In COVID times, vitamin D is the answer for supplements inclusion.

While elderberry sales have been going through the roof in 2021 as Americans stock up and use immune-enhancing supplements, from a purely scientific perspective, vitamin D is a clear nutritional winner in these COVID times.

Vitamin D is widely familiar—ask anyone who buys a gallon of milk—and a very inexpensive ingredient. That makes it an easy inclusion for manufacturers and marketers looking to jump on the immunity bandwagon by refreshing old SKUs with a healthy 2,000 IU/serving dose of vitamin D.

There are currently 73 studies under way investigating vitamin D with COVID. Some of the recent published research studies demonstrate that vitamin D blood levels matter. Once news of the robust body of accumulating research percolates into the culture, consumers should be looking for vitamin D in their immunity supplements. Here’s a sampling of recent research validating the importance of vitamin D.

  • In one 2000 study, patients with circulating blood levels of vitamin D below 20 ng/ml—considered the cutoff between deficient and sufficient by the Institutes of Medicine (IOM)—have double the likelihood of having poor COVID outcomes, and a two to three times higher risk of dying. If blood levels are below 12 ng/dl, patients have a sixfold greater likelihood of having poor outcomes and a sevenfold higher risk of dying.
  • In the SHADE study among patients presenting with blood levels lower than 10 ng/dl—frank deficiency—doctors administered 60,000 IU/day vitamin D for seven days. The group receiving the vitamin D had three times the negative COVID test rate compared to the placebo group. “It makes you clear the virus quicker,” said Todd Harrison, president of the Organic & Natural Health Association at the trade group’s virtual conference.
  • A population-based study in Israel found that, using the cutoff of vitamin D blood levels of 30 ng/dl, 90% of those with blood levels below 30 ng/dl tested positive and only 10% tested positive with blood levels over 30 ng/dl.

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