Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 05-15-2020, 03:38 PM
sitchensis is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: revillagigedo
Posts: 2,929

Has anyone looked into the Vitamin D claims?


The title is pretty much the thread. Should I run out and buy a bunch of vitamins?
Or are some slightly overzealous researchers misapplying some interesting research too the current issues.
  #2  
Old 05-15-2020, 03:48 PM
Joey P is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Posts: 30,253
It might help if you told us what claims you're referring to.
  #3  
Old 05-15-2020, 03:48 PM
FlikTheBlue is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 2,164
My educated guess is that there will turn out to be a link, but that it will be a correlational rather than causative link. In other words people with low vitamin D levels tend to be less healthy as a group than those with normal vitamin D levels. The poorer overall health of those with lower vitamin D levels is the likely reason they tend to do worse with Covid-19, rather than the specific vitamin deficit.
  #4  
Old 05-15-2020, 03:57 PM
sitchensis is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: revillagigedo
Posts: 2,929
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joey P View Post
It might help if you told us what claims you're referring to.
Sorry, I'm usually so behind in these things that i assume everyone else knows first.

Article

A lot of regurgitated articles from all around the web, say pretty much the same.
  #5  
Old 05-15-2020, 04:21 PM
Ann Hedonia's Avatar
Ann Hedonia is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 4,137
Quote:
Originally Posted by sitchensis View Post
Sorry, I'm usually so behind in these things that i assume everyone else knows first.

Article

A lot of regurgitated articles from all around the web, say pretty much the same.
Nm

Last edited by Ann Hedonia; 05-15-2020 at 04:23 PM.
  #6  
Old 05-15-2020, 04:24 PM
Joey P is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Posts: 30,253
Quote:
Originally Posted by sitchensis View Post
Sorry, I'm usually so behind in these things that i assume everyone else knows first.
I almost exclusively use the 'new posts' button and I tend not to look at what forum a thread is in when I'm reading it or I probably would have been able to put this together.
  #7  
Old 05-15-2020, 04:31 PM
HoneyBadgerDC is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Torrance Ca
Posts: 8,402
Another big thing here is that unhealthy people who are bedridden tend not to go out in the sun much so they would most likely have low Vitamin D levels. I don't think they have proved that vitamin D fight the virus. Just that those who are vulnerable tend to have lower levels.
  #8  
Old 05-15-2020, 04:53 PM
sitchensis is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: revillagigedo
Posts: 2,929
It seems like a huge study with a huge sample size but in reality, the sample size is countries, not the people within.

It's hard without access to the journal.

Last edited by sitchensis; 05-15-2020 at 04:57 PM.
  #9  
Old 05-15-2020, 07:15 PM
Stranger On A Train is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Manor Farm
Posts: 19,868
There is significant evidence that Vitamin D somatic levels or supplementation inversely correlates with respiratory infections. ”Vitamin D, immune System & SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Mechanism of Vit D Immune Regulation & Overview”. The video is a review of a meta-analysis on Vitamin D effects and acute respiratory tract infections as well as the mechanisms by which Vitamin D regulates the immune system.

Note that a infrequent large dosing (referred to in the video as “bolus dosing”, or what a physician would do to treat an acute imbalance) is not protective; it is necessary to supplement regularly (preferably daily) to maintain immune response. Most people who live in temperate or subarctic climes have some level of Vitamin D deficiency (your body produces it through solar exposure, and while there are dietary sources of D3 it is hard to get enough through diet to make up a deficiency). It is also the case that people with darker skin will produce Vitamin D more slowly, which could at least partially account for the racial discrepancies in COVID-19 mortalities although the effects of lifestyle, diet, and stress should not be neglected.

Any specific protections against SARS-CoV-2 are correlative at this point; however, as noted most people already have a Vitamin D deficiency, and Vitamin D has demonstrated benefits with regards to other diseases including various cancers, so it is one of the few vitamins for which there is a strong case for regular supplementation anyway. Or, you can go out and get some good sunlight exposure, which is also good for you.

