Covid-19: a new look at vitamin D

Vitamin D sun covid-19

I’ve written about vitamin D as a potential treatment for covid-19 a couple of times before. In September of 2020 I wrote about a Spanish randomized trial that showed a massive reduction in ICU admissions in hospitalized patients treated with 25-hydroxyvitamin D (a part-activated form of vitamin D). However, that study had some major weaknesses – it was completely unblinded and it was small. In other words, although the results were promising, they hardly constituted conclusive proof of a benefit.

Then, in January, I wrote about a much larger double-blind Brazilian trial that failed to show any benefit when hospitalized patients were treated with vitamin D. For many in the mainstream medical community, this study constituted conclusive proof that vitamin D is ineffective as a treatment for covid-19. However, participants in the trial weren’t given vitamin D until late in the disease course, and unlike in the previous Spanish study, they were given regular vitamin D, not the part-activated form used in the Spanish study. Since it takes several days for regular vitamin D to become activated and usable by the body, the study was more or less designed to fail from the start – whether intentionally or unintentionally. There was no realistic chance that it was ever going to show a benefit, even if one exists.

So, when I last wrote about vitamin D, in January, it was still unclear whether it had any role in the treatment of covid-19 or not. Well, has anything changed since then?

Let’s start by taking a look at the observational data. Although the randomized trials of vitamin D have been few and far between, there has been a massive amount of observational data produced. In recent months, two meta-analyses of cohort studies have been published that look at the relationship between vitamin D levels and death, one in the journal Nutrients, and another in the Nutrition Journal. For those who are unaware, a meta-analysis is a pooled study, where you take lots of different studies and pool their results together in to one, in order to get more statistically significant results. And a cohort study is a type of observational study in which you take two or more groups that vary in some specific way, such as in their vitamin D levels, and then follow them over time to see if they have different outcomes.

Interestingly, the two meta-analyses reach the exact opposite conclusions, with one claiming that if we can just get everyone up to 50 ng/ml of vitamin D in the blood stream, then we can literally prevent all covid deaths, while the other says that there is no correlation whatsoever between vitamin D levels and covid mortality.

How is this possible?

Well, the first thing to note is that the two meta-analyses vary in terms of which particular studies they include. The Nutrients study performed its data search in March, while the Nutrition Journal study performed its data search in June. This means that the Nutrition Journal meta-analysis had access to a few extra studies, which weren’t available when the first data search was conducted in March.

But that isn’t the whole explanation. The researchers have also used somewhat different search strategies, which means that each includes some studies that the other lacks. In fact, there is amazingly little overlap between the two meta-analyses in terms of which studies are included. Only two of the seven studies in the Nutrients meta-analysis are included in the Nutrition Journal meta-analysis, and only two of the eleven studies in the Nutrition Journal meta-analysis are included in the Nutrients meta-analysis. No wonder they’re able to reach such divergent results!

This really showcases how easy it is to manipulate meta-analyses so that they show what you want them to show, just by choosing the date on which you extract data and by choosing which specific search terms to use. It’s easy to keep modifying search terms slightly until you get a list that includes the studies you want in, and excludes the studies you want out. Which is why we should always be skeptical of meta-analyses, just as we are with other types of studies.

This explains why we saw a similar phenomenon earlier this year, when half the meta-analyses of ivermectin seemed to show massive benefit and the other half seemed to show no benefit whatsoever.

Meta-analyses are often considered to be the pinnacle of evidence based medicine, but considering how easy they are to game, I think that is wrong. I’d rather have a single large, well done study than a meta-analysis that consists of lots of little studies, even if that meta-analysis includes more participants overall. If all scientists were honest, then meta-analyses would be an excellent tool for determining the truth. But since we know that many scientists aren’t honest, their use is far more limited. At the end of the day we all have to do our own due diligence. The only meta-analyses that I trust fully are the ones I do myself, such as one I did earlier this year on ivermectin.

