Low levels of vitamin D have been linked to higher risk for severe COVID-19, but high vitamin D levels do not fix the problem.
Increasing vitamin D levels in critically ill patients did not shorten their hospital stay or lower their odds of being moved to intensive care, needing mechanical ventilation, or dying, doctors in Brazil found. They randomly gave 240 patients hospitalized with severe COVID-19 either a single high dose of vitamin D3 or a placebo.
Only 6.7% of patients in the vitamin D group had “deficient” levels of the nutrient, compared to 51.5% of patients in the placebo group, but there was no difference in the outcomes, according to a paper posted on medRxiv ahead of peer review.
The same was true when the researchers focused on the 116 patients with vitamin D deficiency before the treatment.
The authors say theirs is the first randomized trial of its kind to show that vitamin D supplementation “is ineffective to improve hospital length of stay or any other clinical outcomes among hospitalized patients with severe COVID-19.