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Vitamin D is anti-viral

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I could not remember where I had read it, but for some time now I've been using large doses of vitamin D whenever I feel a cold or a cold sore coming on, and it always seems to help. Found this today.

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3308600/

Vitamin D and the anti-viral state

Jeremy A. Beard, Allison Bearden, and Rob Striker

Abstract

Vitamin D has long been recognized as essential to the skeletal system. Newer evidence suggests that it also plays a major role regulating the immune system, perhaps including immune responses to viral infection. Interventional and observational epidemiological studies provide evidence that vitamin D deficiency may confer increased risk of influenza and respiratory tract infection. Vitamin D deficiency is also prevalent among patients with HIV infection. Cell culture experiments support the thesis that vitamin D has direct anti-viral effects particularly against enveloped viruses. Though vitamin D’s anti-viral mechanism has not been fully established, it may be linked to vitamin D’s ability to up-regulate the anti-microbial peptides LL-37 and human beta defensin 2. Additional studies are necessary to fully elucidate the efficacy and mechanism of vitamin D as an anti-viral agent.

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I am surprised to find that we don't have another vitamin D thread here but I've been playing around with some high dose cholecalciferol supplements (10k IU) and can report that they actually have a modafinil wakefulness like effect.

 

@ozzman warned me about this and I didn't take him seriously enough....and twice I've made the mistake of taking these with my pre-bed fistful of supplements and both times, I found myself wide awake, not the least bit sleepy, for about four hours afterwards.

 

Not an ideal situation for someone who struggles with insomnia  but used under the right circumstances/timing, this effect would probably be welcome as it is not a jittery or wired awake feeling. Just completely not tired/sleepy in the least.

 

I can't find much about this effect in the literature other than there are vitamin D receptors all over the brain including the pineal gland. This article broadly talks about the relationship between vitamin D and the brain in terms of circadian and seasonal rhythm regulation.

 

And I guess it makes some sense at an intuitive level...a big bolus of vitamin D would usually signal a lot of sun exposure so your brain would interpret that as time to be awake and active...no way for your brain to know it came from a gelcap...

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Thanks posting/mentioning -- I'm going to switch my 1x/day vitamin D (+K2) dose to 2nd meal instead of 3rd and see if I notice any change in sleep/wakefullness.

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1 hour ago, STENDEC said:

twice I've made the mistake of taking these with my pre-bed fistful of supplements

 

So I think I accidentally did my own placebo-controlled study on the effect of high-dose vitamin D on wakefulness.

 

At night I take a few things before bed, magnesium, vitamin K, baby aspirin, EPA and an omega 8 (sea buckthorn oil) supplement and a few other odds and ends. I had added the vitamin D gelcap to this mix and I put them all in a daily am/pm pillbox early last week.

 

So the first night I took the vitamin D and was wide awake was early in the week, I remembered what @ozzman had said about the stimulant effect, realized what had happened and removed the vitamin D caps from the remainder of the PM boxes and stuck them all in the (now empty) monday PM box to redistribute when I refilled the case on Sunday. Two nights ago, I again found myself wide awake which initially made me think that my attribution to the vitamin D was misplaced and something else was going on.

 

However, when I went to refill the case yesterday I noticed that I had made a mistake. The omega 8 gelcap is the same shape and color as the vitamin D, only slightly larger. I noticed that in among the collection of unconsumed vitamin D caps was one of the omega 8 caps. So I think I mistakenly removed the omega 8 cap from the saturday PM box instead of the vitamin D and inadvertently dosed myself with 10k IU again right before bed...but I did it unknowingly this time although the effect was the same.

 

So n=1 but this seems to have confirmed the effect.

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I thought K would keep people awake? I'm sure I picked that up on here years and years ago. I've told family members not to take multivitamins at night because the K can disrupt sleep. 

 

Was your D mixed with K?

 

If the Vit D can function like that, it would be nice to take 4-5PM so perhaps I don't feel like a complete vegetable the rest of the evening. 

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No, straight D.

 

I've never had an issue with K but the big bolus of D was extremely effective at making me feel totally awake long after I normally would have been asleep...I actually drove to the local car wash at about midnight and washed the truck one of those nights...

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Interesting -- I'll move my K2 dose (MK-7) to 2nd meal as well.  

