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.
COVID-19 and IL-6: Why vitamin D (probably) helps but tocilizumab might not.
European journal of pharmacology. 2021;:174031
Interleukin 6 (IL-6), which is involved in the cytokine storm phenomenon, is a therapeutic target in COVID-19, but monoclonal receptor antibody therapeutic agents such as tocilizumab have demonstrated mixed results. Could Vitamin D, which modulates IL-6, be more effective than currently deployed IL-6 antagonists, including tocilizumab, thereby presenting a useful therapeutic option in COVID-19? A narrative review of published trials examining the effect of Vitamin D administration in COVID-19 patients was conducted, and the theoretical basis for the use of tocilizumab as an IL-6 antagonist was compared with the immunomodulatory effect of Vitamin D on IL-6 production. Four of the six included studies reported a positive effect of Vitamin D on outcomes. While tocilizumab non-selectively blocks both anti-inflammatory and pro-inflammatory actions of IL-6, Vitamin D lowers immune cell IL-6 production, potentially reducing pro-inflammatory effects, but does not specifically target IL-6 receptors, avoiding any deleterious effect on the anti-inflammatory actions of IL-6. Vitamin D may have advantages over tocilizumab as an IL-6 immunomodulator, and, given that it is safe if administered under clinical supervision, there is a strong rationale for its use.
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.
Supplementation with vitamin D in the COVID-19 pandemic?
Nutrition reviews. 2021;(2):200-208
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic was declared a public health emergency of international concern by the World Health Organization. COVID-19 has high transmissibility and could result in acute lung injury in a fraction of patients. By counterbalancing the activity of the renin-angiotensin system, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, which is the fusion receptor of the virus, plays a protective role against the development of complications of this viral infection. Vitamin D can induce the expression of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 and regulate the immune system through different mechanisms. Epidemiologic studies of the relationship between vitamin D and various respiratory infections were reviewed and, here, the postulated mechanisms and clinical data supporting the protective role of vitamin D against COVID-19-mediated complications are discussed.
Keeping a Balance During the Pandemic: a Narrative Review on the Important Role of Micronutrients in Preventing Infection and Reducing Complications of COVID-19.
Current nutrition reports. 2021;(3):200-210
PURPOSE OF REVIEW The SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) outbreak has manifested into a major public health concern across the globe, affecting particularly the most vulnerable population groups. Currently, there are various clinical trials being conducted to develop effective treatments. It is estimated that it could take one or more years before these drugs pass all safety tests and concrete results with regard to their effectiveness become available. In addition, despite the recent development of vaccines (licensed for use under conditional licenses) and the commencement of COVID-19 vaccination programs in several countries, there is still a need for safe and novel strategies that may reduce the symptomatology and/or prevent the severe complications associated with COVID-19. Natural compounds previously shown to have antiviral potential should be thoroughly considered and investigated for use in prophylactic treatment of COVID-19 due to their availability and safety. RECENT FINDINGS The current narrative review investigates whether there is evidence in the literature that supplementation with dietary minerals and vitamins may have a role in preventing infection with SARS-CoV-2 or in reducing COVID-19 symptomatology and disease progression. The current evidence from the literature supports that zinc and vitamin C have a potential in reducing the inflammatory response associated with SARS-CoV-2 while folate and vitamin D may have a role in antagonizing the entry of SARs-CoV-2 virus in host calls. Thus, further research should be conducted that could lead to the development of nutritional supplements involving natural and widely available compounds such as zinc, folate, vitamin C, and vitamin D. The latter could be an effective, safe, and inexpensive way to either prevent infection with SARS-CoV-2 and/or lessen the burden of COVID-19 disease.
New Roles for Vitamin D Superagonists: From COVID to Cancer.
