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Vitamin D and B12 Levels – a Clue to Severity of Respiratory COVID-19 [COVID-19]

  • Research type

    Research Study

  • Full title

    Vitamin D and B12 Levels – a Clue to Severity of Respiratory COVID-19

  • IRAS ID

    287624

  • Contact name

    Hamid Jalal

  • Contact email

    hamid.jalal@addenbrookes.nhs.uk

  • Sponsor organisation

    Public Health England

  • Duration of Study in the UK

    0 years, 11 months, 31 days

  • Research summary

    The SARS-CoV-2 virus which causes the current pandemic of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), has resulted in large numbers of people infected, individuals with severe disease needing intensive care in hospitals, and deaths around the world since December 2019. Vitamin D is essential for the normal function of our immune system and plays a vital role in the prevention of a variety of infections. Epidemiological research has identified vitamin D as a risk factor for more severe COVID-19. Very early clinical studies show an association between low vitamin D levels and more severe disease and death from the virus. For vitamin B12, early computer modelling and laboratory-based research indicate that vitamin B12 may bind to at least one of the viral proteins and thereby slow down viral replication. Neurological features of COVID-19 and vitamin B12 deficiency overlap. Our hypothesis is, therefore, that vitamin D and/or B12 levels are associated with more severe COVID-19. We aim to investigate this by measuring the levels of these two vitamins in blood samples from 500 consecutive adult patients who presented to Addenbrooke’s hospital with the respiratory manifestations of COVID-19. We will then look for statistical evidence of an association between vitamin levels and the severity of disease in these patients. If this and other research confirm our hypothesis, further work will be needed to establish the best timing, dose and duration of treatment with either or both of these vitamins for the prevention and treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Such research, and implementing its results, can start quickly since preparations for both vitamins are licensed in the UK. Both are inexpensive, effective at improving vitamin levels, and well-tolerated even in high doses. This research is part of the worldwide effort to reduce the severity of the COVID19 pandemic.

  • REC name

    West Midlands - Coventry & Warwickshire Research Ethics Committee

  • REC reference

    20/WM/0225

  • Date of REC Opinion

    11 Aug 2020

  • REC opinion

    Further Information Favourable Opinion