What We Know About Vitamin D and Covid-19

Why we still don’t know whether a vitamin D supplement helps for coronavirus

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Pictured: More of a mystery than you might imagine. Source: Unsplash
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Pictured: A wall full of hope, with very little promise. Source: Unsplash

Sensationalist Science

A recent study on vitamin D and COVID-19 is a brilliant example of this. Hyped in the news and on social media as definitive evidence that we should all be supplementing our vitamin D levels, the study was a simple retrospective epidemiological paper looking at a small group of people who were hospitalized with COVID-19. The authors found that people who had lower vitamin D levels were more likely to experience some negative outcomes of COVID-19, such as low blood oxygen and death, and so recommended that everyone take a vitamin D supplement to stop this from happening.

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Pictured: Our saviour? Source: Pexels
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This is the graph of the risk of death by vitamin D status from this study. It’s about as null a finding as you can get at first glance.

The Choice

To be honest, it’s all a bit depressing. We’ve had more than enough time to run at least one decent study, and so far all we’ve got are an increasing roster of terrible epidemiological research and one tiny pilot study that itself was at a high risk of bias.

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The fact that searching the word “choice” on stock photo websites brings up dozens of pictures of paint swatches fills me with a manic glee, so I thought I’d share it with you all. Source: Pexels
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Definitely an easier choice than what to paint the second bedroom when you put it that way. Source: Pexels

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