Vitamin D deficiency produces a number of issues, and some evidence shows vitamin D may protect people from COVID-19
Vitamin D has been flagged in modern times as a key component that everyone needs to maintain health. In fact, a vitamin D deficiency has been linked to a number of diseases including cancer and bone disorders.
In the light of the COVID pandemic, it’s important to revisit this nutrient that is vital to maintaining a strong immune system and helps fight off viruses.
Turning around a vitamin D deficiency
According to the National Institutes of Health, vitamin D is present in some foods — such as fatty fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel) and small amounts are in beef liver, eggs, and cheese — while most of the vitamin D we get comes from fortified foods and fortified milk.
Supplements can also provide the daily dose needed of vitamin D. While you can get vitamin D from being out in the sun, it’s crucial to make sure not to spend too much time getting sun exposure because it can increase your risk of skin cancer.
“Vegans can have severe vitamin D deficiency without supplements,” says Hooman M. Melamed, MD, FAAOS, founder of the Spine Pro and director of Scoliosis, Cedar Sinai Marina Del Ray Hospital. “Fish is a good source of vitamin D. It’s best to take supplements. I recommend 10,000 units at the same time with vitamin K2, which is important to push calcium into the bones and not deposit it into the arteries.”
According to Melamed, “Lack of vitamin D can cause poor bone quality and a condition called rickets in children.”
He adds that getting the right amount of vitamin D is important long-term for optimal immune system health. A vitamin D deficiency has been linked, he says, to neuro-degenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, and diabetes. It can also cause an increased risk of death from cardiovascular accidents, severe asthma in children, and even cancer. Finally, not enough vitamin D can cause muscle pain, weakness, fatigue, and even depression.
Some evidence shows that vitamin D may protect people from COVID-19. According to the Health Publishing website of Harvard Medical School, “Vitamin D may protect against COVID-19 in two ways. First, it may help boost our bodies’ natural defense against viruses and bacteria. Second, it may help prevent an exaggerated inflammatory response, which has been shown to contribute to severe illness in some people with COVID-19.”
Michael S Evangel, DC, a chiropractic physician in New Jersey and host of The Super Mike Show — America’s Holistic Hero on the Streaming Health TV Channel on Roku, says that optimal vitamin D levels are needed for mitochondrial function and a healthy immune system.
“The ‘cytokine storm’ that has been associated with severe COVID-19 cases have been shown to occur to a much greater extent with patient having lower vitamin D levels,” he says. “The cytokine storm is an overreaction of the immune system that can fill the lungs with fluid. In general, I like to see my patients have 25 hydroxy D levels of 80-100 ng/ml.”
While more studies need to be conducted to determine how vitamin D could help with COVID-19, all other factors point to vitamin D as a necessary supplement to ward off illness and disease in individuals with diets that are lacking.