Scientists Warn Against High Doses of Vitamin D Supplementation for Preventing or Treating COVID-19

Vitamin D Supplement Pills

Scientists from the UK, Europe and the USA, including experts from the University of Birmingham, have published a vitamin D consensus paper warning against high doses of vitamin D supplementation.

According to the study, there is currently insufficient scientific evidence to show vitamin D can be beneficial in preventing or treating Covid-19. Its authors advise that the population adhere to Public Health England guidance on supplementation.

Following unverified reports that high doses of vitamin D (higher than 4000IU/d) could reduce the risk of contracting Covid-19 and be used to successfully treat the virus, the new report published in the journal BMJ, Nutrition, Prevention and Health, investigated the current scientific evidence base on the vitamin and its use in treating infections. Vitamin D is a hormone, produced in the skin during exposure to sunlight, and helps regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body, which are needed to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy.

Professor Sue Lanham-New, Head of the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Surrey and lead author of the study, said: “An adequate level of vitamin D in the body is crucial to our overall health, too little can lead to rickets or the development of osteoporosis but too much can lead to an increase in calcium levels in the blood which could be particularly harmful.”

Examining previous studies in this field scientists found no evidence of a link between high dose supplementation of vitamin D in helping to prevent or successfully treat Covid-19 and cautioned against over supplementation of the vitamin, without medical supervision, due to health risks. Scientists concluded that assertions about the benefit of the vitamin in treating the virus are not currently supported by adequate human studies and are based on findings from studies that did not specifically examine this area.

Claims of a link between vitamin D levels and respiratory tract infections were also examined by scientists. Previous studies in this area have found that lower vitamin D status is associated with acute respiratory tract infections however limitations of the findings of these studies were identified. Findings from the majority of studies were based on data gathered from population groups in developing countries and cannot be extrapolated to populations from more developed countries due to external factors. Scientists believe that there is currently no firm link between vitamin D intake and resistance to respiratory tract infections.

Professors Carolyn Greig and Martin Hewison from Birmingham University, are co-authors on the paper. Professor Greig says: “Most of our vitamin D comes from exposure to sunlight, however for many people, particularly those who are self-isolating with limited access to sunlight during the current pandemic, getting enough vitamin D may be a real challenge. Supplementing with vitamin D is recommended but should be done under the current UK guidance.

“Although there is some evidence that low vitamin D is associated with acute respiratory tract infections, there is currently insufficient evidence for vitamin D as a treatment for COVID-19 and over-supplementing must be avoided as it could be harmful.”

Professor Judy Buttriss, Director General British Nutrition Foundation and also a co-author of the paper said: “In line with the latest Public Health England guidance on vitamin D, we recommend that people consider taking a vitamin D supplement of 10 micrograms [400 iu] a day during the winter months (from October to March), and all year round if their time outside is limited.

“Levels of the vitamin in the body can also be supplemented through a nutritionally balanced diet including foods that provide the vitamin, such as oily fish, red meat, egg yolk and fortified foods such as breakfast cereals, and safe sunlight exposure to boost vitamin D status.”

Reference: “Vitamin D and SARS-CoV-2 virus/COVID-19 disease” by Susan A Lanham-New, Ann R Webb, Kevin D Cashman, Judy L Buttriss, Joanne L Fallowfield, Tash Masud, Martin Hewison, John C Mathers, Mairead Kiely, Ailsa A Welch, Kate A Ward, Pamela Magee, Andrea L Darling, Tom R Hill, Carolyn Greig, Colin P Smith, Richard Murphy, Sarah Leyland, Roger Bouillon, Sumantra Ray and Martin Kohlmeier, 13 May 2020, BMJ, Nutrition, Prevention and Health.
DOI: 10.1136/bmjnph-2020-000089

65 Comments on "Scientists Warn Against High Doses of Vitamin D Supplementation for Preventing or Treating COVID-19"

  1. I can see how confusion spreads. The “SARS” in SARS-CoV-2 virus Stands for “Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome”. Immediately above this comment box is a link to another article entitled: “New Research Confirms Vitamin D Protects Against Respiratory Diseases”. This could easily make someone take an excess of vitamin D, if they thought of COVID-19 as a respiratory disease, which the SARS virus causes. After reading this current article, seeing the other creates confusion. Many mistakes in using supplements come from only knowing one positive characteristic of a supplement, but not researching enough to see what the side effects of too much of the supplement causes. I know this from experience, after taking the enzyme papain (from Papaya seeds) for a possible thrombosis in a leg. The enzyme caused a painful condition with symptoms akin to shingles, because of it’s affect on my immune system. Had I read a little further I would have discovered this side effect of using the enzyme, but being upset and disturbed by having a health problem as serious of a thrombosis, I was not thinking clearly, and thus made a bad decision, which luckily was diagnosed by a doctor. Decisions made in a mindset of fear are not often rational, or well thought out, so one should be aware of this tendency, and take even more time to study all possible effects of any self-medication thoroughly, and not take the word of anyone, even a politician, or a website, on taking any drug, supplement, or concoction in instead of tested medications such as a doctor would prescribe. Many supplements can be found in normal foods; after my mistake I buy very few, and grow, or buy the foods that I like that contain the things I need. A healthy diet might not cure COVIC-19, but it will help prevent a lot of health issues that put one in risk of succumbing to the disease, and help build a strong immune system! If you MUST take a supplement, be sure to analyze it thoroughly, especially the dosage, as well as any type of side effects that you might experience. Stay calm and be well!

  2. Why didn’t your editors change the 10 micrograms/day into 400 IU/day?

  3. Utterly depressing – there are now 7 pre-prints looking at COVID-19 positive patient data, which all point to low vitamin D being a factor in greater COVID-19 severity and mortality. please see – https://www.bmj.com/content/369/bmj.m1548/rapid-responses – yes more research and data urgently required – but it is not being collected . . . and we end up in the circular dilema . . . they say there is no proof . . . we say well unless the data is collected of course there cannot be proof or denial . . time rolls by . . . and in the mean time economies are under huge pressure and people are dying. . . and the debate goes on . . .