Stranger
  #10  
Old 05-16-2020, 10:24 AM
Magiver is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Dayton Ohio USA
Posts: 29,293
I'm not a doctor so I make no claims.

Vitamin D has an anticoagulant property that might be useful if covid19 is proven to generate blood clots.

Many people are deficient in this vitamin so it's probably not going to hurt to take it as a supplement.
  #11  
Old 05-16-2020, 10:56 AM
crowmanyclouds's Avatar
crowmanyclouds is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: ... hiding in my room ...
Posts: 5,080
Nurse: Doctor this patient is becoming 'clotty' should we increase their level of prescription injected 'blood thinner'?
Doctor: Don't be silly, this patient just needs more vitamin D!

CMC fnord!
  #12  
Old 05-16-2020, 11:30 AM
Magiver is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Dayton Ohio USA
Posts: 29,293
Quote:
Originally Posted by crowmanyclouds View Post
Nurse: Doctor this patient is becoming 'clotty' should we increase their level of prescription injected 'blood thinner'?
Doctor: Don't be silly, this patient just needs more vitamin D!

CMC fnord!
Kind of an odd response to a detailed article written by doctors. Are you suggesting that maintaining a proper level of vitamins is useless in fighting disease? How do you think the vast number of people who survive diseases like covid-19? Magic?

I posted a cite that relates to the topic and I started out by saying I make no medical claims. You on the other hand appear to know something we don't so the floor is yours to explain why maintaining the proper levels of a vitamin known for helping one of the symptoms of covid-19 is a bad thing to do.

Last edited by Magiver; 05-16-2020 at 11:31 AM.
  #13  
Old 05-16-2020, 02:01 PM
DinoR is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 4,010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stranger On A Train View Post
It is also the case that people with darker skin will produce Vitamin D more slowly, which could at least partially account for the racial discrepancies in COVID-19 mortalities although the effects of lifestyle, diet, and stress should not be neglected.
It might also account for some part of the risk associated with being older. Our skin becomes less effective at producing vitamin D as we age. Our kidneys also become less effective at processing the vitamin into the active form our body needs. Throw in that older people may be less likely to be outside and exposed to sunlight because of their other underlying conditions and there is a triple whammy. My mid 80s parents both take above what is normally considered the safe upper limit for a healthy adult on the advice of their doctor.

It would also be interesting to see whether there is higher death rate among vegans than the rest of the population. Being vitamin D deficient is one of the risks of a strict vegan diet. The dietary sources of the more readily used D3 are mostly things vegans won't eat. If vitamin D matters, veganism could present a risk factor. Fortunately, it would be one that is relatively easy to mitigate.
  #14  
Old 05-16-2020, 03:12 PM
DSeid's Avatar
DSeid is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 23,971
In other fora we’ve had long discussions on vitamin D as the great hope of the vitamin supplement industry. Short version is that the benefits of supplements rarely have lived up to the hype and the hopes. Most of its promises as a routine supplement
have not planned out but some a bit. Low D is often the result of inflammation more than the cause but what with less time outside than ever for many taking a modest supplemental amount is reasonable. I don’t and won’t be starting myself but I get outside some. Don’t think though that more is always better. Up to a few thousand IU a day is fine, might lower risk some, it’s possible, but some do tens of thousands every day ... I have seen overdose from vitamin D causing kidney damage.
  #15  
Old 05-16-2020, 04:23 PM
Stranger On A Train is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Manor Farm
Posts: 19,868
Quote:
Originally Posted by DinoR View Post
It would also be interesting to see whether there is higher death rate among vegans than the rest of the population. Being vitamin D deficient is one of the risks of a strict vegan diet. The dietary sources of the more readily used D3 are mostly things vegans won't eat. If vitamin D matters, veganism could present a risk factor. Fortunately, it would be one that is relatively easy to mitigate.
Although there are dietary sources of D3 (not really D2 unless you eat a lot of sun-dried crimini mushrooms and lichen) and many processed foods are enriched with D3 specifically to prevent the extreme deficiency that results in rickets, most Vitamin D is produced by exposure to sunlight.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DSeid View Post
Donít think though that more is always better. Up to a few thousand IU a day is fine, might lower risk some, itís possible, but some do tens of thousands every day ... I have seen overdose from vitamin D causing kidney damage.
If you supplement with Vitamin D, it is definitely advisable to stay well within the maximum recommended dosage (sources vary between 2000 IBU and 4000 IBU per day, with the dose causing immediate toxicity ~40,000 IBU) and not to expect that it is going to provide some specific prophylactic effect that lets you ignore all other isolation and physical distancing guidance, but as noted above most people are somewhat deficient in it anyway, and it is one of the few necessary micronutrients that it is actually difficult to get enough of through dietary sources alone. Of course, getting a daily Ďdoseí of sunlight and fresh air, whenever possible, is also very beneficial in numerous ways and generally costs nothing, but youíre going to have to expose a lot of skin or spend a fair amount of time outside to produce the same amount a person in a pre-industrial society would generate as a matter of course.

