Vitamin D May Help Fight COVID-19

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Washington, May 20, 2020 | Timothy Svoboda (2022252476) | comments

Today, Congressman Glenn Grothman (R-Glenbeulah) reaffirmed his support for further research into the relationship between vitamin D and COVID-19.

Over the past few months, medical research studies out of Northwestern University and Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland were released asserting that vitamin D deficiency may play a role in increasing the severity of symptoms and overall mortality rate in COVID-19 patients. While vitamin D is not a cure for COVID-19, the research illustrates a clear correlation between vitamin D deficiencies and COVID-19 mortality rates. The Northwestern article states:

“By analyzing publicly available patient data from around the globe, Backman and his team discovered a strong correlation between vitamin D levels and cytokine storm — a hyperinflammatory condition caused by an overactive immune system — as well as a correlation between vitamin D deficiency and mortality.

‘Cytokine storm can severely damage lungs and lead to acute respiratory distress syndrome and death in patients,’ Daneshkhah said. ‘This is what seems to kill a majority of COVID-19 patients, not the destruction of the lungs by the virus itself. It is the complications from the misdirected fire from the immune system.’”

The article then states that while it will not prevent an individual from contracting COVID-19, having healthy levels of vitamin D may prevent or reduce severe illness, complications or death in those who are infected. Both the Northwestern and Trinity College studies included statistical analysis from hospital systems and health clinics across several countries. Their research showed that patients from European countries with high COVID-19 mortality rates such as Italy, Spain, and the UK, had notably lower levels of vitamin D concentration compared to patients in countries that were not as severely affected.    

“Two research studies have been conducted that show a clear relationship between vitamin D deficiency and the severity of COVID-19,” said Grothman. “Unlike other proposed treatments for the virus, the results shown by these studies fall outside of the realm of a statistical anomaly.

Last week, I offered an amendment to the HEROES act that would require the CDC to provide a report to Congress on the relationship between vitamin D and COVID-19. Unfortunately, that amendment was rejected by Democrats on the House Committee on Rules, who had final say on what amendments were added to the bill. It is unclear at this point what sort of role vitamin D plays in the COVID-19 illness. What is clear is that a vitamin D deficiency is harmful and can lead to more severe complications in those who do contract COVID-19.

I am once again calling on the CDC to look into this relationship. I hope members of the media will join me in shining a light on the positive effects vitamin D seems to have on COVID-19. While we currently do not know the extent of the relationship between healthy vitamin D levels and COVID-19, it remains a promising way to lessen the ill-effects of the virus and is provided absolutely free by simply stepping outside and taking in some sunshine.

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U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman is serving his third term representing Wisconsin’s 6th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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