    See above linked “BMJ Rapid Response – Low vitamin D: high risk COVID-19 mortality? Seven preprints suggest that is case. Does low ‘D’ put BAME and elderly, at particular COVID-19 risk? Testing and Data Required.”

    Also please see NICE – Management of vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency in adults https://cks.nice.org.uk/vitamin-d-deficiency-in-adults-treatment-and-prevention#!scenario – you will note NICE recommend fairly significant amounts of vitamin D up to 300,000 over 6 weeks to treat vitamin D deficiency – YES UNDER MEDICAL SUPERVISION – and they are not suggesting repletion can be achieved with food.

    Populations studies show levels of deficiency and insufficiency, particularity in early spring, and more so in high risk groups elderly obese and BAME are commonplace.

    However I understand doctors are not encouraged to test for vitamin D levels except in respect of bone absorption or malabsorbtion issues – and there lies the conundrum – people should not take the larger doses needed to treat vitamin d deficiency without medical supervision – but their doctors are not encouraged to test for D deficiency – and according the preliminary data in the preprints the vitamin D insufficient are at greater risk of COVID mortality. . .

    Arguably in addition to research, changes in Public Policy are urgently needed, be that encouraging and funding testing, or possibly allowing dispensation by pharmacists, what ever the route Vitamin D deficiency should not be swept under the carpet.

  4. Mario Arias | May 24, 2020 at 1:00 pm | Reply

    Vitamin D3 deficiency is a real problem and anecdotal evidence in Covid19 patients especially dark skinned people has found a correlation between severity and vitamin D3 deficiency.
    Don’t be scaring vulnerable people into not adding essential life saving vitamins to their diet with overblown fear mongering.

  5. Utterly depressing – there are now 7 pre-prints looking at COVID-19 positive patient data, which all point to low vitamin D being a factor in greater COVID-19 severity and mortality. please see – https://www.bmj.com/content/369/bmj.m1548/rapid-responses – yes more research and data urgently required – but it is not being collected . . . and we end up in the circular dilema . . . they say there is no proof . . . we say well unless the data is collected of course there cannot be proof or denial . . time rolls by . . . and in the mean time economies are under huge pressure and people are dying. . . and the debate goes on . . .

    See above linked “BMJ Rapid Response – Low vitamin D: high risk COVID-19 mortality? Seven preprints suggest that is case. Does low ‘D’ put BAME and elderly, at particular COVID-19 risk? Testing and Data Required.”

    Also please see NICE – Management of vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency in adults https://cks.nice.org.uk/vitamin-d-deficiency-in-adults-treatment-and-prevention#!scenario – you will note NICE recommend fairly significant amounts of vitamin D up to 300,000 over 6 weeks to treat vitamin D deficiency – YES UNDER MEDICAL SUPERVISION – and they are not suggesting repletion can be achieved with food.

    Populations studies show levels of deficiency and insufficiency, particularity in early spring, and more so in high risk groups elderly obese and BAME are commonplace.

    However I understand doctors are not encouraged to test for vitamin D levels except in respect of bone absorption or malabsorbtion issues – and there lies the conundrum – people should not take the larger doses needed to treat vitamin d deficiency without medical supervision – but their doctors are not encouraged to test for D deficiency – and according the preliminary data in the preprints the vitamin D insufficient are at greater risk of COVID mortality. . .

    Arguably in addition to research, changes in Public Policy are urgently needed, be that encouraging and funding testing, or possibly allowing dispensation by pharmacists, what ever the route Vitamin D deficiency should not be swept under the carpet.”

    • Gary Dean Crosby | May 25, 2020 at 11:07 pm | Reply

      Well said. There does appear to be a split in the medical community between those who suggest a sensible approach to dealing with this health crisis & those who attempt to debunk proven healthful approaches in favour of a questionable vaccine that benefits the pharmaceutical industry. Given the latter’s poor track record the advice in articles such as this one should be taken only by considering the opposing view.

  6. Roger Dalgety | May 24, 2020 at 1:28 pm | Reply

    These ‘scientists’ are corrupt. 30000 research studies say otherwise

    https://vitamindwiki.com/

    • You are correct! For anyone to be warning about the MINISCULE dangers of Vitamin D toxicity, given the current situation, is unconscionable.

    • 4,000 IU of vitamin D/day is adequate. Up to 10,000 IU/day is harmless.

  7. Roger Dalgety | May 24, 2020 at 1:29 pm | Reply

    These ‘scientists’ are lying and are corrupt. 30000 research studies say otherwise