Frontiers in endocrinology. 2021;:644298
Vitamin D is a potent steroid hormone that induces widespread changes in gene expression and controls key biological pathways. Here we review pathophysiology of vitamin D with particular reference to COVID-19 and pancreatic cancer. Utility as a therapeutic agent is limited by hypercalcemic effects and attempts to circumvent this problem have used vitamin D superagonists, with increased efficacy and reduced calcemic effect. A further caveat is that vitamin D mediates multiple diverse effects. Some of these (anti-fibrosis) are likely beneficial in patients with COVID-19 and pancreatic cancer, whereas others (reduced immunity), may be beneficial through attenuation of the cytokine storm in patients with advanced COVID-19, but detrimental in pancreatic cancer. Vitamin D superagonists represent an untapped resource for development of effective therapeutic agents. However, to be successful this approach will require agonists with high cell-tissue specificity.
Role of vitamins and minerals as immunity boosters in COVID-19.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) known as coronavirus disease (COVID-19), emerged in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. On March 11, 2020, it was declared a global pandemic. As the world grapples with COVID-19 and the paucity of clinically meaningful therapies, attention has been shifted to modalities that may aid in immune system strengthening. Taking into consideration that the COVID-19 infection strongly affects the immune system via multiple inflammatory responses, pharmaceutical companies are working to develop targeted drugs and vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 COVID-19. A balanced nutritional diet may play an essential role in maintaining general wellbeing by controlling chronic infectious diseases. A balanced diet including vitamin A, B, C, D, E, and K, and some micronutrients such as zinc, sodium, potassium, calcium, chloride, and phosphorus may be beneficial in various infectious diseases. This study aimed to discuss and present recent data regarding the role of vitamins and minerals in the treatment of COVID-19. A deficiency of these vitamins and minerals in the plasma concentration may lead to a reduction in the good performance of the immune system, which is one of the constituents that lead to a poor immune state. This is a narrative review concerning the features of the COVID-19 and data related to the usage of vitamins and minerals as preventive measures to decrease the morbidity and mortality rate in patients with COVID-19.
A literature review on beneficial role of vitamins and trace elements: Evidence from published clinical studies.
Journal of trace elements in medicine and biology : organ of the Society for Minerals and Trace Elements (GMS). 2021;:126789
COVID-19 is a kind of SARS-CoV-2 viral infectious pneumonia. This research aims to perform a bibliometric analysis of the published studies of vitamins and trace elements in the Scopus database with a special focus on COVID-19 disease. To achieve the goal of the study, network and density visualizations were used to introduce an overall picture of the published literature. Following the bibliometric analysis, we discuss the potential benefits of vitamins and trace elements on immune system function and COVID-19, supporting the discussion with evidence from published clinical studies. The previous studies show that D and A vitamins demonstrated a higher potential benefit, while Selenium, Copper, and Zinc were found to have favorable effects on immune modulation in viral respiratory infections among trace elements. The principles of nutrition from the findings of this research could be useful in preventing and treating COVID-19.
Vitamin D supplementation for the treatment of COVID-19: a living systematic review.
The Cochrane database of systematic reviews. 2021;:CD015043
BACKGROUND The role of vitamin D supplementation as a treatment for COVID-19 has been a subject of considerable discussion. A thorough understanding of the current evidence regarding the effectiveness and safety of vitamin D supplementation for COVID-19 based on randomised controlled trials is required. OBJECTIVES To assess whether vitamin D supplementation is effective and safe for the treatment of COVID-19 in comparison to an active comparator, placebo, or standard of care alone, and to maintain the currency of the evidence, using a living systematic review approach. SEARCH METHODS We searched the Cochrane COVID-19 Study Register, Web of Science and the WHO COVID-19 Global literature on coronavirus disease to identify completed and ongoing studies without language restrictions to 11 March 2021. SELECTION CRITERIA We followed standard Cochrane methodology. We included randomised controlled trials (RCTs) evaluating vitamin D supplementation for people with COVID-19, irrespective of disease severity, age, gender or ethnicity. We excluded studies investigating preventive effects, or studies including populations with other coronavirus diseases (severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) or Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS)). DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS