Effect of a single high dose of vitamin D3 on cytokines, chemokines, and growth factor in patients with moderate to severe COVID-19.
The American journal of clinical nutrition. 2022;(3):790-798
BACKGROUND The modulating effect of vitamin D on cytokine concentrations in severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) remains unknown. OBJECTIVES We aimed to investigate the effect of a single high dose of vitamin D3 on cytokines, chemokines, and growth factor in hospitalized patients with moderate to severe COVID-19. METHODS This is a post hoc, ancillary, and exploratory analysis from a multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial. Patients with moderate to severe COVID-19 were recruited from 2 hospitals in São Paulo, Brazil. Of 240 randomly assigned patients, 200 were assessed in this study and randomly assigned to receive a single oral dose of 200,000 IU vitamin D3 (n = 101) or placebo (n = 99). The primary outcome was hospital length of stay, which has been published in our previous study. The prespecified secondary outcomes were serum concentrations of IL-1β, IL-6, IL-10, TNF-α, and 25-hydroxyvitamin D. The post hoc exploratory secondary outcomes were IL-4, IL-12p70, IL-17A, IFN-γ, granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), IL-8, IFN-inducible protein-10 (IP-10), macrophage inflammatory protein-1β (MIP-1β), monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and leukocyte count. Generalized estimating equations for repeated measures, with Bonferroni's adjustment, were used for testing all outcomes. RESULTS The study included 200 patients with a mean ± SD age of 55.5 ± 14.3 y and BMI of 32.2 ± 7.1 kg/m2, of which 109 (54.5%) were male. GM-CSF concentrations showed a significant group-by-time interaction effect (P = 0.04), although the between-group difference at postintervention after Bonferroni's adjustment was not significant. No significant effects were observed for the other outcomes. CONCLUSIONS The findings do not support the use of a single dose of 200,000 IU vitamin D3, compared with placebo, for the improvement of cytokines, chemokines, and growth factor in hospitalized patients with moderate to severe COVID-19.This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT04449718.
Effect of a Single High Dose of Vitamin D3 on Hospital Length of Stay in Patients With Moderate to Severe COVID-19: A Randomized Clinical Trial.
IMPORTANCE The efficacy of vitamin D3 supplementation in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) remains unclear. OBJECTIVE To investigate the effect of a single high dose of vitamin D3 on hospital length of stay in patients with COVID-19. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS This was a multicenter, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial conducted in 2 sites in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The study included 240 hospitalized patients with COVID-19 who were moderately to severely ill at the time of enrollment from June 2, 2020, to August 27, 2020. The final follow-up was on October 7, 2020. INTERVENTIONS Patients were randomly assigned to receive a single oral dose of 200 000 IU of vitamin D3 (n = 120) or placebo (n = 120). MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES The primary outcome was length of stay, defined as the time from the date of randomization to hospital discharge. Prespecified secondary outcomes included mortality during hospitalization; the number of patients admitted to the intensive care unit; the number of patients who required mechanical ventilation and the duration of mechanical ventilation; and serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D, total calcium, creatinine, and C-reactive protein. RESULTS Of 240 randomized patients, 237 were included in the primary analysis (mean [SD] age, 56.2 [14.4] years; 104 [43.9%] women; mean [SD] baseline 25-hydroxyvitamin D level, 20.9 [9.2] ng/mL). Median (interquartile range) length of stay was not significantly different between the vitamin D3 (7.0 [4.0-10.0] days) and placebo groups (7.0 [5.0-13.0] days) (log-rank P = .59; unadjusted hazard ratio for hospital discharge, 1.07 [95% CI, 0.82-1.39]; P = .62). The difference between the vitamin D3 group and the placebo group was not significant for in-hospital mortality (7.6% vs 5.1%; difference, 2.5% [95% CI, -4.1% to 9.2%]; P = .43), admission to the intensive care unit (16.0% vs 21.2%; difference, -5.2% [95% CI, -15.1% to 4.7%]; P = .30), or need for mechanical ventilation (7.6% vs 14.4%; difference, -6.8% [95% CI, -15.1% to 1.2%]; P = .09). Mean serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D significantly increased after a single dose of vitamin D3 vs placebo (44.4 ng/mL vs 19.8 ng/mL; difference, 24.1 ng/mL [95% CI, 19.5-28.7]; P < .001). There were no adverse events, but an episode of vomiting was associated with the intervention. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE Among hospitalized patients with COVID-19, a single high dose of vitamin D3, compared with placebo, did not significantly reduce hospital length of stay. The findings do not support the use of a high dose of vitamin D3 for treatment of moderate to severe COVID-19. TRIAL REGISTRATION ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04449718.