    https://vitamindwiki.com/
    11728 COVID-19 treated by Vitamin D – studies, reports, videos 3207
    23 May, 2020 16:04
    11580 COVID-19 Coronavirus can most likely be fought by Vitamin D 231600
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    11727 COVID-19 more frequent and deadly for those with dark skins (high risk of low vitamin D) 1371
    22 May, 2020 23:32
    11777 COVID-19 associated with low Vitamin D in more than 20 studies – May 21, 2020 84
    22 May, 2020 13:58
    11776 Vitamin D, Quercetin, and Estradiol all increase vitamin D in cells and increase genes which reduce COVID-19 – May 21… 125
    21 May, 2020 19:14
    11609 Coronaviruses attach to cells via ACE2, Vitamin D might reduce ACE2 26910
    21 May, 2020 12:09
    11596 Dr. Coimbra on Coronavirus and Vitamin D (English transcript) – Jan 2020 2429
    21 May, 2020 11:15
    11767 Low Vitamin D increased chance of COVID-19, unless supplement – May 13, 2020 416
    21 May, 2020 11:15
    11775 High Vitamin D may prevent or treat COVID-19 – April 23, 2020 119
    21 May, 2020 11:07
    6630 Influenza prevented by 40 ng levels or treated with vitamin D hammer (50,000 IU) – June 2015 11220
    20 May, 2020 16:57
    11771 Vitamin D trial with COVID-19 in Sri Lanka – interview May 16 174
    18 May, 2020 18:39
    11765 There are 2 concurrent pandemics – COVID-19 and Vitamin D deficiency – May 13, 2020 340
    14 May, 2020 13:26
    11763 COVID-19 might be prevented in 2 months by 50,000 IU weekly – May 12, 2020 335
    12 May, 2020 14:23
    11761 COVID-19 and high-dose Vitamin D – Video interview of Dr. Coimbra- May 1 341
    10 May, 2020 01:43
    11760 UK makes a U-turn on Vitamin D and COVID-19 – a vivid imagination 745
    09 May, 2020 20:54
    7304 Dengue virus 2X to 4X more likely if vitamin D receptor gene problems 2011
    08 May, 2020 10:53
    11730 Poop could save cities from too-early lockdown release 623
    02 May, 2020 17:02
    11753 More Vitamin K associated with fewer COVID-19 problems – April 25, 2020 474
    30 Apr, 2020 11:37
    11749 COVID-19 association with Vitamin D also being explored by Hollis and Wagner – April 2020 584
    29 Apr, 2020 22:29
    11736 Critical COVID-19 was 19X more likely if low vitamin D – April 15, 2020 4534
    29 Apr, 2020 14:20
    11745 COVID-19 is harder for those with dark skins – perhaps due to low vitamin D – April 24, 2020 436
    28 Apr, 2020 16:15
    11710 Indications of increase COVID-19 problems if dark skin in the UK- April 3 2020 577
    25 Apr, 2020 12:46
    11741 Towards a COVID-19 vaccine – France April 14,2020 277
    21 Apr, 2020 14:42
    11740 COVID-19 mortality rate highest North of 35 degrees latitude (Vitamin D) – April 20, 2020 983
    21 Apr, 2020 12:16
    11702 Clear Association between Influenza and low Vitamin D – March 2020 739
    20 Apr, 2020 16:55
    Select action to perform with checked…

    Vitamin D is the 3rd most important contributor to health,
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    10 Reasons why children no longer have healthy levels of Vitamin D

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    Proof that Vitamin D Works: 88 health problems

    “Does Less Sun Mean More Disease?”
    5 minute video with voice-overs in English, German, Spanish, French, . .

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    11770 Poor CYP2R1 gene results in lower vitamin D and 2X increase in T1 Diabetes – Sept 2019 46 Diabetes, Genetics , Infant-Child 16 May, 2020
    11769 Tuberculosis is not treated by 400 IU of vitamin D – RCT May 2020 51 None 15 May, 2020
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    11728 COVID-19 treated by Vitamin D – studies, reports, videos 3207 Virus 15 May, 2020
    11767 Low Vitamin D increased chance of COVID-19, unless supplement – May 13, 2020 416 Virus 15 May, 2020
    11766 Fight COVID-19 with Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Zinc, Selenium, Resveratrol, etc. – Sardi May 12, 2020 351 Zinc, Resveratrol 14 May, 2020
    11765 There are 2 concurrent pandemics – COVID-19 and Vitamin D deficiency – May 13, 2020 340 Virus 13 May, 2020
    11764 Breast cancer chemo made more women vitamin D insufficient, even 6 months later– 2019 61 Cancer – Breast, Cancer – after diagnosis 12 May, 2020
    11763 COVID-19 might be prevented in 2 months by 50,000 IU weekly – May 12, 2020 335 Virus 12 May, 2020
    11762 Colorectal Cancer death 2.1X more likely if poor Vitamin D plus poor Vitamin D Binding protein – May 2020 73 Cancer – Colon, Vit D Binding Protein 12 May, 2020
    8963 Birth rates doubled with Vitamin D- 300,000 loading dose for men – RCT Nov 2017 1495 Fertility and sperm, Loading dose for Vitamin D, Intervention 11 May, 2020
    11761 COVID-19 and high-dose Vitamin D – Video interview of Dr. Coimbra- May 1 341 Books, videos on Vitamin D, Virus 09 May, 2020
    11760 UK makes a U-turn on Vitamin D and COVID-19 – a vivid imagination 745 Virus 09 May, 2020

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    Melanoma 2.1 X more likely if low vitamin D – meta-analysis Jan 2020
    US young adults – 24 percent have prediabetes (many low-cost ways to treat)– Jan 2020
    4 Reasons why Vitamin D levels are crashing
    Does survival of the less fit mean less health
    Nanoemulsion vitamin D is again found to be the best liquid form (for rats in this case) – June 2019
    2.3 X more weight loss in those who had low vitamin D levels and took some – Dec 2019
    VitaminDWiki: the first 10 years, the next 10 years – Jan 2020
    Resveratrol treats Multiple Sclerosis and other autoimmune diseases – many studies
    Vitamin D levels from lowest to highest: Middle East, China. India, S EU. N EU – Dec 2019
    The use of high dose Vitamin D (Coimbra Protocol) for multiple sclerosis in Germany – 2019
    NCAA trainers are getting on board the Vitamin D train (40-50 ng)– Nov 2019
    Conception within 6 months 3X more likely if high vitamin D – Oct 2019
    When over 50, poor health is associated with poor vitamin D– review Oct 2019
    How to read a medical study (with notes on Vitamin D studies) – Oct 2019
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    Better than Daily
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    • Thank you Roger! This article is totally lame, and only makes readers scared to even make modest efforts to take their health into their own hands. I posted a comment on the article too, of my own Vitamin D story, where getting serum levels up has proven difficult. I had to beg my doctor for a test last week, and I was concerned that maybe my D levels were too high, but actually, they are lower than I would like given the scourge of COVID.

  8. COVID-19 ’ICU’ risk – 20-fold greater in the Vitamin D Deficient. BAME, African Americans, the Older, Institutionalised and Obese, are at greatest risk. Sun and ‘D’-supplementation – Game-changers? Research urgently required.

    https://www.bmj.com/content/369/bmj.m1548/rr-6

    Clearly my longer comment also made on Times of India site is not going to be accepted.

    There are 7 pre-prints using COVID patient data indicating the COVID mortality risk is related to Vitamin D deficiency.