We followed standard Cochrane methodology. To assess bias in included studies, we used the Cochrane risk of bias tool (ROB 2) for RCTs. We rated the certainty of evidence using the GRADE approach for the following prioritised outcome categories: individuals with moderate or severe COVID-19: all-cause mortality, clinical status, quality of life, adverse events, serious adverse events, and for individuals with asymptomatic or mild disease: all-cause mortality, development of severe clinical COVID-19 symptoms, quality of life, adverse events, serious adverse events. MAIN RESULTS We identified three RCTs with 356 participants, of whom 183 received vitamin D. In accordance with the World Health Organization (WHO) clinical progression scale, two studies investigated participants with moderate or severe disease, and one study individuals with mild or asymptomatic disease. The control groups consisted of placebo treatment or standard of care alone. Effectiveness of vitamin D supplementation for people with COVID-19 and moderate to severe disease We included two studies with 313 participants. Due to substantial clinical and methodological diversity of both studies, we were not able to pool data. Vitamin D status was unknown in one study, whereas the other study reported data for vitamin D deficient participants. One study administered multiple doses of oral calcifediol at days 1, 3 and 7, whereas the other study gave a single high dose of oral cholecalciferol at baseline. We assessed one study with low risk of bias for effectiveness outcomes, and the other with some concerns about randomisation and selective reporting. All-cause mortality at hospital discharge (313 participants) We found two studies reporting data for this outcome. One study reported no deaths when treated with vitamin D out of 50 participants, compared to two deaths out of 26 participants in the control group (Risk ratio (RR) 0.11, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.01 to 2.13). The other study reported nine deaths out of 119 individuals in the vitamin D group, whereas six participants out of 118 died in the placebo group (RR 1.49, 95% CI 0.55 to 4.04]. We are very uncertain whether vitamin D has an effect on all-cause mortality at hospital discharge (very low-certainty evidence). Clinical status assessed by the need for invasive mechanical ventilation (237 participants) We found one study reporting data for this outcome. Nine out of 119 participants needed invasive mechanical ventilation when treated with vitamin D, compared to 17 out of 118 participants in the placebo group (RR 0.52, 95% CI 0.24 to 1.13). Vitamin D supplementation may decrease need for invasive mechanical ventilation, but the evidence is uncertain (low-certainty evidence). Quality of life We did not find data for quality of life. Safety of vitamin D supplementation for people with COVID-19 and moderate to severe disease We did not include data from one study, because assessment of serious adverse events was not described and we are concerned that data might have been inconsistently measured. This study reported vomiting in one out of 119 participants immediately after vitamin D intake (RR 2.98, 95% CI 0.12 to 72.30). We are very uncertain whether vitamin D supplementation is associated with higher risk for adverse events (very low-certainty). Effectiveness and safety of vitamin D supplementation for people with COVID-19 and asymptomatic or mild disease We found one study including 40 individuals, which did not report our prioritised outcomes, but instead data for viral clearance, inflammatory markers, and vitamin D serum levels. The authors reported no events of hypercalcaemia, but recording and assessment of further adverse events remains unclear. Authors administered oral cholecalciferol in daily doses for at least 14 days, and continued with weekly doses if vitamin D blood levels were > 50 ng/mL. AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS There is currently insufficient evidence to determine the benefits and harms of vitamin D supplementation as a treatment of COVID-19. The evidence for the effectiveness of vitamin D supplementation for the treatment of COVID-19 is very uncertain. Moreover, we found only limited safety information, and were concerned about consistency in measurement and recording of these outcomes. There was substantial clinical and methodological heterogeneity of included studies, mainly because of different supplementation strategies, formulations, vitamin D status of participants, and reported outcomes. There is an urgent need for well-designed and adequately powered randomised controlled trials (RCTs) with an appropriate randomisation procedure, comparability of study arms and preferably double-blinding. We identified 21 ongoing and three completed studies without published results, which indicates that these needs will be addressed and that our findings are subject to change in the future. Due to the living approach of this work, we will update the review periodically.
Supplementation of the population during the COVID-19 pandemic with vitamins and micronutrients - how much evidence is needed?
Swiss medical weekly. 2021;:w20522