Vitamin D supplementation prior to or during COVID-19 associated with better 3-month survival in geriatric patients: Extension phase of the GERIA-COVID study.
The Journal of steroid biochemistry and molecular biology. 2021;:105958
BACKGROUND The objective of this extension phase of the quasi-experimental GERIA-COVID study was to determine whether vitamin D3 supplementation taken prior to or during COVID-19 was associated with better 3-month survival in geriatric patients hospitalized for COVID-19. METHODS Intervention group was defined as all participants supplemented with vitamin D3 prior to or during COVID-19 (n = 67). Supplements were either bolus vitamin D3 (ie, 50,000 IU per month, or 80,000 IU or 100,000 IU or 200,000 IU every 2-3 months), or daily supplementation with 800 IU. Comparator group involved those without vitamin D supplements (n = 28). Outcome was 3-month mortality. Covariables were age, sex, functional abilities, history of malignancies, cardiomyopathy, undernutrition, number of acute health issues, antibiotics use, systemic corticosteroids use, and 25(OH)D concentration. RESULTS 76.1 % (n = 51) of participants survived at 3 months in Intervention group, compared to only 53.6 % (n = 15) in Comparator group (P = 0.03). The fully-adjusted hazard ratio for 3-month mortality was HR = 0.23 [95 %CI: 0.09;0.58](P = 0.002) in Intervention group compared to Comparator group. Intervention group had also longer survival time (log-rank P = 0.008). CONCLUSIONS Vitamin D3 supplementation was associated with better 3-month survival in older COVID-19 patients.
COVID-19 in age-related neurodegenerative diseases: is there a role for vitamin D3 as a possible therapeutic strategy?
Reviews in the neurosciences. 2021;(2):235-247
The coronavirus disease (COVID-19), identified in Wuhan, China, on December 2019, was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization, on March, 2020. Since then, efforts have been gathered to describe its clinical course and to determine preventive measures and treatment strategies. Adults older than 65 years of age are more susceptible to serious clinical symptoms and present higher mortality rates. Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is a major receptor for some coronavirus infection, including SARS-COV-2, but is also a crucial determinant in anti-inflammation processes during the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) functioning - converting angiotensin II to angiotensin 1-7. The decline in ACE2 expression that occurs with aging has been associated to the higher morbidity and mortality rates in older adults. These observations highlight the importance of investigating the association between COVID-19 and age-related neurodegenerative disorders, i.e., Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases. A possible option to reduce the risk of COVID-19 is vitamin D supplementation, due to its anti-inflammatory and immune-system-modulating effects. It has also been suggested that vitamin D supplementation plays a role in slowing progression of Parkinson and Alzheimer. The present study is a literature review of articles published on the theme COVID-19, Parkinson and Alzheimer's diseases, and the role played by vitamin D. PUBMED, MEDLINE, and EMBASE databases were consulted. Results confirm neurodegenerative and neuroinflammatory effects of COVID-19, aggravated in Parkinson's and Alzheimer's patients, and the important role of vitamin D as a possible therapeutic strategy. Nevertheless, randomized controlled trials and large population studies are still warranted.
Does the High Prevalence of Vitamin D Deficiency in African Americans Contribute to Health Disparities?