    It is arguably unacceptable that rational referenced posts are moderated out

  9. Rapid Response:
    Low vitamin D: high risk COVID-19 mortality? Seven preprints suggest that is case. Does low ‘D’ put BAME and elderly, at particular COVID-19 risk? Testing and Data Required.

    https://www.bmj.com/content/369/bmj.m1548/rr-19

  10. Charlie Peters | May 24, 2020 at 3:31 pm | Reply

    This article is filled with inaccuracies and doesn’t even address vitamin D hydroxy and it’s role in sex hormone balance and also it’s role in supporting CAS9 protein function in the human body.

  11. David H. M. | May 24, 2020 at 3:33 pm | Reply

    I’ve been taking vitamin D daily for decades and haven’t had a cold or the flu in all that time as a result. Want to learn more about Vit D then check out GRC.com / research / health/ Vit D

  12. Why are you writing these kinds of garbage articles? No kidding too much vitamin D could kill you. People are smart enough to make that decision. You are giving people a sense of aversion NOT to take Vit D when it will be needed the most in this coming flu season.

    • Not sure what these doctors have to gain by trying to debunk a natural vitamin that helps to boost the immune system. Are these same drs pushing pharmaceutical instead for treatment? Would be interesting to know if they are pushing for drugs instead of vitamins. Been takin vitamin d3 10,000ui for years after blood tests showed I was extremely deficient. Since then my husband and 3 kids have come down with influenza a, influenza b, strep throat and viral pneumonia….and I never once caught any of those. Even the ER dr we saw during our tests confirmed that me taking vitamin d3 along with k2 and magnesium was more effective then the flu shot.

  13. Steve Alvarez | May 24, 2020 at 5:38 pm | Reply

    Thank you Roger Dalgety! Counter the buggers with Real Research!

  14. Too much water can be deadly too.
    Sanity can safe your life.
    Just read the prescription in the box.

  15. Here is the response I wrote to this article. It hasn’t got through the BMJ moderation process yet.

    This article contains no arguments or evidence for the adequacy of the UK government recommendations for vitamin D: 400IU (10ug) vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) for adults or for its aim, which is to ensure the majority of the population attain 25OHD levels above 10ng/ml (25nmol/L). The dosages and 25OHD levels recommended by the US government are only marginally higher.

    The Endocrine Society (1) defines levels below 20ng/ml as deficient, and levels between 21 and 29ng/ml as insufficient. Pastoral Maasai and Hadzabe hunter-gatherers (2) average 46ng/ml 25OHD.

    Of 55 hospitalised COVID-19 patients in the Philippines (3) with 25OHD levels greater than 30ng/ml, 47 had only mild symptoms, without pneumonia, while only two of 157 patients with 25OHD levels below 30ng/ml had mild symptoms. The symptoms of the others were 55: ordinary (CT confirmed pneumonia with fever and respiratory symptoms); 54: severe (hypoxia and respiratory distress) and 46: critical (respiratory failure). These levels are the average of multiple measurements, including well before the patients became ill.

    A similarly sharp dichotomy in outcomes above and below 30ng/ml 25OHD is reported in Indonesian COVID-19 patients (4). The death rate for those with 25OHD levels greater than 30ng/ml was 4.2%; for those with levels 20 to 30ng/ml: 49.1% and for those with less than 20ng/ml: 46.7%.

    In the UK and other countries COVID-19 infection precipitates a potentially deadly condition in children similar to Kawasaki disease. Researchers in Italy (5) reported in 2016 that Kawasaki disease patients, average age 5.8 years, had 25OHD levels averaging 9.2ng/ml, while those who developed severe coronary abnormalities averaged just 4.9ng/ml. Age-matched healthy controls averaged 23.3ng/ml. I know of no reason to believe that COVID-19 induced Kawasaki disease would not follow a similar pattern – in which very low vitamin D levels (not far below the 10ng/ml target the present article endorses) are evidently a necessary precondition.

    The article provides no justification for the author’s concern about vitamin D toxicity, as would be required to justify their support for 4000IU/day D3 as an absolute maximum intake from all sources. One condition which might justify such concern is sarciodosis, in which immune system dysregulation is so bad that immune cells clump together and (perhaps as a result of intracellular bacteria in macrophages) convert significant quantities of plasma 25OHD to plasma 1,25OHD (calcitriol). This, in theory at least, may lead to calcification of blood vessels and tissues, with the concern that vitamin D supplementation would lead to further increases in plasma 1,25OHD. However, a contrary response is argued (5): no patients who received calcium and vitamin D supplements developed hypercalcemia as a result of this treatment; those who received no such supplements were at a higher risk for developing hypercalcemia and “A significant negative correlation was found between 25OHD levels and disease activity of sarcoidosis measured by somatostatin receptor scintigraphy.”

    Finally, on dosage to achieve optimal vitamin D levels, not just for bone health but for proper immune system regulation, Dr Robert Baker of New Jersey wrote, on 2020-05-14 (6):

    “I have tested over 12,000 patients for a vitamin D level since 2004. A number of patients told me when tested that they take 1000 or 2000IU a day of vitamin D. In spite of that almost all of those people come back with a result in the 20’s. Seldom over 30ng/ml.

    “Most adults need 5000IU a day to reach a level of 40 to 50ng/ml. Some actually need double that. The only way to tell for sure is to test at 6 months and yearly. It would be a waste to do a study that is only going to raise the level to high 20’s or 30’s.

    “How does one get someone to fund an RCT to document what so many clinicians have observed in the field for decades? The correlation of dramatically reduced incidence and severity of respiratory infections in hundreds of thousands of patients who replete serum vitamin D levels to 50ng/ml or more is not ‘anecdotal’. It’s reams of unpublished potential case studies that could save lives.

    “Studies on the effects of vitamin D on various forms of immunity are probably being designed right now with the same pathetically insufficient doses to support healthy immune system function. Such a waste. Mostly over misplaced fear of Hypercalcemia. Most average weight patients would need to take 10,000 IU daily for a year to begin to see a rise in serum calcium levels.”

    While there is considerable variation in 25OHD levels between individuals, even of similar body weights, for any given intake of D3, the average levels are boosted progressively less with increasing dosages. A chart depicting these average levels, for four body weights, was developed in 2014 (7). An adaptation of this chart, in ng/ml units, with some of the levels discussed here marked, is available from my website (8).