Stranger
  #16  
Old 05-16-2020, 04:44 PM
Yllaria is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Stockton
Posts: 11,255
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlikTheBlue View Post
My educated guess is that there will turn out to be a link, but that it will be a correlational rather than causative link. In other words people with low vitamin D levels tend to be less healthy as a group than those with normal vitamin D levels. The poorer overall health of those with lower vitamin D levels is the likely reason they tend to do worse with Covid-19, rather than the specific vitamin deficit.
Quote:
Originally Posted by HoneyBadgerDC View Post
Another big thing here is that unhealthy people who are bedridden tend not to go out in the sun much so they would most likely have low Vitamin D levels. I don't think they have proved that vitamin D fight the virus. Just that those who are vulnerable tend to have lower levels.
I think the correlation with poorer health will turn out to be the case. One of the regular blood tests you get if you're type 2 diabetic is vitamin D levels. If you're low, you get told how much to take daily.
  #17  
Old 05-16-2020, 07:27 PM
susan's Avatar
susan is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Coastal USA
Posts: 10,326
People with breast cancer tend to have lower D levels as well. Here in the land o' rain, at least, many oncologists recommend supplements while acknowledging that correlation != causality.
  #18  
Old 05-16-2020, 08:38 PM
DinoR is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 4,010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stranger On A Train View Post
Although there are dietary sources of D3 (not really D2 unless you eat a lot of sun-dried crimini mushrooms and lichen) and many processed foods are enriched with D3 specifically to prevent the extreme deficiency that results in rickets, most Vitamin D is produced by exposure to sunlight.
Yes, but in good chunks of the country daily doses of sunlight are not a valid option. Frostbite prevention tends to take priority over the health benefits of exposed skin for decent chunks of the year.

Vitamin D, like B12, deficiency is one of the areas frequently mentioned as bearing special attention for vegans. They simply have less room for error before deficiency kicks in because they lack that dietary baseline.
  #19  
Old 05-16-2020, 10:54 PM
susan's Avatar
susan is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Coastal USA
Posts: 10,326
I did read this the other day: Review of Mushrooms as a Potential Source of Dietary Vitamin D.
Quote:
When fresh button mushrooms are deliberately exposed to midday sunlight for 15–120 min, they generate significant amounts of vitamin D2, usually in excess of 10 μg/100 g FW [17,35,39,40], which approaches the daily requirement of vitamin D recommended in many countries....
Where
Quote:
100 g is considered to be a realistic serve of mushrooms (approximately three button mushrooms)....
I'm not sure I've ever eaten only 3 button mushrooms, but there you go.

