Researchers in Edmonton are among several groups around the world looking into whether there’s any benefit of boosting vitamin D levels in a patient’s blood as a means of protecting them against COVID-19.
Dr. Aldo J. Montano-Loza, an associate professor at the University of Alberta, is preparing to launch a study of at least 70 Albertans who contracted COVID-19 to see if their vitamin D levels put them at risk of severe infection and whether boosting these levels will help their condition.
Randomized participants in the “high-dose” arm of the study will be given two high-concentration doses of the vitamin in the first week of the study and one such dose in each of the next two weeks. Subjects in the “low-dose” arm will be given a much smaller dose of vitamin D, but on a daily basis. The results will then be compared to a control group.
Montano-Loza expects to begin his research soon, but is just awaiting funding for the project. He also holds out hope of expanding the study of vitamin D deficiency across Canada.
There is some urgency to this work, as more studies point to a possible link between the so-called “sunshine vitamin” and the severity of the coronavirus infection. There has also been an increasing number of studies showing vitamin D is somehow linked to COVID-19.
Meanwhile researchers in Ireland reviewed data showing COVID-19 infections and deaths are actually lower in countries where vitamin D is added to food or where supplements are widely encouraged.