    1. Michael F. Holick, Neil C. Binkley and Heike A. Bischoff-Ferrari et al. Evaluation, Treatment, and Prevention of Vitamin D Deficiency: an Endocrine Society Clinical Practice Guideline JCEM (July 2011) https://www.endocrine.org/clinical-practice-guidelines/vitamin-d-deficiency

    2. Martine F Luxwolda, Remko S Kuipers and Ido P Kema et al. Traditionally Living Populations in East Africa Have a Mean Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D Concentration of 115 Nmol/L Br J Nutr. 2012 Nov 14;108(9):1557-61. doi: 10.1017/S0007114511007161

    3. Mark Alipio (2020-04-09) Vitamin D Supplementation Could Possibly Improve Clinical Outcomes of Patients Infected with Coronavirus-2019 (COVID-19) https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3571484

    4. Prabowo Raharusun, Sadiah Priambada and Cahni Budiarti et al. (2020-04-26) Patterns of COVID-19 Mortality and Vitamin D: An Indonesian Study https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3585561

    5. Lieke S Kamphuis, Femke Bonte-Mineur and Jan A van Laar et al. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, Vol. 29, No. 11, November 2014, pp 2498–2503 Calcium and Vitamin D in Sarcoidosis: Is Supplementation Safe? https://doi.org/10.1002/jbmr.2262

    6. In comments regarding JoAnn E. Manson (2020-05-11) Does Vitamin D Protect Against COVID-19? https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/930152

    7. John Paul Ekwaru, Jennifer D. Zwicker and Michael F. Holick et al. (2014) The Importance of Body Weight for the Dose Response Relationship of Oral Vitamin D Supplementation and Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D in Healthy Volunteers. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0111265

    8. http://aminotheory.com/cv19/

  16. This article is needlessly alarmist. I live in sunny California, and I have found it difficult to get my D levels up.

    Read this and think again about whether you want to risk a bad outcome if you get the virus: http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?m=1102722411090&ca=0391a290-b595-4d2d-a2c4-8cec7964de1b

    I have read in numerous articles of how high levels of Vitamin D in one’s blood are correlated with reduced severity of symptoms should one be unfortunate enough to contract COVID. I have been taking 5,000 IU of Vitamin D sporadically for years, and then daily for about three months (even before the virus was in the news much), and it only raised my levels slightly. I am also outside quite a bit soaking up midday UVB sunlight.
    2015 serum D level was 48 ng/mL
    2018 serum D level was 58 ng/mL.
    2020 serum D level is 63 ng/mL (test performed last week)

    • Excellent, thanks for posting your results! If you weigh over 150 lbs, you will very likely need 8000-10,000 IU per day to reach levels of 80-100 ng/mL.

  17. Laszlo G Meszaros | May 24, 2020 at 8:26 pm | Reply

    These “professors” are seemingly not up-to-date as far as vitamin D science of the last 10-15 years is concerned.

    • Steven Thompson | May 27, 2020 at 2:35 am | Reply

      They have been given inducements (grants,lucrative ‘consultancy’ jobs)
      to spew this big lie. Big Pharma who fear vitamin D the most because 80% of illnesses can be treated by vitamin D in the correct dosages plus cofactors.

      Here is the proof. 30000 research studies.

      https://vitamindwiki.com/

  18. Anti - vaccin | May 24, 2020 at 9:21 pm | Reply

    These scientists are Fauci gang.. Period.

  19. J H Trumpington | May 25, 2020 at 12:56 am | Reply

    The comments are more useful than the article. Thanks !

  20. In a PubMed search I couldn’t find any evidence of adverse effects of vitamin D3 at doses lower than 20,000 IU/day. It’s also worth noting that a light-skinned person may produce 1,000 IU of vitamin D after just 4 minutes of summer sun exposure.

  21. Do not blow smoke | May 25, 2020 at 6:05 am | Reply

    Horrible article, I want to know the sources of how taking more than 400IU is harmful. I gave been taking 10000IU and have brought my levels into normal. This have taken months. The comments are more useful than this trash article.

  22. Rodney M Smith | May 25, 2020 at 6:29 am | Reply

    Irresponsible article. Will block immediately.
    Don’t waste your time with this author/publication.

  23. This is trash science. Seriously Vitamin D3/K2/MAGNESIUM taking daily 10000IU D3 with 200mcg K2 and 400mg magnesium glycinate nightly and it mitigates hypercalcemia. These scientists are way behind the A game. My 6 year old takes 5000IU D3 with proper K2 and magnesium and has no side effects.

    • Totally agree Lauren. I live in Phoe ix and I’m a white woman yet my vitamin d was at 10 when I should be at 80. Been on 10,000ui de along with k2 and magnesium as well. After being diagnosed with osteoarthritis in my spine at age 30 I knew something was wrong and fought to have my vitamin levels checked. My husband is now on 5000ui with k2 and magnesium and all 3 of my kids are on 2000ui. I’ve had too much personal experience with vitamin d3 to take this story seriously.

    • joseph manns | May 27, 2020 at 2:36 am | Reply

      They have paid to come out this rubbish.They should be arrested for fraud.

  24. Jim Valdoza | May 25, 2020 at 8:18 am | Reply

    I have osteoporosis and hyperprolactemia, my ENDOCRINOLOGIST and medical doctor recommend that I take 4000 IU daily of vitamin D3 supplementation. What kind of utter dangerous nonsense is this article that people don’t want people to take what is doctor recommended! I took 1000 IU for years and saw my numbers barely top 30 ng/mL. During this pandemic people just can’t separate politics from reality.. STOP publishing this BS

  25. Unfortunately there is no way to increase your vitamin D level in any urgent time without getting hours of sun or taking huge amounts of Vitamin D daily at first. If Dr’s Worried about vitamin D deficiency for their patients in winter we just might be able to make huge strides in public health regarding morbidity and mortality. Vitamin D is taught at the highest levels of immunology as being needed once the Toll Like Receptor on the macrophage comes in contact with a pathogen. If it was not important our bodies over time would not have figured out a way to produce usable vitamin D outside Liver kidney loop. This extrarenal synthesis is produced at point of attack so the body can get the immune system running and staying in homeostatic balance. What is laughable is that some companies are trying to boast that Mesenchymal stem cells therapy could be very helpful because they stimulate antimicrobial polypeptides. Vitamin D has been doing this for thousands of years before these scientists tried to reinvent the wheel.