African Americans have higher incidence of, and mortality from, many health-related problems than European Americans. They also have a 15 to 20-fold higher prevalence of severe vitamin D deficiency. Here we summarize evidence that: (i) this health disparity is partly due to insufficient vitamin D production, caused by melanin in the skin blocking the UVB solar radiation necessary for its synthesis; (ii) the vitamin D insufficiency is exacerbated at high latitudes because of the combination of dark skin color with lower UVB radiation levels; and (iii) the health of individuals with dark skin can be markedly improved by correcting deficiency and achieving an optimal vitamin D status, as could be obtained by supplementation and/or fortification. Moderate-to-strong evidence exists that high 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and/or vitamin D supplementation reduces risk for many adverse health outcomes including all-cause mortality rate, adverse pregnancy and birth outcomes, cancer, diabetes mellitus, Alzheimer's disease and dementia, multiple sclerosis, acute respiratory tract infections, COVID-19, asthma exacerbations, rickets, and osteomalacia. We suggest that people with low vitamin D status, which would include most people with dark skin living at high latitudes, along with their health care provider, consider taking vitamin D3 supplements to raise serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels to 30 ng/mL (75 nmol/L) or possibly higher.
Effects of a 2-Week 5000 IU versus 1000 IU Vitamin D3 Supplementation on Recovery of Symptoms in Patients with Mild to Moderate Covid-19: A Randomized Clinical Trial.
OBJECTIVE Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with an increased risk of COVID-19 severity. This multi-center randomized clinical trial aims to determine the effects of 5000 IU versus 1000 IU daily oral vitamin D3 supplementation in the recovery of symptoms and other clinical parameters among mild to moderate COVID-19 patients with sub-optimal vitamin D status. STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING A total of 69 reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) SARS-CoV-2 positive adults who were hospitalized for mild to moderate COVID-19 disease were allocated to receive once daily for 2 weeks either 5000 IU oral vitamin D3 (n = 36, 21 males; 15 females) or 1000 IU oral vitamin D3 (standard control) (n = 33, 13 males; 20 females). Anthropometrics were measured and blood samples were taken pre- and post-supplementation. Fasting blood glucose, lipids, serum 25(OH)D, and inflammatory markers were measured. COVID-19 symptoms were noted on admission and monitored until full recovery. RESULTS Vitamin D supplementation for 2 weeks caused a significant increase in serum 25(OH)D levels in the 5000 IU group only (adjusted p = 0.003). Within-group comparisons also showed a significant decrease in BMI and IL-6 levels overtime in both groups (p-values < 0.05) but was not clinically significant in between-group comparisons. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis revealed that the 5000 IU group had a significantly shorter time to recovery (days) than the 1000 IU group in resolving cough, even after adjusting for age, sex, baseline BMI, and D-dimer (6.2 ± 0.8 versus 9.1 ± 0.8; p = 0.039), and ageusia (loss of taste) (11.4 ± 1.0 versus 16.9 ± 1.7; p = 0.035). CONCLUSION A 5000 IU daily oral vitamin D3 supplementation for 2 weeks reduces the time to recovery for cough and gustatory sensory loss among patients with sub-optimal vitamin D status and mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms. The use of 5000 IU vitamin D3 as an adjuvant therapy for COVID-19 patients with suboptimal vitamin D status, even for a short duration, is recommended.
Critical analysis on the use of cholecalciferol as a COVID-19 intervention: a narrative review.
Sao Paulo medical journal = Revista paulista de medicina. 2021;(1):81-87
BACKGROUND The World Health Organization has declared that a pandemic situation exists in relation to the disease caused by the new coronavirus, COVID-19. So far, the absence of a vaccine against the new coronavirus has led people worldwide to seek various therapeutic alternatives, including use of cholecalciferol. DESIGN AND SETTING Narrative review developed by a research group at a public university in Recife (PE), Brazil. METHODS We searched the literature on the use of cholecalciferol for prevention or treatment of COVID-19, using the MEDLINE and LILACS databases, with the keywords "vitamin D", "cholecalciferol", "SARS-CoV-2", "COVID-19" and "coronavirus", from January 1, 2020, to June 10, 2020. Narrative reviews, cohort studies and ecological studies were selected. RESULTS We retrieved 32 references, of which 8 were considered eligible for intensive review and critical analysis. These comprised five narrative reviews, two observational studies and one protocol proposal. Most of the studies selected reported positive effects from use of vitamin D for prevention or treatment of COVID-19. However, there was little quantitative data to assess the real impact of using this vitamin as an intervention against this disease. CONCLUSIONS Current studies on vitamin D used for purposes other than bone health promotion cannot be taken as support to justify its use in a disease as recent as COVID-19. Studies of greater robustness, with higher levels of clinical evidence, need to be conducted. Rational use of this vitamin needs to be ensured, thereby minimizing the impacts on the patient and the public healthcare system.