It is interesting to note though, that the Nutrition Journal study, which came to the conclusion that vitamin D had no effect, actually had results that did suggest benefit. All the included studies showed fewer deaths in the group with a higher vitamin D level, although the results were not able to reach statistical significance overall.

So we have one meta-analysis which shows a large benefit, and one which shows a trend towards benefit. Which is encouraging. Of course, these are observational studies, and so can’t really say anything about cause and effect. People with low vitamin D levels probably spend less time outdoors, which means they’re probably less physically active. And they probably consume a different diet from people with high vitamin D levels. Correlation is not causation, and even if a correlation is seen between vitamin D and death from covid in observational studies, that doesn’t mean it’s the vitamin D that’s preventing the deaths.

So, what we need is good data from randomized trials. As mentioned, the data from randomized trials that existed last time I wrote about vitamin D was limited and mixed, with the Spanish study that gave 25-hydroxyvitamin D showing massive benefit, while the Brazilian study that gave regular inactivated vitamin D showed no benefit whatsoever.

Since then, three new randomized trials have been published, one from India, one from Mexico, and one from Saudi Arabia. Unfortunately, all three were small, with the largest of the three only including 87 patients. Additionally, all three gave regular inactivated vitamin D, not the part-activated form that was found to have an effect in the earlier Spanish study. In other words, the new studies don’t add anything on top of the store of knowledge that we already had in January.

So, we’re actually more or less in the same situation that we were in regarding vitamin D back in January. The observational data suggests that there is a benefit to supplementing with regular vitamin D for prophylaxis, which is in line with a systematic review that was published in the British Medical Journal in the pre-covid era, which found that people with low vitamin D levels who supplement daily with vitamin D reduce the frequency of respiratory infections by half. And the limited randomized trial data that exists suggests that the part-activated 25-hydroxyvitamin D formulation can reduce the risk of bad outcomes if given on admission to hospital. But the evidence is still too weak to draw any firm conclusions.

It’s quite shocking that more data isn’t available to answer this question conclusively at this late stage in the pandemic. I do personally think though, based on the evidence that is available, that it makes sense to take a daily vitamin D supplement. 4,000 IU (100 mcg) is a reasonable dose. It’s safe, it’s cheap, it might well help, and it can’t hurt.

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58 thoughts on “Covid-19: a new look at vitamin D”

  1. “During the deacades Dr Fauci took over NIAID, he has sanctioned drug companies to experiment on at least fourteen thousand children, many of them Black and Hispanic orphans living in foster homes…” Kennedy: The Real Anthony Fauci

    There’s nothing shocking if what Kennedy says is one-quarter true. The West has been in a medical dark age since before you were born. Everyone in medicine, clinician, academic has been complicit. Judging by book sales, I see no way back.

    1. Hi,
      Google: What Kary Mullis said about Drs Gallo and Fauci.
      When you have read that these 2 human parasites are responsible for the deaths of thousands of homosexuals, back in 1986, then you will never again believe a word out of Fauci’s mouth.
      AIDS and the AZT SCANDAL, by Celia Farber.
      How they prescribed a toxic chemotherapy drug to people who had HIV, but not AIDS.

  2. Hello,
    Do we understand how vit D would be working to stop the virus ? Are vit D deficient patient vulnerable to different virus, etc ? A mechanistic explanation always add to the plausibility of an hypothesis. The lack of such explanation for the cholesterol/cardiac disease hypothesis is a good example.

    1. The immune system uses the vitamin D analogs calcifediol and calcitriol to activate immune cells and to turn off inflammation after an infection has been cleared from the local area, both of which are key to fighting infectious diseases and cancer. It’s hyper-inflammation that causes a lot of the damage from covid.

