Last updated by The POOG on October 30, 2020.
Apart from hydroxychloroquine and Ivermectin, there are a number other therapeutics that have come to prominence, some effective and some not. In this article, we discuss some of them.
Over recent years, Vitamin D has been found to have an efficacy in preventing or treating a wide range of diseases and disorders. We will not explore the topic here since our focus is on COVID-19. For a general discussion of Vitamin D which is quite extensive but readable and cites original research, read the article by Adda Bjarnadotti.
Garvin et al (2020) list vitamin D as a potential therapeutic in treating COVID-19 patients. Israel et al (2020) in a study observed “a highly significant correlation between prevalence of vitamin D deficiency and Covid-19 incidence“.
A stronger analog of vitamin D, calcifediol, was used in a clinical trial. The r
pilot study demonstrated that administration of calcifediol may improve the clinical outcome of subjects requiring hospitalization for COVID-19.Castillo (2020)
Calcifediol does have side effects.
There are several other studies that demonstrate the efficacy of Vitamin D both as a prophylactic and for reducing the severity of infections.
Dr. Chris Martenson gave a good discussion on vitamin D in a September video:
In an October video he discussed recent findings that Vitamin D reduces mortality risk by 89%.
Dosage and Side Effects
The Mayo Clinic describes a rare side effect of too high Vitamin D level:
Vitamin D toxicity, also called hypervitaminosis D, is a rare but potentially serious condition that occurs when you have excessive amounts of vitamin D in your body.
Vitamin D toxicity is usually caused by large doses of vitamin D supplements — not by diet or sun exposure.
The main consequence of vitamin D toxicity is a buildup of calcium in your blood (hypercalcemia)Source: Mayo Clinic
They cite a study using 60,000 IU a day over several months as causing the severe response. The RDA, according to them is 600 IU.
The problem with recommended dosages is that they are general. Every individual absorbs and process all vitamins differently. With vitamin D where there is natural bodily generation due to sun exposure, the individual’s blood serum levels will vary. It is this latter number that is important. Bjarnadotti gives the recommended ranges as:
- Sufficient: 20–30 ng/ml, or 50–75 nmol/L.
- Safe upper limit: 60 ng/ml, or 150 nmol/L.
- Toxic: Above 150 ng/mL, or 375 nmol/L.
In one individual, 5000 IU daily produced a serum level of 46 ng/ml a month after the winter solstice. This is midway between the sufficient and safe upper levels. The calculator in the following section may be helpful to you.
There is not a lot of data on a recommended prophylactic dose for COVID-19 and sources vary considerably from around 2000 IU per day an up. COVID.US.org cites studies that recommend 5000 IU as a maintenance dose.
Converts nmol/L to ng/mL: Vitamin D total.
Dexamethasone is a corticosteroid that prevents the release of substances in the body that cause inflammation. Inflationary of the alveoli in the lungs by the SARS-CoV-2 virus is responsible for hypoxia and damage done in severe cases. Corticosteroids have proven to be an effective treatment for severe and late stage COVID-19 infections.
A study by the World Health Organization has found that Remdesivir is ineffective in treating late-stage SARS-CoV-2 infections. Despite this, the FDA in the US has approved its use.
- Garvin, M.R., Alvarez, C., Miller, J.I., et al. A mechanistic model and therapeutic interventions for COVID-19 involving a RAS-mediated bradykinin storm. Elife. 2020 Jul 7;9:e59177. doi: 10.7554/eLife.59177.
- Ariel Israel, Assi Albert Cicurel, Ilan Feldhamer, et al. (2020). The link between vitamin D deficiency and Covid-19 in a large population. medRxiv preprint, doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.09.04.20188268.
- Castillo, M.E. , Costa, L.M.E., Barrios, J.M.V., et al.Effect of Calcifediol Treatment and best Available Therapy versus best Available Therapy on Intensive Care Unit Admission and Mortality Among Patients Hospitalized for COVID-19: A Pilot Randomized Clinical study. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2020 Aug 29;105751. doi: 10.1016/j.jsbmb.2020.105751.
- Calcifediol Side Effects. Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Jul 15, 2020.
- Calcifediol (Oral Route). Mayo Clinic.
- William B Grant, Henry Lahore, Sharon L McDonnell, et al. Evidence that Vitamin D Supplementation Could Reduce Risk of Influenza and COVID-19 Infections and Deaths. Nutrients. 2020 Apr 2;12(4):988. DOI: 10.3390/nu12040988.
- Patrick Zemb, Peter Bergman, Carlos A Camargo Jr, et al. Vitamin D deficiency and the COVID-19 pandemic. J Glob Antimicrob Resist. 2020 Sep;22:133-134. doi: 10.1016/j.jgar.2020.05.006.
- Nurshad Ali. Role of vitamin D in preventing of COVID-19 infection, progression and severity. J Infect Public Health. 2020 Jun 20;13(10):1373-1380. doi: 10.1016/j.jiph.2020.06.021.
- Solidarity Therapeutics Trial produces conclusive evidence on the effectiveness of repurposed drugs for COVID-19 in record time. WHO, 15 October 2020.
- Hongchao Pan, Richard Peto, Quarraisha Abdool Karim, et al. Repurposed antiviral drugs for COVID-19 –interim WHO SOLIDARITY trial results. medRxiv, October 15, 2020; doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.10.15.20209817.
- FDA Approves Gilead’s Remdesivir To Treat COVID-19 Despite Data Showing Drug Doesn’t Work. Zero Hedge, October 22, 2020.
- Katherine Zeratsky. What is vitamin D toxicity? Should I be worried about taking supplements? Mayo Clinic, as of November 24, 2020.
- Adda Bjarnadotti. How Much Vitamin D is Too Much? The Surprising Truth. Healthline, June 4, 2017.
- Prophylaxis for Covid-19 (prevention protocols). COVID.US.org, September 10, 2020.