 

Supnut -- yeah, if I take a general multi-V/M before bed, I can't sleep.  No idea which specific ingredient(s) are to blame.  Probably several.

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I, like most, struggle with sleep cycles. Some of it is apnea, but most is ruminating. 

 

Even if I get 6-8 hours, come 2 pm, I'm shamesly sleeping at work. I can nap for an actual 10 mins and be good to go for another 10 hrs.

 

In my search, I've tried Modafinil, energy drinks and pills (remember AMP?)  For the most part I got a awareness,  hellos anxiety and palpitations. 

 

I actually don't recall how I came conclusion, but in my case:

 

10k IU at lunch ensures that  I'm  productive and not sleepy in the afternoon. 

 

10 k and the occasional bump once or twice a week, to 20 to 40 k when a virus is around, have kept me healthy 

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10 hours ago, ozzman said:

I, like most, struggle with sleep cycles. Some of it is apnea, but most is ruminating. 

 

Even if I get 6-8 hours, come 2 pm, I'm shamesly sleeping at work. I can nap for an actual 10 mins and be good to go for another 10 hrs.

 

In my search, I've tried Modafinil, energy drinks and pills (remember AMP?)  For the most part I got a awareness,  hellos anxiety and palpitations. 

 

I actually don't recall how I came conclusion, but in my case:

 

10k IU at lunch ensures that  I'm  productive and not sleepy in the afternoon. 

 

10 k and the occasional bump once or twice a week, to 20 to 40 k when a virus is around, have kept me healthy 

 

Is that much vitamin D safe to consume longterm?  I don't know but for some reason I have 5k IU stuck in my head as the upper daily limit for general use.

 

And yes! I remember AMP -- I hated the come down but it was awesome stim for training/gym use.

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2 hours ago, nightop said:

 

Is that much vitamin D safe to consume longterm?  I don't know but for some reason I have 5k IU stuck in my head as the upper daily limit for general use.

 

And yes! I remember AMP -- I hated the come down but it was awesome stim for training/gym use.

I check my blood numbers twice a year. I'm usually right smack in the middle of the acceptable levels. Blood work is the best way to be sure.

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4 hours ago, nightop said:

Is that much vitamin D safe to consume longterm?  I don't know but for some reason I have 5k IU stuck in my head as the upper daily limit for general use.

 

I've come to the conclusion that nobody seems to know.

 

Given that you make the stuff in 10-50k IU level amounts when exposed to the sun for a couple of hours and lifeguards and farm workers are not suffering widely from vitamin D toxicity, you can probably take a lot before you need to worry. Taking with K2 makes it safer because it keeps the increased calcium going to your bones/teeth and out of your soft tissues.

 

Clinically, intake of 10k IU/day for months appears to be safe. (PMID: 17209171)

 

Somewhere, in the deep reaches of my mind, I seem to recall something that indicated that you "used" 1000 IU/D per day in normal metabolism...but I can't come up with it.

 

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This may start to give us some insight into why this thing is hitting some places/people much harder than others...

 

 

 

Vitamin D linked to low virus death rate, study finds
New COVID-19 research finds relationship in data from 20 European countries
Science News, May 7, 2020

A new study has found an association between low average levels of vitamin D and high numbers of COVID-19 cases and mortality rates across 20 European countries.

The research, led by Dr Lee Smith of Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) and Mr Petre Cristian Ilie, lead urologist of Queen Elizabeth Hospital King's Lynn NHS Foundation Trust, is published in the journal Aging Clinical and Experimental Research.

 

Previous observational studies have reported an association between low levels of vitamin D and susceptibility to acute respiratory tract infections. Vitamin D modulates the response of white blood cells, preventing them from releasing too many inflammatory cytokines. The COVID-19 virus is known to cause an excess of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Italy and Spain have both experienced high COVID-19 mortality rates, and the new study shows that both countries have lower average vitamin D levels than most northern European countries. This is partly because people in southern Europe, particularly the elderly, avoid strong sun, while skin pigmentation also reduces natural vitamin D synthesis.