    2. go and look at Dr John Campbell’s channel on youtube, he has a few recent studies and an interview with a doctor from Israel last week, all explained in laymans terms
      I have been taking 5000iu for around a year and had a blood test 2 weeks ago, my Vitamin D levels are now 162.7 n/mol

  3. Meta analysis is unreliable, mixing good with bad. It is better to read all the trials and form your own judgement. A single good trial can be buried beneath several bad trials.
    The RCT is a small part of proof and is not always possible. Small trials can show big effects, but to show small effects of doubtful clinical significance, large trials are necessary. Large trials are extremely expensive and are undertaken only by very well financed pharmaceutical companies.
    Observational studies are excellent, as in current evaluation of vaccine effectiveness. We have seen ample evidence of the danger of vitamin D deficiency and great benefit from vitamin D supplement especialy in its rapidly acting activated forms, calcifediol and calcitriol.
    Statistical significance, p value, is grossly over-rated. If I read of vitamin D being of great value and completely safe, I would be perfectly happy to take it even though there might be a 1 in 20 chance of the result being in error.
    We must be pragmatic, especially at the time of a major pandemic and 145,000 Covid-19 deaths in the UK. It is highly likely that this number would have been very much smaller had vitamin D been used in early 2020, rather than silly and uninformed denial of vitamin D by people who should have known much better.

    1. David, you make some good points. I would complement with the question of what studies got funded and more importantly, what studies did not get funded since covid? Based on my experience Vit d (or similar) were not seen as priority areas thus funding agencies ranked them lower.

    2. Some meta-analyses are good and some are not.

      Harvey Risch performed an excellent analysis of the early treatment of high risk patients with HCQ. Other meta-analyses of HCQ have not been done very well.

  4. Read : Vitamin D: Is This the Miracle Vitamin? Written by Ian Wishart, New Zealand in 2012

    About him and his book:
    IF YOU STILL HAVE A HEARTBEAT, THIS BOOK IS DIRECTLY RELEVANT TO YOU Vitamin D is the hottest development in medical science, and in this compelling new book,award-winning investigative journalist and bestselling author Ian Wishart brings together the most up to date science on vitamin D and how it could well save your life. Cancer? Up to a 77% reduction in risk of developing it if you take this vitamin. Heart disease? The same kind of reduction. Did you know that autism, mental illness and multiple sclerosis all appear to be caused by a lack of vitamin D during pregnancy? Did you know that ADHD and asthma appear to result from that same deficiency? The lives of every single person, including you, will be affected by the information in this book. With more than 300 scientific trials and studies cited, this book is a reference guide not just for the general reader but for medical professionals alike. CONDITIONS COVERED: Asthma, Autism, Allergies, Alzheimer’s, Breast Cancer, Bowel Cancer, Skin Cancer, Melanoma, Heart Disease, Stroke, Colds, Flu Pandemics, Crohn’s Disease, Mental Illness, Diabetes, Tuberculosis, Multiple Sclerosis, Depression, ADHD, Pregnancy, Infertility, Hospital Superbugs and more…

  5. Big pharma are very adept at making sure cheap medicines or foods perform badly and expensive, often dangerous with side effects that need further medication, medicines seem like the only rational option.

  6. It is indeed shocking that Govts have not researched Vit D but not in the least surprising. Sadly, that is the world we live in. Dr David Grimes has written about Vit D, but to no avail.
    How many UK Drs with dark skin could have been saved back in early 2020 if they had been advised to supplement their Vit d levels? We all now know it is the “vaccine” way or no way.
    I can’t even share your blog on Twitter as I have just been thrown off it. My crime? I am not sure. Probably being too on point and popular.
    It may have been for replying to a tweet by the “BBC’s specialist disinformation reporter” Marianna Spring. I merely said it was divisive to label everybody who asks a question a ‘conspiracy theorist’. Next day I am off twitter for “inciting violence”!
    Good luck researching anything that doesn’t fit in with the Govt’s narrative.

    1. The tree of liberty must sometimes be watered with the blood of both patriots and traitors.———Thomas Jefferson

      Suspect we are actually moving in that direction.

