WASHINGTON — The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), the leading trade association for the dietary supplement and functional food industry, applauds U.S. Representative Glenn Grothman (R-WI) for introducing a House Resolution (H. Res. 116) that recognizes the potential role vitamin D may play in decreasing the severity of COVID-19. The resolution calls on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration to update existing guidance and to issue new guidance that encourage vitamin D intake during the COVID–19 pandemic.
“Over the last year, we’ve witnessed a growing body of scientific research from reputable medical facilities demonstrating a connection between vitamin D deficiencies and negative COVID-19 patient outcomes. Dr. Anthony Fauci himself has endorsed taking vitamin D supplements. This valuable vitamin could potentially save lives and is something that the CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] should aggressively promote along with their other COVID-19 guidance,” said Congressman Grothman. “As much of the public continues to wait for access to available vaccines, it’s critical that the House of Representatives is united in finding additional ways to limit the negative effects of the virus and provide the public with more information about how effective vitamin D can be in preventing serious COVID-19 symptoms. This Resolution does both.”
CRN has been closely monitoring ongoing research on the effects of vitamin D levels on COVID-19 as well as public statements by well-regarded public health officials and organizations acknowledging this relationship. In September 2020, CRN formed a Vitamin D Study Task Force to develop and evaluate scientific content for a forthcoming consumer education program. The initiative will feature consumer-friendly content, such as research summaries, podcasts, and articles to provide more education on the topic of vitamin D and COVID-19.
“CRN commends Congressman Grothman for introducing a proposal before Congress that will focus public attention and promote consumer awareness on how vitamin D can help limit the negative effects of COVID-19,” said Julia Gustafson, vice president, government relations, CRN. “Our members have long recognized the importance of vitamin D supplementation, as this essential nutrient is critical to overall health at all life stages. CRN joins Congressman Grothman in urging public health establishments to issue guidance about the benefits of vitamin D supplementation and the role it may play in reducing the risk of serious COVID-19 symptoms and complications.”
Government data continue to identify vitamin D as a nutrient of public health concern, as the majority of Americans do not meet their recommended daily intake levels. Deficiency rates within African-American and Latino populations, two ethic groups with particularly worrisome rates of complications of COVID-19, range from 70 to 80 percent. As vitamin D shortfalls—and the adverse health outcomes affiliated with under-consumption of this nutrient—remain prevalent, more healthcare practitioners recommend their patients take a vitamin D supplement. CRN encourages consumers to have their serum vitamin D levels checked, and to consult with their healthcare providers about the role vitamin D supplementation plays in both their overall health and wellness regimen, and the potential role this nutrient can play in decreasing the severity of COVID-19.