  26. I cant imagine how the dose you recommend has any impact. I live at a high elevation with sun 300-360 days a year and have very light skin with good exposure and it took a year at 5000 UI to bump up from the 18 ng/mL to 28 ng/mL. Please, for your own good, test and use common sense, don’t believe this article. I agree with Nicole above, this is B.S.

  27. Now I’m really worried and confused! Have severe spinal stenosis, degenerative, osteophytes, neuropathy, & very impaired mobility. I’m very pale (Irish/Welsh heritage), hardly ever spend more than 20 mins outdoors. Started taking 10000iu five years ago, got a definite relief of bone pain after about nine months. Then my Dr told me it was way too high a dose – altho my D levels hadn’t been tested!- I asked for testing but he dismissed it, told me to take a lower dose, I think it was like 100iu which seemed so wildly low that I compromised and since then take 3000iu twice or three times a week. I’m in the UK, so sunshine is a scarce commodity, and perhaps I should also add I’m hypothyroid, anaemic, and taking Lithium and Levithyroxine as well as Ferrous Fumarate plus painkillers, etc.
    Any advice, anybody? I’ve been completely self-isolating even tho I’m not in the “shielding” group.

    • You do not need to worry. I’m an American physician, and your levels are very likely too low rather than too high. Can you order your own testing there? Or change physicians? It’s unbelievable to me that a physician would prefer to rely on sketchy “knowledge” rather than science (testing). I’m about to post a comment here. Please look for it.

    • Allan Richards | May 27, 2020 at 2:38 am | Reply

      Al the information is here if you tear yourself away from foxnews and facebook.

      https://vitamindwiki.com/

  28. Lucy Heaton | May 25, 2020 at 1:30 pm | Reply

    So, take vitamin D supplements but don’t take too much? Seems obvious. Silly headline makes it sound like vitamin D supplements are harmful when in fact they are extremely beneficial for the immune system along with zinc.

  29. Bravo Roger. Scientists are NOT medical doctors nor peer reviewed publications!

  30. Here’s the email I just sent to the main author of this “study”:

    “Professor Sue Lanham ([email protected]):

    I read this article in horror: https://scitechdaily.com/scientists-warn-against-high-doses-of-vitamin-d-supplementation-for-preventing-or-treating-covid-19/#comment-516233. You need to read the comments written there. 

    As an American physician with 21 years practice experience, I can say with 100% certainty: YOU ARE WRONG.  And you are worse than wrong.  Your ridiculous warnings will be personally responsible for tens of thousands of deaths (if not more).  

    Vitamin D toxicity is EXTREMELY rare (1 in 18,445 people). Health risks associated with low levels of Vitamin D are a MUCH greater concern than toxicity could ever be: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29346630/?dopt=Abstract&fbclid=IwAR0n4Whjju4UoNTPesZNdXeagxibDg7ciHLS-R3sOLNCT7dskz5U-RPlMfA

    I have tested, treated, and retested thousands of patients’ Vitamin D levels, and I’ve never seen ONE SINGLE PATIENT’s level exceed 140 ng/mL, despite the fact that some of them have overdosed longterm (not via my instructions), either accidentally or on purpose. I often recommend 5000-10,000 IU daily for my patients to correct longterm severe deficiencies, and I almost never have a patient whose level exceeds the normal upper limit of 100 ng/mL.  For most, their levels hover around 60.  Not ONE of my patients has become ill with COVID-19.  Not one.

    Please seriously consider retracting your study.  It will cause untold harm.”

  31. So, take vitamin D supplements but don’t take too much? Seems obvious. Silly headline makes it sound like vitamin D supplements are harmful when in fact they are extremely beneficial for the immune system along with zinc.

  32. William ambrosia | May 25, 2020 at 3:23 pm | Reply

    Have used vitamin D3 for over 10years with Vitamin K2,K1,k4 with periodic blood tests, which provide a reliable measurement of blood D3. Over the years have used various doses of 16,000-28,000IU with 12,000mcg of. K2 menaquinone-4, 1,200mcg k2 trans menaquine-7, weekly. Over past 2years have maintained a blood reading between 54-57 no/dL with weekly doses of 8,000IU, D3, K2 menaquinone-4, -12,000mcg, K2-trans menaquinone-7 1,200mcg, K1-as phytonadione 4,500 mcg. Which appears to offer improved immunity for my general health. One should exercise caution when supplementing and research a safe approach to increasing Vitamin D3 blood levels.

  33. Patrick Arbucci | May 25, 2020 at 3:33 pm | Reply

    4,000 IU per day of D3 is within safety limits. This article reflects a 5th grade education and extremely limited knowledge of Vitamin D.

  34. ““Levels of the vitamin in the body can also be supplemented through a nutritionally balanced diet including foods that provide the vitamin, such as oily fish, red meat, egg yolk and fortified foods such as breakfast cereals, and safe sunlight exposure to boost vitamin D status.””

    Nothing says better health than starting your day with fortified foods such as breakfast cereal. Load up on the carbs and sugar first thing to ward off all the virus’es.

    I’ll get right on it, thanks!

  35. Gary Dean Crosby | May 26, 2020 at 2:47 am | Reply

    Well said. There does appear to be a split in the medical community between those who suggest a sensible approach to dealing with this health crisis & those who attempt to debunk proven healthful approaches in favour of a questionable vaccine that benefits the pharmaceutical industry. Given the latter’s poor track record the advice in articles such as this one should be taken only by considering the opposing view.Do your research.