      Larry W Banyash, MD, retired

  7. I have been taking 3,000 IU of Vitamin D daily, along with a pill of 15mg zinc and 500 mg Vitamin C, since early February 2020. I hope it’s wise but the cost is footling and the risk of harm negligible. My wife takes rather less because she spends much more time outdoors and has a lower body weight. But maybe, given the footling cost, I should encourage her to take 3,000 IU too. Or maybe we should both take 4,000.

    Today I came across this video on vaccines, transmission by the vaccinated, early treatment, and so forth. Any views, doc? I was struck by his claim that Canadian medical students spend only a tiny amount of lecture time on vaccines. If so, no wonder many medics just parrot conventional wisdom. That would be OK if conventional wisdom were right. But a new under-tested vaccine for a novel virus surely demands critical thinking not recitation.

  8. I’m skeptical of even a “good” study of Vitamin D. Good usually means “follows best protocols”, but that has nothing to do with imagining what might really be at play. And that means the study can be gamed just by what is *not* studied.

    The body isn’t a single-input system. It is a highly-complex system in which no single nutrient stands on its own. To study Vitamin D without also studying key things like magnesium required for it to activate seems to me to be intellectual incompetence.

    I would expect most if not all studies of just about everything to fall into this trap of excluding unimagined but highly relevant factors.

    IMO, today’s so-called science is done by one of the most gullible groups around: scientists who think their view of the world must conform to ONLY the 3 possibilities they can think of. How many scientists would ever ask, say, a hypnotist or any non-scientist what they might not be thinking of? It’s an insular system with paint-by-numbers research.

  9. Thanks Dr Rushworth, always interesting.
    I have some concerns about the quality of vitamin supplements and fortified products like, in sweden, diary.
    You mention 4000 IU, personally I take 12000 IU daily now in winter time.. But, which products are good and which should be avoided? How can one tell?

  10. McGregor et al (2021) An autocrine Vitamin D-driven Th1 shutdown program can be exploited for
    COVID-19 – points to an important mechanism. Cytokine storm can/should be avoided by Th1 putting a stop to ongoing inflammation. That requires a lot of calcitriol, so shortage of calcifediol, shortage of calcitriol, cytokine storm, …

    1. Indeed, McGregor’s paper is very important. He outlines an actual mechanism to explain how vitamin D plays a role in facilitating the deactivation of immune response in covid patients.

  11. An interesting situation where some standard research appears to make a ‘dangerous’ excursion into the area of permissible narrative.

    This item appeared in Science Daily ‘ Researchers study the link between vitamin D and inflammation ‘

    Their summary of the paper sparked my interest :
    “An active metabolite of vitamin D (not the over-the-counter version) is involved in shut-
    ting down inflammation, new research shows.”

    As soon as I read “not the over-the-counter version” I knew COVID was on their mind.
    This was apparent reading further.

    They noted that the researchers were keen to point out . . .

    ”We found that vitamin D — a specialized form of it, not the form
    you can get at the drugstore — has the potential to reduce inflammation
    in the test tube, and we figured out how and why it does
    that,” Kazemian said. However, it’s important to understand that
    we did not carry out a clinical study, and the results of our experiments
    in the test tube need to be tested in clinical trials in actual patients.”

    Reading the original paper it turned out the the specialised form was calcifediol (25-hydroxycholecalciferol).
    In the paper they gave a warning that this is not the form of vitamin D available in shops.

    Given time calcifediol is produced in the liver from over-the-counter Vit D3 . . . but referring it as a ‘specialised form’ seemed rather odd. If they wanted to mention it, why not say it is produced in the liver?

    The paper is very interesting, dealing with Vit D’s interaction with elements of the immune system, but they warned that shop bought Vitamin D was not used. This seemed curious and very out of place in a highly mechanistic paper aimed at a pretty knowledgable audience. One senses the hand of the Editor or peer reviewer worried that the “Vit D3 does not help deal with COVID” narrative . . might be compromised.

    God forbid anyone starts taking Vitamins D3 regularly and unwittingly builds up their own levels of “specialised form of Vitamin D3”.