Last edited by susan; 05-16-2020 at 10:54 PM.
  #20  
Old 05-16-2020, 11:04 PM
hajario's Avatar
hajario is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Santa Barbara, California
Posts: 16,606
Quote:
Originally Posted by susan View Post
People with breast cancer tend to have lower D levels as well. Here in the land o' rain, at least, many oncologists recommend supplements while acknowledging that correlation != causality.
In other words, it certainly can't hurt and it's inexpensive so why not? I had a blood test a couple of years ago and the result was low Vitamin D. I started taking 1000 units/day. I upped that to 2000 units/day when I read about the possible help with COVID. Maybe I should take even more.
  #21  
Old 05-16-2020, 11:21 PM
susan's Avatar
susan is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Coastal USA
Posts: 10,326
My oncologist has me taking about 6000 units a day to stay in the range she likes, though recently I'm been less inclined to follow her sunblock-at-all-times advice, so I may reduce the dose.
  #22  
Old 05-16-2020, 11:32 PM
puzzlegal's Avatar
puzzlegal is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 5,979
I've jumped on the vitamin D bandwagon, and I'm taking 2000 units/day, as well as trying to get some daily sun. As others have said, it's safe, it's not expensive, and it might help. It might help with a lot of things, actually, not just covid.
  #23  
Old 05-17-2020, 10:15 AM
puzzlegal's Avatar
puzzlegal is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 5,979
Weirdly, it's become REALLY hard to find vitamin C for sale, but there still seems to be plenty of Vitamin D available. I think both are pretty cheap to make, but I suppose there are lots of market disruptions.
  #24  
Old 05-17-2020, 10:52 AM
Senegoid is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Sunny California
Posts: 16,086
If one expects to get Vitamin D by mixing skin + sun, is that affected by using sunscreen?
  #25  
Old 05-17-2020, 01:52 PM
dtilque is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: My own private Nogero
Posts: 7,797
Quote:
Originally Posted by Senegoid View Post
If one expects to get Vitamin D by mixing skin + sun, is that affected by using sunscreen?
Yes. Sunscreen blocks the UV that makes Vit D. If you go outside, try waiting for 15 or 20 minutes before putting on the sunscreen.
  #26  
Old 05-17-2020, 05:19 PM
Emily Litella is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: The swamps of Jersey
Posts: 1,238
I watched this video a couple weeks ago by Ivor Cummings, he says that not being deficient in vitamin D is good, but there's more to it than that. He mentions that if you're eating nutrient dense food that contains vitamin D (like meat) and you're avoiding insulin resistance and inflammatory conditions and getting enough sun without burning as well as taking vitamin D supplements, you're better off than just taking vitamin D supplements alone. On the NJ page for Covid-19 the demographics for co-morbidities show that people who have heart disease and diabetes have a higher mortality rate for Covid-19. The video shows that after correcting for co-morbidities people who are deficient in Vitamin D are still more likely to have a severe versus a mild case if they catch it.
It's a good idea to supplement Vitamin D, it's a better idea to make lifestyle changes if you need to.
__________________
NM
  #27  
Old 05-17-2020, 05:58 PM
hajario's Avatar
hajario is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Santa Barbara, California
Posts: 16,606
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emily Litella View Post
It's a good idea to supplement Vitamin D, it's a better idea to make lifestyle changes if you need to.
I don't think that anyone can possibly argue otherwise. My doctor is a crusty old dude who tells it like it is. When he told me about the low Vitamin D, I asked how many units I should take from a supplement. He said, "Supplement? I prescribe you to stand outside with your shirt off for 30 minutes a day!"
  #28  
Old 05-17-2020, 05:59 PM
Sam Stone is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Posts: 28,694
One possible correlation is that sun exposure not only increases vitamin D, but the UV radiation may kill the virus that may be on your exposed skin or clothing, reducing viral loads if you are infected or preventing infection at all.
  #29  
Old 05-17-2020, 07:01 PM
SciFiSam is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Beffnal Green innit
Posts: 8,730
I haven't yet seen a study that analyses vitamin D and covid and takes into account the underlying conditions that affect vitamin D levels and make you more vulnerable to coronavirus. I have a lower vitamin D level due to rheumatoid arthritis, and am more susceptible to coronavirus due to the medication I take for RA; lots of people with long-term health conditions go outside less so have lower vitamin D levels; and it's associated with dozens of other conditions that make you more likely to suffer complications from coronavirus. So there are a lot of correlations to take into account.