  36. The comments are certainly more useful, as someone already pointed out, than this ill informed consensus statement. As if they haven’t looked up the evidence! The UK in particular will NOT accept that higher blood levels than 25 nmol/l are needed for health, metabolic, immune system. Why?? Plenty evidence out there. We should have levels around 100 nmol/l or above. The report is totally contradictory also: why only 4000 IU daily, when 10,000 iU daily was proven safe longterm. Why? And – the US considers a normal blood level 50 nmol/l and a normal supplement advice 800 IU daily on top of that level. The UK says 25 nmol/l is normal and recommends 400 IU on top of this. Eh? Pardon me? This is a consensus statement, so which country is right? Am I supposed to think it doesn’t really matter what blood level I have? Why is there this inappropriate worry about too high a dose, when there is NO evidence that this dose could harm anyone? when this actually might just help our back ground immunity, our resilience in this pandemic, when the obviously highest at risk of dying is in those with darker skin types, overweight, old, and those happen to be the ones at highest risk of low vitamin D? IT IS SAFE AND MIGHT SAVE LIVES!
    Has it never occurred to them that different countries might have different back ground immunity, based on their vitamin D levels? Scandinavian countries have generally a high intake of vitamin D and cod-liver oil or effective food fortification, like in Finland.
    The balance of evidence tips very clearly in one direction, the one of benefit. So, couldn’t some of those researchers not muster up some courage and just say let’s try it, give it the benefit of the doubt? And just do it? For the sake of saving possibly some lives? Test (for 25(OH)D), and treat to reach optimal level (100 nmol/l). Wouldn’t that be worth it? Instead of putting people off from taking decent sized doses. As if it was poison.

  37. This was written by Big Pharma or a group that is under their thumb Understand there is a HUGE agenda in place for people to NOT take D3 Do you notice they will tell you to take C and Zinc but seldom mention D3?? Lies all of it Research the article where Big Pharma tried to take hold of D3 in 2010 but could not patent it Scary how much power they have Take D3 (I have for years and years 15 tho a day) Look at nature Its called the sun(15 minutes in the sun gives you 15 tho and that is if you are naked) and we can not thrive with out it but sadly we can not use the suns benefits any more now that we have messed with the weather so we have to stay covered up or with sun screens This is a deliberate tactic to keep us from staying healthy There is NO money in health only in sickness Find out who really wrote this article Find out who is in control it is not you I had the corno virus It was like the flu you will still get a virus but it will not migrate to your lungs(The overreaction known as the cytokine storm your system becomes too active and starts to attack the individual’s own body)
    and I have asthma(D3 protects you from this Read,educate,research Find out for yourself!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!As a side note I was always sick before D3 I did the research (which was pretty well hidden) I no longer get sick Winter flu? It means the sun is shining less Short days Long days Summer where everyone feels better and is less likely to become ill This is about money and control and one reason they keep the dosages low is because this is away to dis-credit the D3!!

  38. Dean Windlan | May 26, 2020 at 10:15 pm | Reply

    I take 10,000 IU of D3 a day, year round. My blood tests show I am on the high end of the range considered safe. I have been doing this for quite a long time, 20+ years. I never get a cold or flu. The article seems to be heavily influenced by Big Pharma in its timid stance.

  39. Is this article a spoof? It could not possibly be regarded as serious. The ignorance of the authors is staggering, especially concerning the well-researched and published actions of vitamin D and VDR in escalating the immune defensive response to infection and controlling the cytokine storm. This knowledge is of fundamental importance in making certain that if it is desired to protect people from serious illness or death from Covid-19, the blood level of vitamin D should be 40ng/ml (100nmol/L). If ‘testing’ is to be useful, it should be testing of blood level of pitman D. A supplement of 4000 units per day is usually adequate and always safe.

    • You have to see Dr. and Pharmacists on Medscape fighting for and against Vitamin D. Will it hurt? No, it will not if you are reasonable about it. I first started taking 5000iu a day when I started studying the Covid 19/Vit D relationship. After a week my level was 12.9 which scared the crap out of me since I am a front line medical employee and I just finished reading Mark Alipio’s study. I moved to 10,000 iu for three days and got sun and was only 17 ng/mL. Moved to 20,000 iu for three days then found out we might have been exposed to an employee who might have had it. Went to 80,000 for three days then backed down to 20,000 for three days then got two days of sun. My level finally was over 40 ng/mL. It took a while to get it up high enough. I am now taking 5000 iu a day and my level is steady between 50 and 60. This is not an easy thing to do but since I am am a Clinical lab tech I was able to watch it.

    • John

      As non-institution specific generality . . .

      – are bloods routinely taken from COVID-19 patients?
      – are they stored?
      – are they assessed for Vitamin D?
      – could they be retrospectively tested for Vitamin D? (even if that was only for internal reporting and correlation to outcomes)

      Why is nobody checking D and correlating with outcomes?

      Surely it would be relatively simple and cheap – Do-able
      in Helga Rhein’s terms, and the outcomes could be a game – changer

      COVID-19 ’ICU’ risk – 20-fold greater in the Vitamin D Deficient. BAME, African Americans, the Older, Institutionalised and Obese, are at greatest risk. Sun and ‘D’-supplementation – Game-changers? Research urgently required.
      https://www.bmj.com/content/369/bmj.m1548/rr-6

      Low vitamin D: high risk COVID-19 mortality? Seven preprints suggest that is case. Does low ‘D’ put BAME and elderly, at particular COVID-19 risk? Testing and Data Required.
      https://www.bmj.com/content/369/bmj.m1548/rr-19

      Rapid Response:
      Low vitamin D: high risk COVID-19 mortality? Seven preprints suggest that is case. Does low ‘D’ put BAME and elderly, at particular COVID-19 risk? Testing and Data Required.
      https://www.bmj.com/content/369/bmj.m1548/rr-19

  40. Jerry Kosel | May 27, 2020 at 1:08 pm | Reply

    NOTE FROM JERRY KOSEL, [email protected] I have chopped the following (really dumb) article below into little pieces. I was going to just blow this off but then I thought, what is retirement for? My primary objective is to point out how EXPERTS can be absolutely ignorant in their analysis of an issue and how they fail to learn from the facts that present themselves. For those that don’t know, I (and we) have gone 10 years with no respiratory tract infections. An excerpt from the article states – “Previous studies in this area have found that lower vitamin D status is associated with acute respiratory tract infections however limitations of the findings of these studies were identified.” So, what is it? Stupid. My Vitamin D daily intake is 5,000i.u/day. I offered a pint my blood to a Covid19 researcher but I haven’t heard back.