High-dose vitamin D versus placebo to prevent complications in COVID-19 patients: A structured summary of a study protocol for a randomised controlled trial (CARED-TRIAL).
OBJECTIVES To evaluate whether a single high dose of oral cholecalciferol improves the respiratory outcomes as compared with placebo among adults COVID-19 patients at moderate risk of clinical complications. TRIAL DESIGN The CARED trial is an investigator-initiated, multicentre, randomized, parallel, two-arm, sequential, double-blind and placebo-controlled clinical trial. It was planned as a pragmatic trial since the inclusion criteria are broad and the study procedures are as simple as possible, in order to be implemented in the routine clinical practice in general wards in the pandemic setting and a middle-income country context. The sequential design involves two stages. The first stage will assess the effects of vitamin D supplementation on blood oxygenation (physiological effects). The second stage will assess the effects on clinical outcomes. PARTICIPANTS Participants of either gender admitted to general adult wards in 21 hospital sites located in four provinces of Argentina are invited to participate in the study if they meet the following inclusion criteria and none of the exclusion criteria: Inclusion criteria SARS-CoV-2 confirmed infection by RT-PCR; Hospital admission at least 24 hours before; Expected hospitalization in the same site ≥24 hours; Oxygen saturation ≥90% (measured by pulse oximetry) breathing ambient air; Age ≥45 years or at least one of the following conditions: ○ Hypertension; ○ Diabetes; ○ At least moderate COPD or asthma; ○ Cardiovascular disease (history of myocardial infarction, percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty, coronary artery bypass grafting or valve replacement surgery); ○ Body mass index ≥30; Willingness to sign informed consent (online supplementary material 1 and 2). EXCLUSION CRITERIA Age <18 years; Women in childbearing age; >= 72 hs since current admission; Requirement for a high dose of oxygen (>5 litres/minute) or mechanical ventilation (non-invasive or invasive); History of chronic kidney disease requiring haemodialysis or chronic liver failure; Inability for oral intake. Chronic supplementation with pharmacological vitamin D; Current treatment with anticonvulsants; History of: ○ Sarcoidosis; ○ Malabsorption syndrome; ○ Known hypercalcemia or serum calcium >10.5 mg/dL; Life expectancy <6 months; Known allergy to study medication; Any condition at discretion of investigator impeding to understand the study and give informed consent. INTERVENTION AND COMPARATOR The intervention consists in a single oral dose of 500.000 IU of commercially available cholecalciferol soft gel capsules (5 capsules of 100.000 IU) or matching placebo MAIN OUTCOMES The primary outcome for the first stage is the change in the respiratory Sepsis-related Organ Failure Assessment (SOFAr) score between pre-treatment value and the worst value recorded during the first 7 seven days of hospitalization, the death or discharge, whichever occurs first. The SOFAr score measured as the ratio between the pulse oximetry saturation (SpO2) and FiO2 (27, 28) is used instead of the arterial partial pressure of oxygen (PaO2). SOFAr score is a 4-points scale, with higher values indicating deeper respiratory derangement as follows: 1 PaO2 <400; 2 PaO2 <300; 3 PaO2 <200; 4 PaO2 <100. The primary outcome for the second stage is the combined occurrence of requirement ≥40% of FiO2, invasive or non-invasive ventilation, up to 30 days or hospital discharge. RANDOMISATION A computer-generated random sequence and the treatment assignment is performed through the web-based randomization module available in the electronic data capture system (Castor®). A randomization ratio 1:1, stratified and with permuted blocks was used. Stratification variables were diabetes (yes/no), age (≤60/>60 years) and the site. BLINDING (MASKING): Double-blind was achieved by using placebo soft gel capsules with the same organoleptic properties as the active medication. Central management of the medication is carried out by a pharmacist in charge of packaging the study drug in unblinded fashion, who have no contact with on-site investigators. Medication is packaged in opaque white bottles, each containing five soft gel capsules of the active drug or matching placebo, corresponding to complete individual treatment. Treatment codes are kept under the pharmacist responsibility, and all researchers are unaware of them. NUMBERS TO BE RANDOMISED (SAMPLE SIZE): The first stage is planned to include 200 patients (100 per group), the second stage is planned to include 1064 additional patients. The total sample size is 1264 patients. TRIAL STATUS Currently the protocol version is the number 1.4 (from October 13th, 2020). The recruitment is ongoing since August 11th, 2020, and the first subject was enrolled on August 14th. Since then, 21 sites located in four provinces of Argentina were initiated, and 167 patients were recruited by January 11th, 2021. We anticipate to finish the recruitment for the first stage in mid-February, 2021, and in August, 2021 for the second stage. TRIAL REGISTRATION The study protocol is registered in ClinicalTrials.gov (identifier number NCT04411446 ) on June 2, 2020. FULL PROTOCOL The full protocol is attached as an additional file, accessible from the Trials website (Additional file 1). In the interest in expediting dissemination of this material, the familiar formatting has been eliminated; this Letter serves as a summary of the key elements of the full protocol. The study protocol has been reported in accordance with the Standard Protocol Items: Recommendations for Clinical Interventional Trials (SPIRIT) guidelines (Additional file 2).