    1. The researchers apparently didn’t know that you can get calcifediol “over the counter” via an online site in Australia under the brand name “Fortaro” for $25 for 60 x 10 mcg tabs.

      You can also have the privilege of getting calcifediol by prescription for $1200 for 30 x 30 mcg tabs under the brand name “Rayaldee.”

      1. And also d.develop from Chicago for about 20$ /60 tabs. The activated 25 oh form. Which I now take regularly with vit K, ivermectin, elderberry gummies—hoping the science is correct… I am 74 with two significant comorbities. Three with obesity . (Also multivitamin with extra C and zinc. Occ glass of Hebrew grape wine

  12. I have been taking 5000iu of vitamin D daily for about a year since I came across its help in warding off covid on Dr John Campbell’s Youtube channel there is also a vitamin D study from a few weeks ago on there , also another video from 2017 on vitamin D for respiratory diseases which showed good results.
    I am going to the doctors on the 6th for a vitamin D blood test to see if I am up to 50 ng/ml
    It also appears that high [normal] vitamin D levels help fight against other illnesses as it triggers the bodies healing mechanism
    I remember reading last year that people in a town in Japan were tested for covid, no one [as far as I can remember] had been ill but they had antibodies, their vitamin D levels were 30 ng/ml meanwhile in Italy people were dropping like flies and their vitamin D levels were 13 ng/ml

  13. well i have tried to maintain a 50ng/ml for around 10 years at least i measure about once per year at a NHS postal facility in uk, so since covids first inception i have had no fear of this disease, before covid i never got flu, and have read papaers on vitamin d and sars swine flu and others plus pneumonia, and its effectiveness.
    Im a barber so have done thousands of close contact work in uk since being un locked down.
    i never had a sniff of covid up till past weeks, my wife got it then 3 days later i was confirmed so i isolated off work for first time in 2 years. my wife got it from our son whos a industrial sheet roofer and works all over south of england currently working in north london.
    so my covid was i can only describe as if i had had this syptoms in years before covid i would have just gone to work and shrug it off. mild head ache for 2 or 3 days eased with paracetamol of which i only took 4 in total. i light fuzzy head for those days. i slight shiver in bed one night, that was it. i am 60 im not supposed to react like this. was it the vitamin d protecting me? my research and reading says it was.

    1. Ditto! I caught the flu 46 years ago in 1975 in NYC actually, was real sick for a few weeks and haven’t caught the flu since. Same with the ‘common’ cold, I simply never catch it. However, I caught the Bug almost exactly one year ago, got bacterial pneumonia in my left lung, was put on penicillin for 5 days. Job done. Had virtually no symptoms aside from smell and taste.

      BTW, I’ve been taking VitD3 1000iu/K2 for the past 20 years. Vitamin D: 123 nmol/L (Range: 50 – 200). BTW, I’m 76 yrs old, had 2 heart attacks and an under-active thyroid. Was it the VitD? Well, what I do know is that my immune system seems to be working okay. When I was checked out in the hospital, my blood oxygen was 99%.

  14. I heard a story from my vascular surgeon buddy of a medic who had gotten the clotshot because of work–developed a cerebellar stroke within 48 hours of being jabbed–who now has persistent nausea that requires chronic treatment with anti-nausea drugs. A mother in her early 30s with no previous history of clotting risks.

    I can hear it now: “The plural of anecdotes isn’t data.”

    Yeah, right. Tell it to the people who have to live with chronic damage.

    In philosophy of science, we have this thing called “empirical evidence.” But one person’s observations mean nothing to the rest of us without communication. That communication about observations we call “anecdotes.” The story of Newton and the apple is an anecdote. Physics relies almost completely on anecdotal evidence. Yet somehow it has produced things like X-rays, chemical dye lasers, electron beams, electromagnets, steam engines, etc. But physics anecdotes undergo a lot of filtering and testing. You can’t have science without testing the data and method.

