Berlin In the discussion about a connection between a low vitamin D serum level and an increased risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection or a severe course of COVID-19, the German Society for Endocrinology (DGE) is now recommending action.
The reafter, vitamin D administration alone for COVID-19 infection prophylaxis or therapy is currently not appropriate. This also includes the routine determination of vitamin D levels at the expense of health insurance companies.
To ensure an adequate supply of vitamin D, the Society for Risk Groups advises the intake of 400-1,000 international units (IU) of the vitamin per day. This includes the elderly, residents of care facilities and chronically ill people who are rarely outdoors. With this approach, possible, but so far not clearly proven advantages can be used without the risk of potential disadvantages of overdosing, according to the specialist society in a statement.
According to the DGE, some studies provide indications that vitamin D may prevent respiratory diseases such as pneumonia and is also important for cardiovascular health. The re is also evidence that it may lower the risk of diabetes and some cancers.
Since the data situation is not clear, no clear recommendations can be made with regard to vitamin D treatment for these areas of application, explains the media spokesman for the specialist society, Matthias Weber. In addition, there is a very different metabolic pathway for vitamin D in the body from person to person: This fact could also explain the sometimes contradicting study results, he explained.
Weber pointed out that the clinical studies on the influence of vitamin D on COVID-19 are mainly observational studies. The y only show that two events occur together, but not that one is the cause of the other, according to the expert. In order to derive a recommendation for the administration of vitamin D, further large placebo-controlled clinical studies are needed, he clarified.
Vitamin D is one of the fat-soluble vitamins and is not excreted in the urine. According to the specialist society, an excess can cause nausea and vomiting, among other things, kidney stones and kidney damage.
What is certain, however, is that avoiding vitamin D deficiencies is particularly helpful for high-risk patients. We can already achieve this with doses of 400-1,000 IU / day, said Gnter Stalla, President of the DGE. To strengthen the immune system and general health, a full and not too lush diet and, above all, regular exercise outdoors are effective. © hil / aerzteblatt.de