 

The highest average levels of vitamin D are found in northern Europe, due to the consumption of cod liver oil and vitamin D supplements, and possibly less sun avoidance. Scandinavian nations are among the countries with the lowest number of COVID-19 cases and mortality rates per head of population in Europe. Dr Lee Smith, Reader in Physical Activity and Public Health at Anglia Ruskin University, said: "We found a significant crude relationship between average vitamin D levels and the number COVID-19 cases, and particularly COVID-19 mortality rates, per head of population across the 20 European countries.

 

"Vitamin D has been shown to protect against acute respiratory infections, and older adults, the group most deficient in vitamin D, are also the ones most seriously affected by COVID-19. "A previous study found that 75% of people in institutions, such as hospitals and care homes, were severely deficient in vitamin D. We suggest it would be advisable to perform dedicated studies looking at vitamin D levels in COVID-19 patients with different degrees of disease severity."

 

Mr Petre Cristian Ilie, lead urologist of Queen Elizabeth Hospital King's Lynn NHS Foundation Trust, said: "Our study does have limitations however, not least because the number of cases in each country is affected by the number of tests performed, as well as the different measures taken by each country to prevent the spread of infection. Finally, and importantly, one must remember correlation does not necessarily mean causation."

 

 

Journal Reference:

Petre Cristian Ilie, Simina Stefanescu, Lee Smith. The role of vitamin D in the prevention of coronavirus disease 2019 infection and mortality. Aging Clinical and Experimental Research, 2020; DOI: 10.1007/s40520-020-01570-8

 

 

 

 

Vitamin D levels appear to play role in COVID-19 mortality rates
Patients with severe deficiency are twice as likely to experience major complications
Science News, May 7, 2020

After studying global data from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, researchers have discovered a strong correlation between severe vitamin D deficiency and mortality rates.

 

Led by Northwestern University, the research team conducted a statistical analysis of data from hospitals and clinics across China, France, Germany, Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States. The researchers noted that patients from countries with high COVID-19 mortality rates, such as Italy, Spain and the UK, had lower levels of vitamin D compared to patients in countries that were not as severely affected.

 

This does not mean that everyone -- especially those without a known deficiency -- needs to start hoarding supplements, the researchers caution.

"While I think it is important for people to know that vitamin D deficiency might play a role in mortality, we don't need to push vitamin D on everybody," said Northwestern's Vadim Backman, who led the research. "This needs further study, and I hope our work will stimulate interest in this area. The data also may illuminate the mechanism of mortality, which, if proven, could lead to new therapeutic targets." The research is available on medRxiv, a preprint server for health sciences.

 

Backman is the Walter Dill Scott Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Northwestern's McCormick School of Engineering. Ali Daneshkhah, a postdoctoral research associate in Backman's laboratory, is the paper's first author. Backman and his team were inspired to examine vitamin D levels after noticing unexplained differences in COVID-19 mortality rates from country to country. Some people hypothesized that differences in healthcare quality, age distributions in population, testing rates or different strains of the coronavirus might be responsible. But Backman remained skeptical.

 

"None of these factors appears to play a significant role," Backman said. "The healthcare system in northern Italy is one of the best in the world. Differences in mortality exist even if one looks across the same age group. And, while the restrictions on testing do indeed vary, the disparities in mortality still exist even when we looked at countries or populations for which similar testing rates apply. "Instead, we saw a significant correlation with vitamin D deficiency," he said.

 

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."

This is exactly where Backman believes vitamin D plays a major role. Not only does vitamin D enhance our innate immune systems, it also prevents our immune systems from becoming dangerously overactive. This means that having healthy levels of vitamin D could protect patients against severe complications, including death, from COVID-19.

 

"Our analysis shows that it might be as high as cutting the mortality rate in half," Backman said. "It will not prevent a patient from contracting the virus, but it may reduce complications and prevent death in those who are infected."

 

Backman said this correlation might help explain the many mysteries surrounding COVID-19, such as why children are less likely to die. Children do not yet have a fully developed acquired immune system, which is the immune system's second line of defense and more likely to overreact. "Children primarily rely on their innate immune system," Backman said. "This may explain why their mortality rate is lower."

 

Backman is careful to note that people should not take excessive doses of vitamin D, which might come with negative side effects. He said the subject needs much more research to know how vitamin D could be used most effectively to protect against COVID-19 complications. "It is hard to say which dose is most beneficial for COVID-19," Backman said. "However, it is clear that vitamin D deficiency is harmful, and it can be easily addressed with appropriate supplementation. This might be another key to helping protect vulnerable populations, such as African-American and elderly patients, who have a prevalence of vitamin D deficiency."

