A study led by the CHU of Angers confirms the usefulness of vitamin D against Covid-19

The track of vitamin D, against Covid-19, does not come out of nowhere. In January 2021, already, 73 experts and six learned societies, gathered around Pr Cédric Annweiler, head of the geriatrics department at the CHU of Angers (Maine-et-Loire), and Pr Jean-Claude Souberbielle, from the hospital Necker in Paris, underlined its effectiveness in the fight against the virus.

A new study, called COVIT-TRIAL and published this Tuesday, May 31 in the scientific journal Plos Medicine, brings an additional stone to the building, and confirms the usefulness of vitamin D, in addition to other standard treatments.

“Very high level of evidence”

Initiated by Pr Annweiler and piloted by the Angevin university hospital center, the latter “shows, with a very high level of evidence, the benefit of a high dose of vitamin D, administered within 72 hours of the diagnosis of Covid-19, to frail elderly people who have contracted the infection”.

Professor Cédric Annweiler, head of the geriatrics department at the CHU d’Angers. | CATHERINE JOUANNET

Between April and December 2020, 260 patients, spread over nine French hospitals and their Ehpads, were contacted. It was, as Professor Annweiler points out, “patients aged 65 and over, suffering from Covid-19 with unfavorable evolution criteria”, and “patients aged 75 and over with Covid-19 with no other risk factors”.

Two groups, two different doses

They were randomly divided into two groups. One receiving a high dose of vitamin D within 72 hours of their diagnosis; the other receiving a significantly lower dose, still within the same period of time.

Assessment: “The administration of the high dose of vitamin D […] was responsible for a large and statistically significant reduction in the risk of death as early as the sixth day after the start of treatment. » The authors of the study therefore recommend reaching “as soon as possible a satisfactory vitamin D status in the elderly with Covid-19, using high-dose supplementation as soon as the diagnosis is made”.

Profit limits

However, if a decrease in death at 14 days is recorded, this benefit is no longer observed after 28 days. The study authors suggest studying the effect of regular vitamin D supplementation after the initial large dose. They also specify that the object of the study was not the possible preventive effect of vitamin D against the severe symptoms of Covid-19. Useful, vitamin D is however not a panacea.

A study led by the CHU of Angers confirms the usefulness of vitamin D against Covid-19

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