HealthDay News — A single high dose of vitamin D3 does not shorten length of stay or improve other outcomes among patients hospitalized for COVID-19, according to a study published online Feb. 17 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Igor H. Murai, PhD, from the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil, and colleagues randomly assigned hospitalized patients with moderate-to-severe COVID-19 (June 2 to August 27, 2020) to receive a single oral dose of 200,000 IU of vitamin D3 (120 patients) or placebo (120 patients).

The researchers found that the median length of stay was not significantly different between the vitamin D3 and placebo groups (7 days for both; unadjusted hazard ratio for hospital discharge, 1.07; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.82 to 1.39; P = 0.62). The groups were also similar with respect to in-hospital mortality (7.6 vs 5.1%; difference, 2.5%; 95% CI, –4.1 to 9.2%; P = 0.43), admission to the intensive care unit (16.0 vs 21.2%; difference, –5.2%; 95% CI, –15.1 to 4.7%; P = 0.30), and need for mechanical ventilation (7.6 vs 14.4%; difference, –6.8%; 95% CI, –15.1 to 1.2%; P = 0.09). There were increases observed in the mean serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D after the single dose of vitamin D3 vs placebo (44.4 vs 19.8 ng/mL; difference, 24.1 ng/mL; 95% CI, 19.5 to 28.7; P < 0.001). No adverse events were reported, although there was an episode of vomiting associated with the intervention.

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“The findings do not support the use of a high dose of vitamin D3 for treatment of moderate-to-severe COVID-19,” the authors write.

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