Researchers gave high doses of calcifediol – a type of vitamin D supplement – to 50 patients hospitalised with Covid-19 in Spain.
They were given 100 micrograms of the supplement over the course of a week, with 55mg on the first day and then two booster doses of 27mg on days three and seven. The dose was slightly higher than the 70mg weekly limit recommended by the NHS.
Scientists compared the participants’ health with 26 volunteers in a control group who were not given the tablets, which are normally prescribed to patients with thyroid or kidney problems.
Just one patient given calcifediol fell ill enough to be admitted to intensive care, whereas half of the participants in the control group were taken to ICU and two died.
There were no deaths among volunteers receiving the vitamin and all 50 patients were eventually discharged by the end of the study.