Vitamin D, Health & Benefits
There is mounting evidence that Vitamin D supplementation reduce the risk of influenza and COVID-19, this involves a reduction of infection risk, progression and severity of the clinical condition. It is a fact that Vitamin D deficiency is very common and that daily vitamin D supplementation is safe and inexpensive and may prove effective as an important defense against acute viral respiratory infections. (J.Glob Antimicrob Resist 2020 Sep;22:133=134).
You do not have to guess your need for Vitamin D supplementation, your doctor can order a simple blood test that will immediately place you in a risk or protective area. Medical research shows that vitamin D supplementation is safe and protects against acute respiratory tract infections overall. (BMJ. 2017 Feb 15;356).
As nutrients go, vitamin D is in a class by itself. That’s because vitamin D is actually a hormone produced by the body in response to direct exposure of skin to strong ultraviolet B rays from the sun. Vitamin D is classified as a fat-soluble vitamin, which means that the vitamin D you make and consume from foods and dietary supplements is stored in fat tissue for later use.
Without enough vitamin D circulating in your bloodstream, it’s impossible to absorb all the calcium you need. Vitamin D also influences cell growth and immune function, which keeps inflammation in check and keeps your nervous system working properly.Vitamin D supplementation can reduce the risk of infections by enhancing defense mechanisms that can lower viral replication rates; this in turn will slow down the infectious process reducing also the severity of the clinical disease.
Vitamin D also reduces pro-inflammatory cytokines a powerful system that can damage the lungs and other areas of the respiratory track. Vitamin D can reduce the risk of infection. Inflammation is one of the causes of injury of the lining of the lung. (Nutrients 2020 Apr 2;12(4):988).
Supportive evidence on the role of vitamin D in reducing risk of COVID-19 includes that the outbreak occurred in winter, a time when concentrations of the nutrient are lowest. Vitamin D deficiency has been found to contribute to acute respiratory distress syndrome and that case-fatality rates increase in those older individuals or with chronic degenerative diseases, both conditions associated with lower vitamin D concentrations. (Nutrients. 2020 Apr 2; 12(4):988).
All of a sudden humans are facing the COVID-19 pandemic and in a few months we have seen more than 4.7 million cases and over 316,000 deaths worldwide. This is caused by a highly infectious coronavirus leading to an acute infectious disease with a vast spectrum of symptoms: flu-like fever, headache, dry cough, muscle pain, loss of smell and taste, shortness of breath, viral pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome and respiratory failure. While a treatment is yet to be found and safe vaccination becomes available we struggle to find how to prevent infection or curve its virulence in individuals never before in contact with the virus. Multiple studies beginning after the 1918 influenza pandemic to our present day, suggest that vitamin D supplementation can reduce lethal pneumonia and fatality rates. Also the severity of acute respiratory infection can be reduced. Vitamin D has become a real factor in the prevention and treatment of these type of infections. (J Transl Med 2020 Aug 26;18(1):322).
Testing for vitamin D levels in blood is simple and inexpensive. You can ask your doctor to test for vitamin D. This will of course do away with all the guess work and our target should be between 40 to 60 ng/mL. Evidence of multiple medical studies show that vitamin D supplementation lowers viral replication which in turn defeats infectiousness capacity of the virus. Defenses can be deployed at a satisfactory rate and the infections can be fought off. Vitamin D also has very potent anti-inflammatory activity that reduces the dramatic side effects of the virus on the respiratory track. Vitamin D offers a powerful, rational and safe tool to keep us safe and away from this pandemic and its personal consequences.