The US Congress Weighs in on the Role of Dietary Supplements in Treating COVID-19

This month Congress will decide whether to formally recognize a supplement as vital to treating COVID-19.

On February 11, 2021, Wisconsin Representative Glenn Grothman submitted House Resolution 116 to Congress. This resolution, if approved, would recognize "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." The resolution goes on: "September 2020, United States infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci publicly commented on the importance of vitamin D for immune health and vitamin D deficiencies resulting in increased susceptibility to infection."

Dr. Fauci's comments speak to something that has been long understood yet underreported: while vitamin D is an essential nutrient, and studies have consistently shown it provides support in maintaining immune system homeostasis while reducing the ability of certain viruses to cause cytokine mediated inflammation, it is estimated that 70% of Americans lack sufficient amounts of vitamin D.

In an early 2020 blog article, "How a Doctor is Managing COVID-19 at Home" Ok Capsule CEO and founder Dr. Andrew Brandeis wrote about the potential benefits of vitamin D in relation to immune health and as a possible adjunct to any effective COVID-19 treatment. He recommended supplementing a moderate dose if you were unaware of your current vitamin D levels and a specific dosage once base-line levels have been established in consultation with a doctor or healthcare professional. Though there was no definitive, evidence-based, and widely available treatment for the virus at the time of publication, he felt confident that any treatment that paired both pharmaceutical drugs (and hopefully an effective vaccine) and the vitamin D had a demonstrably better chance of success.

As the scientific and medical communities come to grips with the on-going pandemic and as more is learned about the virus, we are slowly moving from the potential and possible to a codified set of treatments that, when properly deployed, will bring substantial relief to those still struggling with COVID-19. If passed, Resolution 116 would not only recognize the importance of a specific dietary supplement, but it may also open the door to further research and a wider acceptance of the critical role supplements like vitamin D, and other high-quality nutraceuticals, can make to people's overall health and wellness.