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Avoidance of vitamin D deficiency to slow the COVID-19 pandemic
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  • Published on:
    Vitamin D supplementation to mitigate COVID-19 morbidity in the vulnerable.
    • Koenraad Van den Abbeele, Consultant Acute and General Internal Medicine Wexham Park Hospital, Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust, UK
    • Other Contributors:
      • Peter A.M. de Beer, Travel Health & Tropical Medicine KNMG

    We read with interest Martin Kohlmeier’s article in which he highlights the need for precision nutrition (PN) for vulnerable individuals, amongst them people with darker skin tones. In the UK, a disproportionate effect of Covid-19 on BAME (Black, Asians & Minority Ethnic) has been noticed. (1)(2) With the epidemic still rampant some immediate action is needed. Vitamin D deficiency is not only high among ethnic minorities but also among the elderly. (2)(3) It has been linked to potential worse outcomes in many infectious diseases. (4) In a preprint Alipio documents a possible improvement of clinical outcomes in Covid-19 with vitamin D supplementation. (5) Ilie et al. describe association between mean vitamin D levels and COVID morbidity and mortality in 20 European countries. (3) During my clinical round on our COVID ward on 12/5/20 I found 18/23 patients Vitamin D deficient, 2 died that day, their vitamin D levels had been undetectable. We will explore this further by collecting a larger dataset. Supplementation with vitamin D up to 800 IU daily is safe and should be highly recommended to BAME people, even more so for those who are healthcare workers. Similarly, vitamin D substitution should be recommended for all healthcare workers, the over 70’s, the institutionalised, the pregnant, adolescent, under 3 years and the obese. (6) COVID-19 should be a wake-up call for the elimination of this widespread vitamin deficiency.

    References
    1: Kirby T. Evidence moun...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.