Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, suggested in September 2020 that vitamin D could help fight COVID-19. He also estimated that 40% of the U.S. population is vitamin D deficient. Scientists in this new study were able to prove that novel and physiologically relevant vitamin D and lumisterol derivatives “act on multiple targets, suggesting that they may be effective against original and mutant strains of SARS-CoV-2.”
Other benefits of vitamin D cited by researchers include its low cost and easy access. Andrzej T. Slominski, MD, PhD, a senior author of the study, described lumisterol as a natural product.
Once vitamin D is consumed, it is metabolized into various active forms by enzymes called cytochrome oxidases or CYP enzymes. Researchers on this study say their findings help explain a possible mechanism for why low vitamin D levels seem to promote COVID-19 infection and poor outcome in certain individuals.
This correlates to other studies showing a relationship between vitamin D deficiency and poor disease outcomes. More studies and clinical trials are planned to test the efficacy of vitamin D and lumisterol as an antiviral therapeutic for COVID-19 in animals and humans.