However, unless you really overdose, it's only going to be good for you to take vitamin D supplements or try to get a little more sunshine - not so long that you increase your skin cancer risk, of course.

In the UK, Public Health England (PHE) has advised those staying indoors for most of the day to take a 10micrograms (400 IU) of vitamin D3 supplement daily. I take one anyway and have been giving a vitamin supplement to my otherwise healthy adult daughter because she's getting no sun at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DinoR View Post
It might also account for some part of the risk associated with being older. Our skin becomes less effective at producing vitamin D as we age. Our kidneys also become less effective at processing the vitamin into the active form our body needs. Throw in that older people may be less likely to be outside and exposed to sunlight because of their other underlying conditions and there is a triple whammy. My mid 80s parents both take above what is normally considered the safe upper limit for a healthy adult on the advice of their doctor.

It would also be interesting to see whether there is higher death rate among vegans than the rest of the population. Being vitamin D deficient is one of the risks of a strict vegan diet. The dietary sources of the more readily used D3 are mostly things vegans won't eat. If vitamin D matters, veganism could present a risk factor. Fortunately, it would be one that is relatively easy to mitigate.
Like others said, we don't get most of our vitamin D through our diet. Besides, most vegans I know take supplements because some B vitamins really are difficult to obtain via a vegan diet. In general, vegans are no more likely than anyone else to be deficient in vitamin D. (Cite).


(BTW sorry Emily Litella because that was a really good post, but I don't like watching youtube videos about health-related topics - I need cites to published papers).
  #30  
Old 05-17-2020, 08:03 PM
Emily Litella is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: The swamps of Jersey
Posts: 1,238
Quote:
(BTW sorry Emily Litella because that was a really good post, but I don't like watching youtube videos about health-related topics - I need cites to published papers).
No problem, I understand, it does say it's a pre-release study outcome.
__________________
NM
  #31  
Old 05-17-2020, 08:40 PM
susan's Avatar
susan is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Coastal USA
Posts: 10,326
Quote:
Originally Posted by Senegoid View Post
If one expects to get Vitamin D by mixing skin + sun, is that affected by using sunscreen?
Yes. I didn't take a D supplement but did use 50 SPF sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses on the Camino de Santiago last summer. After walking 500 miles in the summer sun, I returned home with low D levels--a triumph of a sort.
  #32  
Old 05-17-2020, 11:04 PM
puzzlegal's Avatar
puzzlegal is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 5,979
Quote:
Originally Posted by Senegoid View Post
If one expects to get Vitamin D by mixing skin + sun, is that affected by using sunscreen?
Of course.
My "sunscreen" is usually a long-sleeved short and a broad-brimmed hat. I've been trying to make a point to spend a little time with my skin exposed to the sun. Not so much time as to burn, of course. But people who burn easily don't need much time in the sun to generate vitamin D. That's pretty much WHY people closer to the equator are darker than those closer to the poles -- to balance the need for vitamin D with the need for protection from over-exposure.
  #33  
Old 05-18-2020, 02:32 PM
sitchensis is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: revillagigedo
Posts: 2,929
Thanks for all the information everyone. Admittedly my OP was a little short on information. Thanks for filling in the holes.
  #34  
Old 05-18-2020, 05:29 PM
davidm's Avatar
davidm is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Near Philadelphia PA, USA
Posts: 12,809
My doctors have me taking 5000 IU of D3 daily, along with monthly B12 shots and other supplements. Of course I'm a special case due to my short bowel.
__________________
Check out my t-shirt designs in Marketplace. https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb...php?p=21131885
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:18 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright © 2019 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017