An analysis by the doctors at Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) shows that the use of Vitamin D in Covid-19 significantly leads to improved clinical outcomes—reduction in mortality and intensive care unit admission.
The doctors, however, warn against irrational use of Vitamin D, as it can be toxic.
The study, ‘Vitamin D supplementation and clinical outcomes in COVID-19: a systematic review and meta-analysis’, recently published in the Journal of Endocrinological Investigation, was conducted by Dr Rimesh Pal, Dr Mainak Banerjee, professor Sanjay K Bhadada, Dr Anirudh J Shetty of the endocrinology department of PGIMER; Dr Birgurman Singh of Government Medical College, Patiala; and Dr Abhinav Vyas of Rabindranath Tagore Medical College, Udaipur.
“As Covid-19 continues to rampage, the search for an effective therapy still remains elusive. Accordingly, multiple existing drugs have been repurposed for Covid management. In this context, Vitamin D, a fat-soluble vitamin, which is primarily related to bone and mineral metabolism, has shown some promising results,” said Dr Sanjay K Bhadada, head of the endocrinology department, PGIMER.
“Pooled data from 13 studies with 2,933 Covid-19 patients showed that Vitamin D supplemented after the diagnosis of Covid-19 leads to improved clinical outcomes in terms of reduced mortality and/or intensive care unit admission,” said Dr Bhadada.
The study lends ample support to the fact that Vitamin D can be used as an effective adjuvant treatment in patients hospitalised with Covid-19.
He said that the anti-viral and the immune modulatory role of Vitamin D were perhaps helpful in this regard. Nevertheless, the irrational and rampant use of Vitamin D to prevent Covid-19 should not be a norm: “The use of Vitamin D in high doses, especially injectable preparations, to treat Covid-19 should be strongly discouraged. Vitamin D, supplemented prior to the diagnosis of Covid-19, was not found to improve clinical outcomes in our meta-analysis. And overuse can lead to Vitamin D toxicity,” explained the doctor.