In a new study from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, researchers found that active forms of vitamin D can inhibit the replication and expansion of COVID-19.
The study’s findings also suggest lumisterol, produced by a chemical reaction in the body using light, works to block COVID-19.
Vitamin D and lumisterol metabolites were able to block two specific enzymes (RdRP and Mrpo) required for the SARS-CoV-2 life cycle.
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 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 include its low cost and easy access.
Once vitamin D is consumed, it is metabolized into various active forms by enzymes called cytochrome oxidases or CYP enzymes.
Researchers say their findings help explain a possible mechanism for why low vitamin D levels seem to promote COVID-19 infection and poor outcomes in certain individuals.
This is in line with 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.
If you care about vitamins, please read studies about vitamin D and COVID-19: What you need to know and findings of vitamin D level strongly linked to your future health risks and death.
The study is published in the American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism. One author of the study is Andrzej T. Slominski, MD, Ph.D.
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