The First Clinical Trial to Support Vitamin D Therapy For Covid-19

[Updated 27 Sept] Oral calcifediol reduced ICU admission for Covid-19 from 50% to 2%. And key questions about the trial answered.

Shin Jie Yong, MSc (Res)
Microbial Instincts
6 min readSep 4, 2020

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Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

A study from Spain finally presents the first clinical evidence for the use of vitamin D to treat Covid-19. The study, “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,” was published in The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology on 29 August. It is called a pilot because the sample size is small, but its randomization and prospective design still make it a robust research.

What the study did and found

Researchers randomly allocated 76 cases of Covid-19 into oral calcifediol (50 patients) or no-calcifediol control (26 patients) groups on the day of the hospital admission. Oral calcifediol was given at high doses at 0.532 mg on the first day and then at 0.266 mg on the third and seventh day, and then weekly until discharge or admission to the intensive care unit (ICU).

Calcifediol, also called 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (vitamin D3), is the main metabolite (effector) of vitamin D. All patients also received the best available standard care at that time, which was hydroxychloroquine plus azithromycin.

Results revealed that 13 out of 26 patients (50%) in the control group were admitted to ICU, and two died in the end. In the calcifediol group, only one out of 50 (2%) required ICU admission, and none died.

Both calcifediol and control groups had similar baseline characteristics in terms of age, sex, comorbidities (lung, cardiovascular, and kidney diseases, type 2 diabetes, and immunosuppression), and clinical biomarkers of disease severity (oxygen levels, C-reactive protein, interleukin-6, ferritin, D-dimer, lactate dehydrogenase, and lymphocyte count). The only difference is that the control group had a higher prevalence of hypertension than the…

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Shin Jie Yong, MSc (Res)
Microbial Instincts

Named Standford's world top 1% scientists | Independent science writer and researcher | Medium boost program's nominator | Powerlifter with national records