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.
BACKGROUND Much research shows that blood calcidiol (25(OH)D3) levels correlate strongly with SARS-CoV-2 infection severity. There is open discussion regarding whether low D3 is caused by the infection or if deficiency negatively affects immune defense. The aim of this study was to collect further evidence on this topic. METHODS Systematic literature search was performed to identify retrospective cohort as well as clinical studies on COVID-19 mortality rates versus D3 blood levels. Mortality rates from clinical studies were corrected for age, sex, and diabetes. Data were analyzed using correlation and linear regression. RESULTS One population study and seven clinical studies were identified, which reported D3 blood levels preinfection or on the day of hospital admission. The two independent datasets showed a negative Pearson correlation of D3 levels and mortality risk (r(17) = -0.4154, p = 0.0770/r(13) = -0.4886, p = 0.0646). For the combined data, median (IQR) D3 levels were 23.2 ng/mL (17.4-26.8), and a significant Pearson correlation was observed (r(32) = -0.3989, p = 0.0194). Regression suggested a theoretical point of zero mortality at approximately 50 ng/mL D3. CONCLUSIONS The datasets provide strong evidence that low D3 is a predictor rather than just a side effect of the infection. Despite ongoing vaccinations, we recommend raising serum 25(OH)D levels to above 50 ng/mL to prevent or mitigate new outbreaks due to escape mutations or decreasing antibody activity.
High-Dose Cholecalciferol Booster Therapy is Associated with a Reduced Risk of Mortality in Patients with COVID-19: A Cross-Sectional Multi-Centre Observational Study.
The worldwide pandemic of 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has posed the most substantial and severe public health issue for several generations, and therapeutic options have not yet been optimised. Vitamin D (in its "parent" form, cholecalciferol) has been proposed in the pharmacological management of COVID-19 by various sources. We aimed to determine whether COVID-19 mortality was affected by serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) levels, vitamin D status, or cholecalciferol therapy, and to elucidate any other predictors of COVID-19 mortality. Patients hospitalised with COVID-19 were opportunistically recruited from three UK hospitals, and their data were collected retrospectively. Logistic regression was used to determine any relationships between COVID-19 mortality and potential predictors, including 25(OH)D levels and cholecalciferol booster therapy. A total of 986 participants with COVID-19 were studied, of whom 151 (16.0%) received cholecalciferol booster therapy. In the primary cohort of 444 patients, cholecalciferol booster therapy was associated with a reduced risk of COVID-19 mortality, following adjustment for potential confounders (ORadj 0.13, 95% CI 0.05-0.35, p < 0.001). This finding was replicated in a validation cohort of 541 patients (ORadj 0.38, 95% CI 0.17-0.84, p = 0.018). In this observational study, treatment with cholecalciferol booster therapy, regardless of baseline serum 25(OH)D levels, appears to be associated with a reduced risk of mortality in acute in-patients admitted with COVID-19. Further work with large population studies needs to be carried out to determine adequate serum 25(OH)D levels, as well as multi-dose clinical trials of cholecalciferol therapy to assess maximum efficacy.