Published on November 23, 2020

4.5 times greater risk of death from COVID-19 among those without vitamin D compared to those with regular supplementation prior to diagnosis

With COVID-19, several risk factors exist for disease severity and outcome, including older age and those with low levels of vitamin D. A recently published study focused on frail elderly patients hospitalized for COVID-19 to see what effect, if any, previous vitamin D supplementation over the past year and supplementation after diagnosis had on survival and severity of the disease.

What were the details of the study?

This study, by Annweiler et al., included data from 77 patients, age 78 to 100 years, consecutively hospitalized into a geriatric unit for COVID-19. The patients were assigned to one of three groups; Group 1 had regularly supplemented with bolus doses of vitamin D over the past year (either 50,000 IU per month or 80,000 or 100,000 IU every 2-3 months) and did not receive additional vitamin D after being diagnosed with COVID-19, Group 2 was given 80,000 IU vitamin D within a few hours after being diagnosed with COVID-19, and Group 3 did not have any vitamin D supplementation prior to or after diagnosis. There were no significant differences between the groups at baseline except for sex, and all patients received similar standard treatments for COVID-19. Survival rate after 14 days was measured as was the severity of the disease symptoms at its worst, using the 9-point ordinal scale for clinical improvement (OSCI) for COVID-19.

Those Taking Regular Vitamin D Prior to Diagnosis Had the Best Outcomes

In total, by day 14, 17 patients had experienced severe COVID-19 and 15 patients died.

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Those in Group 1, who had received vitamin D supplementation prior to COVID-19 diagnosis, experienced less severe symptoms and had a higher chance of survival by day 14 compared to those in Groups 2 and 3 (which had no statistical difference in outcomes). In fact, the 14-day mortality was 31.3% among those in Group 3 compared to only 6.9% among those in Group 1, equating roughly to a 4.5 times greater mortality risk among those in Group 3 (p=0.02). A similar association was seen for COVID-19 disease severity, with three times those in Group 3 (31.3%) experiencing severe symptoms compared to Group 1 (10.3%, p=0.047).

What is the take-home message?

Correcting a vitamin D deficiency prior to getting sick may decrease disease severity and improve outcomes! Test your vitamin D level today, learn what steps to take to improve your level, and take action to achieve and maintain a vitamin D level of 40-60 ng/ml (100-150 nmol/L).

Using the GrassrootsHealth Custom Kit Builder, you can create a test kit that measures your vitamin D level and other important nutrients (such as omega-3s and magnesium), as well as your CRP level. Click here to build and order your test kit today – measure your status and take the steps necessary to improve them if needed; make an impact on your health today and for your future! When you know what your levels are, you can determine next steps to take and how much supplementation may be needed if you are not at your target levels.

Concerned specifically about your immune health? Enroll now with the Full Immune Boost Panel (which includes tests for vitamin D, Omega-3 Index, magnesium, zinc, selenium, copper, and hsCRP), and get 10% off when you use coupon code BoostTen at checkout.

What Does it Take YOU to Get Your D to 40 ng/ml (100 nmol/L)?

Did you know your health could be greatly affected by making sure you have a vitamin D level of at least 40 ng/ml (100 nmol/L)? Help us help you.

STEP 1 – Do you know what your vitamin D level is? If not, be sure to test today to find out.

STEP 2 – Determine your target level. Are you at your target level? Experts recommend a level of at least 40-60 ng/ml (100-150 nmol/L).

STEP 3 – Need to boost your level? Use the D*calculator to see how much vitamin D it may take to reach your target. Opt for the Loading Dose for a quicker boost.

STEP 4 – Optimize how your body absorbs and utilizes vitamin D with co-nutrients and these simple steps.

STEP 5 – Re-Test! This is an important step to make sure you have reached your target level, and to ensure you are not taking too much! Re-testing after 3-4 months is recommended.

STEP 6 – Adjust, Repeat…

Give your immune system the nutrients it needs to support a healthy you and protect yourself from unnecessary diseases, especially COVID-19.


The first Randomized Controlled Trial on vitamin D and COVID-19 has shown a 96% lower risk of ICU admission for those receiving vitamin D (as 25(OH)D to quickly boost vitamin D blood levels) along with the standard treatment, compared to those receiving standard treatment alone.

These results support many previous observational studies showing a relationship between vitamin D levels and intake and COVID-19 severity.

Review the Latest Nutrient Research for COVID-19

GrassrootsHealth Nutrient Research Institute has launched the new Immune Boost project with the use of our myData-myAnswers nutrient health system that nearly 15,000 people are already using for their health. Specific markers that influence immune health are suggested for testing as part of this project including:

  • Vitamin D
  • Omega-3 Index
  • Essential elements magnesium, selenium, and zinc
  • hsCRP

Our goal is to demonstrate how one can use the Nutrient Research Model established by Dr. Robert Heaney to show the effect of vitamin D serum levels of at least 40 ng/ml (100 nmol/L) on risk reduction for all ethnicities in the population. Status and intake of other nutrients will also be analyzed for any type of relationship to immune status and symptom severity. Join the project today!

Please let us know if you’re interested in helping sponsor this project.

CLICK HERE for updates and new information about the project.

Through GrassrootsHealth Nutrient Research Institute, you can also test your essential elements magnesium, copper, zinc and selenium, toxins such as lead, mercury and cadmium, as well as your omega-3 levels, inflammation levels and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) level. Find out your levels today! Log on to the test selection page (click the link below) to get your tests and see for yourself if your levels can be improved.

Make sure you track your results before and after, about every 6 months!

Click Here to Access the Test Page

How can I track my nutrient intake and levels over time?

To help you track your supplement use and nutrient levels, GrassrootsHealth has created the Personal Health Nutrient Decision System called

For each specific supplement, you can track what days you take it, how much, and many other details.  This will help you know your true supplemental intake and what patterns of use work for you to reach and maintain optimum nutrient levels. Check it out today!

How Can You Use this Information for YOUR Health?

Having and maintaining healthy vitamin D and other nutrient levels can help improve your health now and for your future. Measuring is the only way to make sure you are getting enough!

STEP 1 Order your at-home blood spot test kit to measure vitamin D and other nutrients of concern to you, such as omega-3s, magnesium, essential and toxic elements (zinc, copper, selenium, lead, cadmium, mercury); include hsCRP as a marker of inflammation or HbA1c for blood sugar health

STEP 2 Answer the online questionnaire as part of the GrassrootsHealth study

STEP 3 Using our educational materials and tools (such as our dose calculators), assess your results to determine if you are in your desired target range or if actions should be taken to get there

STEP 4 After 3-6 months of implementing your changes, re-test to see if you have achieved your target level(s)

Enroll in D*action and Build Your Custom Test Kit!