    So, the lesson from physics is not to turn up our noses at “anecdotes,” but to test anecdotes carefully.

    Medical anecdotes, when written up, are called “case reports.” My vascular surgeon buddy would have so many case reports about vaccine injuries to write up for journal articles that it would be a full-time job just to do that.

    Can we get the medical community to investigate problems with clotshots, like case reports, including autopsies? First, people have to admit that there might be a problem. And since many people, including doctors and scientists, are brainwashed members of the vaccine cult, it requires somehow undoing the brainwashing. Somehow.

    1. But, but hard science isn’t “science.” I am getting sick and tired of needing “studies” to prove something. By the time we have “sufficient” evidence from “science,” we all be dead. The replicability issue is real in the philosophy of science. According to surveys, the majority of researchers (51% and up) committed Questionable Research Practices (QRPs), including falsified data, which we have seen in today’s scamdemic’s studies; and roughly 38% of meta-analyses appeared to suffer publication bias

  15. Just another anecdote: There was an interview more than a year ago on a Swiss TV station (couldn’t find the link) with Dr. Bircher, the grandson of a quite famous doctor in Switzerland bc. of his “Birchermüesli” (cereals with yoghurt and fruit). He talked about his grandfather treating more than 130 patients in a private hospital during the Spanish Flu in 1919 with high-dosed vitamin D. Bircher seems to have got every single patient through alive … I can’t see why it should be any different with a seasonal virus-disease like C19.

    1. That study used a 100,000 bolus of D3 to treat for non-ICU patients. ICU patients were given the same dose on 3 days, depending on 25OHD levels. D3 is only 10% as active as calcifediol, which itself is 10% as active as calcitriol. So, the liver has to be involved in conversion of D3 to calcifediol if you are to get much impact. If the liver has been damaged, D3 conversion will suffer.

      Calcitriol levels are low, potentially, compared with calcifediol levels. (I say “potentially” because supplementation can raise calcifediol levels.) So if calcifediol levels are 10x as high as calcitriol levels, then their impact will be equal to the impact of calcitriol on the immune system.

  16. Do studies in the nursing homes. Half would take vit D the other half would not. Same food, same environment and they are under a controlled atmosphere with illnesses. These people never see the light of day.

    1. I made the same suggestion in a subsequent comment without having first read your comment. An RCT in a nursing home would be a low cost and low risk experiment that could produce good data. It’s very disturbing that society seems to be going out of its way to avoid doing useful science related to COVID-19.

  17. “Efficacy and safety of long-term treatment with monthly calcifediol soft capsules in vitamin D deficient patients


    This was a Phase III-IV, double blind, randomised, controlled, multicentre clinical trial. Postmenopausal women with baseline levels of 25(OH)D 100 ng/ml), with 64.4 ng/ml being the highest concentration reported during the study. No relevant treatment-related safety issues were reported in any of the groups studied.”

    1. somehow this was deleted when I posted…


      303 patients were enrolled, and 298 were included in the ITT population. There were no significant differences in terms of demographic variables, and the mean basal 25(OH)D levels were 13.2 ± 3.7 ng/ml. After 4 months of treatment, 25(OH)D levels over 30 ng/ml were reached by 4.3 times more patients in calcifediol group than in cholecalciferol group. The superiority of calcifediol over cholecalciferol in terms of increasing 25(OH)D levels was shown throughout the 12 months. However, the biggest difference was observed after the first month of treatment (mean change = 9.7 ± 6.7 and 5.1 ± 3.5 ng/ml in both calcifediol groups combined and in cholecalciferol group, respectively). After month 4, the increase in 25(OH)D levels remained fairly stable during the next 8 months of treatment. However, those patients in the group of calcifediol + placebo, despite having mean 25(OH)D levels of 28.5 ng/ml at month 4, went back to basal levels after withdrawal of treatment (16.1 ± 6.0 ng/ml at month 8 and 14.4 ± 6.0 ng/ml at month 12). Regarding safety, no patient reached 25(OH)D toxic levels (> 100 ng/ml), with 64.4 ng/ml being the highest concentration reported during the study. No relevant treatment-related safety issues were reported in any of the groups studied.”

