Although the research on vitamin D and COVID-19 has started in the beginning of the pandemic, there are already available numerous other study results that provided enough evidence to prove that vitamin D supplementation helps reduce the risk of viral respiratory infections. For instance, researchers who looked back at the worldwide 1918-1919 influenza pandemic found that individuals with healthy vitamin D blood levels were much less likely to die.
There is a constantly growing amount of research suggesting that vitamin D deficiency significantly contributes to the weakness of our immune system and its inability to overcome viral infections, including the one which leads to COVID-19.
Mortality among COVID-19 patients has been linked to the induced by the virus “cytokine storm”, known as “a runaway immune system response”. It is the result of excessive production of proinflammatory cytokines which leads to ARDS aggravation and widespread tissue damage resulting in multi-organ failure and death. Targeting cytokines during the management of COVID-19 patients may improve survival rates and reduce mortality. There is evidence that normal vitamin D levels can prevent COVID-19’s cytokine storm (>).
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Irish researchers found that nations with high rates of vitamin D deficiency had higher death rates from COVID-19. In the summery, the researchers suggested that the government should raise vitamin D daily intake recommendations (>).
According to the medical research by I. Pugach and S. Pugach, there is a “Strong Correlation Between Prevalence of Severe Vitamin D Deficiency and Population Mortality Rate from COVID-19 in Europe (>).
U.K. scientists evaluated the average vitamin D levels and the number of COVID-19 cases, as well as the death rates, across 20 European countries. They concluded that the countries with low average vitamin D blood levels had significantly higher numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths (>).
According to the findings at Northwestern University, significantly more individuals deficient in vitamin D would develop a severe COVID-19 infection than those with normal vitamin D levels. The researchers believe the association between vitamin D and severe COVID-19 is based on a potential link between vitamin D deficiency and C-reactive proteins, or CRP, a surrogate marker for severe COVID-19 (>).
Singaporean Researchers Say That Vitamin D, Magnesium and Vitamin B12 Combo May Reduce Severity in Older COVID-19 Patients (>).
Indonesian researchers evaluated 780 documented cases of patients with COVID-19 and found that most patients who died from Covid-19 were deficient in vitamin D (>).
Below I have listed few already known and confirmed facts with regards to the antiviral properties of vitamin D and its beneficial influence on the immune system function:
“Vitamin D reduces the ACE2 enzyme which viruses like coronavirus use to gain access to our cells” (>).
“Vitamin D boosts the levels of antimicrobial (antiviral) peptides in the lungs” (>).
“The antiviral effect of vitamin D3 has been shown in various viral infections such as HCV, rhinovirus, and dengue virus” (>).
“Vitamin D increases the antiviral activity of bronchial epithelial cells”. (>)
Vitamin D is only one of many nutrients that may help fight Covid-19. For instance, according to the Singaporean researchers, Vitamin D, Magnesium and Vitamin B12 Combo may reduce severity in older COVID-19 patients: (>).
Taking vitamin D3 supplements, remember to take well-absorbed Magnesium (such as citrate or bisglycinate: 150-200mg twice daily). If you are deficient in this mineral (almost all of us are due to soil depletion and other factors), Vitamin D3 will remain inactive (it won’t be converted into D4 active form) and will not boost your immunity. In addition, Magnesium itself plays an important role in maintaining a strong immune system.
Written by Slawomir Gromadzki, MPH
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