COVID-19 confirmed cases in Indonesia have consistently increased, as of today, there are more than 230,000 active cases. The government has guaranteed the availability of antiviral medicines following the third wave of COVID-19 strikes across the country due to the Omicron variant. Then how is the availability of vitamins in Indonesia?
Based on a recent study published in the journal PLOS ONE, Vitamin D plays a significant role in preventing severe symptoms of COVID-19 patients. The study involved 1,176 Covid-19 patients who were hospitalized from April 2020 to February 2021.
The study also indicated that the mortality rate of COVID-19 patients with vitamin D deficiency is around 25.6 percent. Meanwhile, the mortality rate for COVID-19 patients with adequate vitamin D levels is much lower, at 2.3 percent.
To ensure the availability of Vitamin D, The National Agency of Drug and Food Control (BPOM) has now updated the COVID-19 management guidelines. Previously, only 400 IU of Vitamin D was allowed to be produced in Indonesia, but to anticipate a shortage, doses above 1000 IU can be produced.
Chairman of the Indonesian Allergy and Immunology Association and Internal Medicine Specialist Consultant Allergy Immunology Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital (RSCM) Jakarta, Prof. Dr. dr. Iris Rengganis, Sp.PD-KAI, FINASIM. said that vitamin D is needed by almost all of our organs that have receptors. Specifically, vitamin D regulates the immune system and increases the activity of immune cells against viruses and bacteria.
“During the Covid-19 pandemic, we need to meet daily needs of vitamin D. Consuming 1000 IU of vitamin D3 is recommended, but you are required to have a blood test to get the right doses. If the body faces Vitamin D deficiency, we would recommend up to 5,000 IU a day, especially for patients with illness,” said Prof. Dr. dr. Iris.
Prof. Iris said that taking 1000 IU doses of vitamin D3 once a day without checking blood is safe. Consuming this vitamin D3 should be taken in the morning while eating food because it is fat-soluble.
Vitamin D3 has also been included in the COVID-19 Management Guidelines Edition 4, which was compiled by 5 medical professional organizations and released in January 2022. The guideline which is a reference for health care facilities in dealing with COVID-19 explains that Vitamin D3 1000 IU – 5000 IU is used to treat patients with all levels of symptoms. Vitamin D3 was given for 14 days.
Indonesian pharmaceutical companies guarantee the availability of this vitamin by producing and distributing 1000 IU Vitamin D3 complying with BPOM regulations. One of the pharmaceutical companies that produce Vitamin D3 1000 IU is PT Dexa Medica through its Oxyvit D3 product with halal soft gel preparations, in the form of oil in soft gels with twice the bioavailability of the caplet/tablet.
“We produce Oxyvit D3 with halal soft gel preparations, Vitamin D3 is in the form of oil which has twice the bioavailability compared to the caplet/tablet form. We strive to continue to develop the capability and capacity to produce high-quality products. Through a strong commitment to that quality, we want to meet people’s needs for health products, including Vitamin D3 products,” said Dr. Raymond Tjandrawinata, Molecular Pharmacologist at PT Dexa Medica.
In addition to treating COVID-19 patients, Vitamin D3 can also increase body resistance to prevent various diseases. Vitamin D3 can also help the healing process of disease.