      1. This is a dog’s dinner of a study, from which nothing much of clinical use can be concluded. There is a lot of biochemical data that may be of interest to clinical chemists.

        It is in 3 parts.

        A retrospective observational data of outcome showed that treatment with vit d of some sort improved outcome in those with a deficiency. The problem is that we are not told if ALL the relevant patients have been studied, or are they reporting a subgroup admitted during this period (ie possible cherry picking has gone on). Then of course there are all the usual problems of retrospective studies, no blinding, and many possible uncontrolled and unknown confounding variables.

        The second part compared a prospective cohort with a retrospective cohort looking at clinical outcomes. No details are given as to how the retrospective cohort was chosen, and the 2 cohorts differed significantly in the age and gender distribution.

        The third part of the study compared healthy cohort with covid 19 patients. This demonstrated a variety of biochemical differences between health and disease, so no real surprise here.

        I would stick with Sebastian’s final sentence of the penultimate paragraph.

        “But the evidence is still too weak to draw any firm conclusions.”

      2. Dr. Kestin,

        The study which I referenced had nothing to do with covid–it was looking at post-menopausal women with vitamin D deficiency. It was of interest because of its study of efficacy of supplementation and safety.

  18. I’ve been taking 4000 IU of D3 daily, since long before COVID-19, and will continue to do so, although I suspect that moderate sunshine may be more beneficial as there might be beneficial aspects to other substances in the body’s D3 synthesis that are not gained by skipping straight to a D3 supplement.

    There is good data we could derive independent of a proper randomized controlled trial. Measure the D3 levels of people hospitalized with COVID, or who died from COVID, and compare it to the general population, or to the people who had mild cases of COVID. That wouldn’t discount lack of exercise or poor diet or other correlated factors that might falsely implicate vitamin D deficiency, but it could strongly suggest that D deficiency contributes to worse COVID outcomes. That should be sufficient to fund a simple RCT where the experimental group is given 4000 IU of D3 daily and the control is given a placebo, and their COVID outcomes are tracked. That should be an inexpensive RCT with a high level of safety. A large nursing home could get enough volunteers to produce useful data. It’s criminal that we’ve all but abandoned science in the COVID era.

    We’ve seen an enormous amount of propaganda related to COVID, including, unfortunately the gross debasement of science for political purposes. The lesson people should learn is not to trust the authoritarian charlatans spewing pseudoscience and calling it science, but sadly the lesson people are learning is that they can’t trust science… or scientists. Welcome to the New Dark Ages.

    1. It has long been known there is a major problem with the integrity of published medical research, for a whole host of reasons, not just hidden data by pharmaceutical companies. When I used to write and peer review medical articles in the early 2000’s, it was well known that in about one third of papers, the results were exaggerated, not representative or could not be generalised, or just plain wrong. You should never believe a single article as containing the truth.(

      There is now industrialised cheating using ‘paper mill factories’ (

      Recent opinion article, by the previous editor of the BMJ, (with many useful references) suggested the default position should be that, as the headline put it “Time to assume that health research is fraudulent until proven otherwise?”

      The problem seems much worse with the covid wars. Scepticism needs to be applied to all the 3 week experts in epidemiology, infectious diseases, mathematics and modelling who now are the keyboard warriors on forums, bitchute, youtube etc.

      I now follow the policy of a BMJ article “The more certain someone is about covid-19, the less you should trust them” (

      1. Dr. Kestin,

        Seriously? That is your position?

        A better position is that everyone produces baby and bathwater and it is up to your very own due diligence to sift one from the other.

        Trust is for children.

  19. Vitamin D: Government Should Have Promoted to Combat Pandemic

    Joel S. Hirschhorn

    There seems to be an endless refusal by the public health establishment to fight the pandemic with the best science-based tools. Instead, they keep pushing vaccines.

