CRN Responds to Early Reporting on Vitamin D and COVID-19 Studies in British Medical Journal


The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), a leading trade association for the dietary supplement and functional food industry, responded to media reports about two newly published studies on vitamin D and COVID-19 in the British Medical Journal.

Luke Huber, ND, vice president, CRN Scientific & Regulatory Affairs, stated “Two new studies from the British Medical Journal on vitamin D and COVID-19 should be read cautiously, despite some overly simplistic early media coverage. Reporting on this research that suggests vitamin D levels are not relevant to COVID-19 outcomes ignores the large body of research on this connection and downplays critical limitations of these studies.

“An editorial in BMJ accompanying the studies highlights some of the limitations of each study and notes that they ‘aren’t the final word’ on vitamin D’s role in protecting against COVID-19. For example, the editorial points out that about 50 percent of participants in the control arm of the Jolliffe, et al. study were using vitamin D on their own.”

Huber continued, “The editorial also notes that ‘… these new trials remain compatible with the two large meta-analyses suggesting that vitamin D supplementation may be beneficial for vitamin D deficient individuals.’ Indeed, meta-analyses of studies conducted since the beginning of COVID-19 largely demonstrate a positive role for higher vitamin D levels in reducing the incidence, severity and mortality from the disease.

“Finally, the editorial makes clear, ‘For those with inadequate vitamin D levels (<50 nmol/L), supplementation with 1,000-2,000 IU/day could be a safe, simple, and affordable way to restore vitamin D levels, improve bone health, and take advantage of any possible protective effect against respiratory tract infections.’

“To prevent COVID-19, CRN encourages following proper public health measures including vaccination, testing, wearing a mask and maintaining social distance as appropriate, as well as optimizing vitamin D levels, which can be achieved through supplementation. This isn’t an either/or situation, it’s a both/and—and those who suggest otherwise are doing the public a disservice.”

Finally, Huber concluded, “More than 100 clinical studies have been completed on vitamin D and COVID-19. This research is available at www.vitamindandme.org, along with interviews with experts and other resources exploring this issue.”

For more information, visit www.crnusa.org.

The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), a leading trade association for the dietary supplement and functional food industry, responded to media reports about two newly published studies on vitamin D and COVID-19 in the British Medical Journal.

Luke Huber, ND, vice president, CRN Scientific & Regulatory Affairs, stated “Two new studies from the British Medical Journal on vitamin D and COVID-19 should be read cautiously, despite some overly simplistic early media coverage. Reporting on this research that suggests vitamin D levels are not relevant to COVID-19 outcomes ignores the large body of research on this connection and downplays critical limitations of these studies.

“An editorial in BMJ accompanying the studies highlights some of the limitations of each study and notes that they ‘aren’t the final word’ on vitamin D’s role in protecting against COVID-19. For example, the editorial points out that about 50 percent of participants in the control arm of the Jolliffe, et al. study were using vitamin D on their own.”

Huber continued, “The editorial also notes that ‘… these new trials remain compatible with the two large meta-analyses suggesting that vitamin D supplementation may be beneficial for vitamin D deficient individuals.’ Indeed, meta-analyses of studies conducted since the beginning of COVID-19 largely demonstrate a positive role for higher vitamin D levels in reducing the incidence, severity and mortality from the disease.

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“Finally, the editorial makes clear, ‘For those with inadequate vitamin D levels (<50 nmol/L), supplementation with 1,000-2,000 IU/day could be a safe, simple, and affordable way to restore vitamin D levels, improve bone health, and take advantage of any possible protective effect against respiratory tract infections.’

“To prevent COVID-19, CRN encourages following proper public health measures including vaccination, testing, wearing a mask and maintaining social distance as appropriate, as well as optimizing vitamin D levels, which can be achieved through supplementation. This isn’t an either/or situation, it’s a both/and—and those who suggest otherwise are doing the public a disservice.”

Finally, Huber concluded, “More than 100 clinical studies have been completed on vitamin D and COVID-19. This research is available at www.vitamindandme.org, along with interviews with experts and other resources exploring this issue.”





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