In a striking move to recognize the significance and health benefits of vitamin D for COVID-19, U.S. Representative Glenn Grothman (R-WI) introduced House Resolution (H. Res. 116). The resolution recognizes the role vitamin D may play in the fight against COVID-19. The resolution calls out inaction by FDA and other agencies to recognize the importance of vitamin D for immune support during the pandemic. This sheds light on the inequities seen within the Black and Latino community, where vitamin D deficiencies are double that of the white population and thus hospitalizations and deaths from the virus are significantly higher.
This resolution closely follows the guidelines sent in an open letter from 120 health, science and medical experts from the U.S., U.K., and Europe to world governments in December 2020 stating that there is “clear evidence that vitamin D reduces COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations, and deaths.”
Resolution Calls for Official Guidance on Vitamin D for COVID-19
Rep. Grothman is encouraging the the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to issue guidance on vitamin D intake for elderly and immunocompromised individuals during the ongoing pandemic. Rep. Grothman made the following statements and recommendations:
“During the early stages of the COVID-19 outbreak, the world was in need of a treatment for this virus while we awaited a safe, effective vaccine,” said Grothman. “While we now have vaccines to prevent COVID-19, not everyone has access to them yet, there are two existing COVID variants we know of, and people are still dying from the illness every day.
“We have been told to listen to the science regarding COVID-19 since its inception. Now, 120 doctors from several of the world’s most prestigious medical institutions concur that there is overwhelming evidence that vitamin D can be effective in decreasing the severity of COVID-19, but our government’s top public health agencies still have not pursued this credible lead. The unwillingness of these agencies to investigate this lead has undoubtedly cost many lives. I once again call on the CDC, FDA, and NIH to study the connection between vitamin D deficiencies and COVID-19 and let the public know how this could help them in our fight against the virus, just as they have with other prevention methods during the pandemic.
“If passed, my resolution will unite the voice of the House of Representatives in the search for additional ways to limit the negative effects of COVID-19 and hopefully encourage our public health establishment to issue much-needed guidance as to truly how effective vitamin D can be in preventing serious symptoms, complications, or death from the coronavirus.”
The unwillingness of FDA to take action on this credible science of vitamin D for COVID-19 calls out a known weakness of health equity among Black and Latino populations. More than 40% of American adults are vitamin D deficient, however deficiency rates within Black and Latino populations ranges from 70% to 80%, according the CDC.
Salud America recently reported data on the disproportionate number of Latinos infected with the virus. They called out CDC data (from Feb. 2021) showing that the hospitalization rates for Latinos is 3.2 times higher than whites (complete data by state here). State examples of Latino coronavirus case disparities include:
- Utah is 14% Latino. But they make up 21% of COVID-19 cases on Feb. 7, 2021.
- Oregon is 13% Latino. But they make up 26.5% of COVID-19 cases on Feb. 10.
- Washington is 13% Latino. But they make up 32% of COVID-19 cases on Feb. 2.
- California is 39.3% Latino. But they make up 55.1% of COVID-19 cases on Feb. 10.
In response to the resolution, the Natural Products Association is calling for public support with a petition campaign. “The complications that arise from not having optimal vitamin-D are too many to list and this resolution will provide the much-needed guidance as to how truly effective vitamin-D can be in supporting the body,” says Daniel Fabricant, PhD, CEO and President, Natural Products Association.
Today’s Practitioner is encouraging the integrative health community to take action and voice your opinion to elected leaders. In the following is a link to the petition, the resolution and press statements and recent science in vitamin D that supports the resolution:
H.Res.116 – Recognizing the benefits of vitamin D intake for preventing respiratory infection and COVID-19 complications, and to encourage the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration to issue guidance on vitamin D intake for elderly and immunocompromised individuals during the coronavirus pandemic.