    Great German research provides unequivocal medical evidence that the government should be strongly advocating two actions: 1. Take vitamin D supplements and 2. Have your blood tested for vitamin D.

    The title for this October 2021 journal article says it all: “COVID-19 Mortality Risk Correlates Inversely with Vitamin D3 Status, and a Mortality Rate Close to Zero Could Theoretically Be Achieved at 50 ng/mL 25(OH)D3: Results of a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.” [25(OH)D3 refers to metabolite of the vitamin in blood]

    In other words, there is clear evidence that the lower your vitamin D level the greater your risk of dying from COVID infection. Moreover, the data clearly show that you need a blood level of at least 50 ng/mL.


    1. One of the best studies on vitvD levels and covid outcomes was done by the Israelis who only included patients for whom a vit D level was on record in the year PRIOR to them getting covid. This is very important as one of the arguments of the vit D rubbishers is that it is being ill that reduces the vit D level ,not that having a low level makes you more likely to be ill. It is true that illness does make the body use it’s stores of vit D faster , but logic should tell these peopke that those who start off with a good level are pess likely to have their level reduced into the deficient range . The Israeli study ( done this summer) showed quite clearly the correlation between low vit D levels and poor covid outcomes.

    2. Madge,

      It can both be true that infection reduces 25OHD levels AND that low 25OHD levels lead to more severe infection. Relapses tend to be worse than the original disease precisely because the original infection reduced 25OHD levels, so the immune system didn’t have its 25OHD metabolite to work with when the 2nd infection occurred.

      This means that we need supplementation after an infection.

  20. what happened with results of McMaster university are currently organizing a large trial of ivermectin

    1. Looking at the studies, it looks like they were designed to show no statistical benefit.

      Small numbers of low risk patients produces no statistical benefit.

      If you’re not doing early treatment on high risk covid patients with antiviral cocktails and looking to prevent hospitalizations as your primary outcome, you are just doing pretend science.

      Part of the cocktail must be zinc, because old men tend to be deficient in zinc and this impacts their immune systems.

      Part of the cocktail must be vitamin D, because the elderly tend to be vitamin D deficient and this impacts their immune systems, leading to hyperinflammation due to immune overreaction. Adequate levels of vitamin D are used by the immune system to “turn off” inflammation locally after the local area is cleared of infection. This prevents immune overreaction and hyperinflammation. The form of vitamin D used to turn off inflammation is calcitriol, which is produced locally by immune cells from 25OHD (aka “calcifediol” and “calcidiol”).

  21. A vitamin D studie should be done in a northern country i believe. Can for example brazilian and spanish people have vitamin D- deficiency? There is a lot of sun down there… or did I miss something? Maybe the studies were in another country? I guess maybe the old can have it though.

    Thoughts on that?

  22. I appreciate Dr Rushworth’s request for more info on vitamin D vs. C19. In a recent search I found 9 trials of vitamin D to prevent C19 registered with or WHO. As of mid-November 2021, I was unable to find results reported from any of the 9 trials. Details of my searches in this osf preprint:

  23. I see many recommendations about Vitamin D3 but not much information regarding the need to include magnesium and K2?

  24. I live in the UK am retired but walk my dog 5 miles a day even though I am waiting for a hip replacement
    [slow painful walk] but I am getting exercise.
    I started taking 5000iu of Vitamin d3 about a year ago when I first read of a study in Japan that a village population was tested for covid, it was found that many tested positive but no one had been ill.
    Vitamin D3 levels were checked and all had around 30 ng/ml unlike the people in Italy who were dropping like flies , they had Vitamin D3 levels of around 13 ng/ml .
    I had a blood test at my doctors 2 weeks ago and I have vitamin D levels of 162.7 n/mol [around 50 ng/ml] My weight is about 63 kilo
    I got a lot of information on Vitamin D3 since then on Dr John Campbell’s youtube channel where there are a few recent studies and an interview with a doctor from Israel

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