors.
Seventy-three specialist doctors and six medical associations said “to supplement the entire French population with vitamin D” in a preventive manner, believing that numerous scientific data show that this “could contribute to reducing the infection” by the coronavirus.
Supplementation could help decrease infection with Sars-CoV-2 and the risk of severe forms of Covid-19, resuscitation and death”, say the signatories. It has “university professors of different medical specialities” and the French societies of endocrinology, paediatrics and geriatrics and gerontology. They “call for the French population with a whole to be supplemented with vitamin D.
High dose vitamin D supplementation
“40% to 50% of the French population” has a vitamin deficiency, “and even more in people at risk of forms of Covid-19”, recalls the text. And “in the event of a proven infection”, they recommend “high-dose vitamin supplementation” upon diagnosis of Covid-19, to “obtain a satisfactory vitamin D status as quickly as possible”.
This call follows a “consensus article” by the same organizations, published on January 8 in the specialist publication La Revue du practitioner, which takes stock of the scientific data available on vitamin and Covid-19. “Large-scale clinical trials” are also underway, including one coordinated by the Angers University Hospital, which is testing “the effect of a very high dose of vitamin D (…) on the risk of death from Covid-19 in frail elderly people who have contracted the infection”.
Vitamin-D is a hormone that can be found in food but mainly synthesized in the body by sunlight. Its natural production is “almost nil at French latitudes” during the winter period. It is involved in the absorption of calcium from the intestines, and a sufficient amount of vitamin D is necessary to ensure proper calcification of the bones.
But it also plays a role in the immune system and influences the action of many genes. In particular, it regulates the production of an enzyme on the membrane of cells (ACE2), which is the coronavirus’s entry point into cells. “Although it should not be considered as a weapon of the same level as vaccination or barrier gestures, vitamin supplementation could be a useful adjuvant”, especially since it does not present any risk “at doses adapted”, concludes the call.