 

Backman is the director of Northwestern's Center for Physical Genomics and Engineering and the associate director for Research Technology and Infrastructure at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center at Northwestern University.

 

Journal Reference:

Ali Daneshkhah, Vasundhara Agrawal, Adam Eshein, Hariharan Subramanian, Hemant Kumar Roy, Vadim Backman. The Possible Role of Vitamin D in Suppressing Cytokine Storm and Associated Mortality in COVID-19 Patients. medRxiv, Posted April 30, 2020;

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I suspect that for most people in the developed world, especially those in institutionalized care settings where this thing is really deadly, lattitude and vitamin D status don't necessarily correlate well.

 

Probably a much better correlation in the developing world where fewer people spend most of their lives inside.

 

 

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On 5/6/2020 at 12:15 AM, ozzman said:

I, like most, struggle with sleep cycles. Some of it is apnea, but most is ruminating. 

 

Even if I get 6-8 hours, come 2 pm, I'm shamesly sleeping at work. I can nap for an actual 10 mins and be good to go for another 10 hrs.

 

In my search, I've tried Modafinil, energy drinks and pills (remember AMP?)  For the most part I got a awareness,  hellos anxiety and palpitations. 

 

I actually don't recall how I came conclusion, but in my case:

 

10k IU at lunch ensures that  I'm  productive and not sleepy in the afternoon. 

 

10 k and the occasional bump once or twice a week, to 20 to 40 k when a virus is around, have kept me healthy 

 

I'm dabbling with this now, but haven't gotten far enough to draw any conclusions. 

It did occur to me that perhaps lack of Vit D plays a part in mammalian hibernation cycles. 

As the days get shorter, Vit-D production goes down. Like a seasonal melatonin. 

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Melatonin and Vit D are two sides of the proverbial coin. 

 

I have ramped up on melatonin.  I think I'm ready to ramp down to micro doses. 0.3 mg and such 

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COVID-19 is a major pandemic that has killed more than 196,000 people. The COVID-19 disease course is strikingly divergent. Approximately 80-85% of patients experience mild or no symptoms, while the remainder develop severe disease. The mechanisms underlying these divergent outcomes are unclear. Emerging health disparities data regarding African American and homeless populations suggest that vitamin D insufficiency (VDI) may be an underlying driver of COVID-19 severity. To better define the VDI-COVID-19 link, we determined the prevalence of VDI among our COVID-19 intensive care unit (ICU) patients. Methods: In an Institutional Review Board approved study performed at a single, tertiary care academic medical center, the medical records of COVID-19 patients were retrospectively reviewed. Subjects were included for whom serum 25-hydroxycholecalcifoerol (25OHD) levels were determined. COVID-19-relevant data were compiled and analyzed. We determined the frequency of VDI among COVID-19 patients to evaluate the likelihood of a VDI-COVID-19 relationship. Results: Twenty COVID-19 patients with serum 25OHD levels were identified; 65.0% required ICU admission.The VDI prevalence in ICU patients was 84.6%, vs. 57.1% in floor patients. Strikingly, 100% of ICU patients less than 75 years old had VDI. Coagulopathy was present in 62.5% of ICU COVID-19 patients, and 92.3% were lymphocytopenic. Conclusions: VDI is highly prevalent in severe COVID-19 patients. VDI and severe COVID-19 share numerous associations including hypertension, obesity, male sex, advanced age, concentration in northern climates, coagulopathy, and immune dysfunction. Thus, we suggest that prospective, randomized controlled studies of VDI in COVID-19 patients are warranted.

 

Preprint Article

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On 5/6/2020 at 11:49 AM, ozzman said:

I check my blood numbers twice a year. I'm usually right smack in the middle of the acceptable levels. Blood work is the best way to be sure.

 

I was taking 7000 IU per day for a while. Bloodwork showed levels around 90ng/dL.

 

This was mid-summer, IIRC, so I was outside a lot. My doctor recommended I dial the supplementation back a bit.

 

Currently I take 5000 IU most days, skipping a couple days per week.

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