    Article – Newsbreakapp.com

    Scientists from the UK, Europe and the USA, including experts from the University of Birmingham, have published a vitamin D consensus paper warning against high doses of vitamin D supplementation. (OH MY GOD, IT’S RIGHT UP THERE WITH CYANIDE).

    According to the study, there is currently insufficient scientific evidence to show vitamin D can be beneficial in preventing or treating Covid-19 (well, no studies yet, huh? However, viruses ARE viruses, aren’t they?). Its authors advise that the population adhere to Public Health England guidance on supplementation. (Jerry’s note: Public Health guidelines, English or American are far, far too conservative. The following dose of 5000IU/day is, in fact the average, correct dose for the average adult according to Dr. John J. Cannell, founder of the Vitamin D Council – http://www.vitamindcouncil.org. A reasonable suggested dose is 5,000 i.u/day, 6 to 7 days a week. And, if you don’t have a good intake of green leafy veggies, take also Vitamin K2 – mena7.)

    (Jerry’s note: The current adult dose of Vitamin D by the U.S. Natl. Institute of Health is, in fact 600iu/day. In England it is at 400. The English Institute of Health’s latest recommendation is to target a blood level of at least 25 nmol/L This is pathetically low, dangerous and doesn’t come close to the 75 to 80 level recommended by Dr. Cannell. The Brits recommend a daily supplement of 10 micrograms which equals 400 i.u’s /day, which is a tenth of a proper dose, in my (and MY experts) humble opinion.)

    Following unverified reports that high doses of vitamin D (higher than 4000iu/d) could reduce the risk of contracting Covid-19 and be used to successfully treat the virus, the new report published in the journal BMJ, Nutrition, Prevention and Health, investigated the current scientific evidence base on the vitamin and its use in treating infections. Vitamin D is a hormone, produced in the skin during exposure to sunlight, and helps regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body, which are needed to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy.

    Related: Vitamin D Determines Severity in COVID-19 — Researchers Urge Government to Change Advice

    Professor Sue Lanham-New, Head of the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Surrey and lead author of the study, said: “An adequate level of vitamin D in the body is crucial to our overall health, too little can lead to rickets or the development of osteoporosis but too much can lead to an increase in calcium levels in the blood which could be particularly harmful.”

    Examining previous studies in this field scientists found no evidence (this is contradicted in the article – really sloppy) of a link between high dose supplementation of vitamin D in helping to prevent or successfully treat Covid-19 and cautioned against over supplementation of the vitamin, without medical supervision, due to health risks. Scientists concluded that assertions about the benefit of the vitamin in treating the virus are not currently supported by adequate human studies and are based on findings from studies that did not specifically examine this area.

    Claims of a link between vitamin D levels and respiratory tract infections were also examined by scientists. Previous studies in this area have found that lower vitamin D status is associated with acute respiratory tract infections however limitations of the findings of these studies were identified. Findings from the majority of studies were based on data gathered from population groups in developing countries and cannot be extrapolated to populations from more developed countries due to external factors. Scientists believe that there is currently no firm link between vitamin D intake and resistance to respiratory tract infections. (Jerry’s note: God save us from, experts, scientists, professors or self important prognosticators – oops, that’s me)

    Professors Carolyn Greig and Martin Hewison from Birmingham University, are co-authors on the paper. Professor Greig says: “Most of our vitamin D comes from exposure to sunlight, however for many people, particularly those who are self-isolating with limited access to sunlight during the current pandemic, getting enough vitamin D may be a real challenge. Supplementing with vitamin D is recommended but should be done under the current UK guidance.

    “Although there is some evidence that low vitamin D is associated with acute respiratory tract infections, there is currently insufficient evidence for vitamin D as a treatment for COVID-19 and over-supplementing must be avoided as it could be harmful.” (OH, MY GOD, WE COULD LOSE CONTROL OF OUR PATIENTS AND THEY WON’T PRAY TO US ANY MORE).

    Professor Judy Buttriss, Director General British Nutrition Foundation and also a co-author of the paper said: “In line with the latest Public Health England guidance on vitamin D, we recommend that people consider taking a vitamin D supplement of 10 micrograms [400 iu] a day during the winter months (from October to March), and all year round if their time outside is limited.

    “Levels of the vitamin in the body can also be supplemented through a nutritionally balanced diet including foods that provide the vitamin, such as oily fish, red meat, egg yolk and fortified foods such as breakfast cereals, and safe sunlight exposure to boost vitamin D status.” (Jerry’s note: It is silly to suggest that anyone could derive adequate vitamin D from diet. The sun is, and always has been, the primary source of vitamin D. However, we wear sun block, and sun hats and sun umbrellas. Oh, well.)

    Reference: “Vitamin D and SARS-CoV-2 virus/COVID-19 disease” by Susan A Lanham-New, Ann R Webb, Kevin D Cashman, Judy L Buttriss, Joanne L Fallowfield, Tash Masud, Martin Hewison, John C Mathers, Mairead Kiely, Ailsa A Welch, Kate A Ward, Pamela Magee, Andrea L Darling, Tom R Hill, Carolyn Greig, Colin P Smith, Richard Murphy, Sarah Leyland, Roger Bouillon, Sumantra Ray and Martin Kohlmeier, 13 May 2020, BMJ, Nutrition, Prevention and Health.
    DOI: 10.1136/bmjnph-2020-000089

  41. Adam Crowley | July 26, 2020 at 9:09 am | Reply

    The Pharma is caching in on the Vitamin D deficiency, it is obscene. 70% of people show vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency combined which causes a multitude of health problems. This issue is the easiest to fix by advocating the vitamin D level testing and adequate supplementation. And yet the press is silent, or worse – confuse the people further.

  42. 400 IUs a day is not going to do anything for anyone.
    Maintenance dose is 3 to 4000 IUs/day if you want to stay where you’re at. If you have vitamin D levels in the teens it’s absolutely safe to do a megadose for a short period of time.

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