A FORM of vitamin D may have kept COVID-19 sufferers out of intensive care, according to a Spanish study.

Researchers followed 76 patients who were hospitalised with COVID-19. Of these, 50 were given calcifediol and only one of them needed to be admitted into ICU. All were discharged without complications.

But of the 26 not treated with the drug, 13 were eventually admitted into the intensive care unit, and two died.

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Now larger trials of the drug are being carried out to confirm if calcifediol is able to reduce the severity of symptoms.

“Our pilot study demonstrated that administration of a high dose of calcifediol or 25-hydroxyvitamin D, a main metabolite of vitamin D endocrine system, significantly reduced the need for ICU treatment of patients requiring hospitalisation due to proven COVID-19,” said lead author of the report, Marta Entrenas Castillo of Reina Sofía University Hospital in Cordoba.

The research was started after doctors realised that a severe vitamin D deficiency is fairly common among COVID-19 victims.

According to the researchers, the calcifediol hinders the development of acute respiratory distress syndrome.

They say that calcifediol is safe, cheap and potentially very effective.

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