A celebrity among vitamins, Vitamin D has umpteen benefits to boast of. It has been in the mainstream for quite some time now, owing to its probable advantages linked with Covid-19.
Can Vitamin D Cure or Prevent Covid-19? How does Vitamin D help: The Link between Vitamin D and Covid-19
Several studies and researches are being conducted across the globe to validate the positive correlation between Vitamin D and decreased risk of Covid-19. Though Vitamin D has not yet been proved to cure or prevent Covid-19, some interesting findings have emerged connecting Vitamin D and Covid-19.
Deficiency of Vitamin D increases the severity of Covid-19 symptoms
The presence of issues like pneumonia, microvascular thrombosis, severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (SARS-CoV-2), cytokine storms and myocarditis decides the severity of the corona virus infection. All of the above mentioned issues are characterized by a rooted inflammation. T regulatory lymphocytes, also known as Tregs, act as a defense mechanism battling unchecked inflammation. Covid-19 patients report comparatively lower levels of Treg.
According to studies conducted by E Kenneth Weir et al, “Low vitamin D levels have been associated with an increase in inflammatory cytokines and a significantly increased risk of pneumonia and viral upper respiratory tract infections. Vitamin D deficiency is associated with an increase in thrombotic episodes, which are frequently observed in COVID-19. Vitamin D deficiency has been found to occur more frequently in patients with obesity and diabetes. These conditions are reported to carry a higher mortality in COVID-19. If vitamin D does in fact reduce the severity of COVID-19 in regard to pneumonia/ARDS, inflammation, inflammatory cytokines and thrombosis, it is our opinion that supplements would offer a relatively easy option to decrease the impact of the pandemic.”
Reduce the chances of Covid-19 infection by building your immunity today with Vitamin D
Vitamin D is renowned for its capability to boost the immune system. “Vitamin D modulates your immune system. It improves your ability to fight infectious diseases, including viral infections,” says Michael F. Holick, MD, PhD, professor at Boston University School of Medicine. Further to the Boston University study conducted on about 1,90,000 patients, where Covid-19 infection rates were compared against 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels in the blood, Dr. Holick states that Vitamin D deficient individuals are at a 54% higher risk of contracting the coronavirus infection. “This simple and inexpensive intervention of taking vitamin D can significantly help reduce risk of infection by this deadly virus,” adds Dr. Holick.
Vitamin D enhances your heart’s health
Several studies point out that Covid-19 survivors are prone to cardiac issues, suggesting that some damage is done to the heart. According to Dr. Gregg Fonarow, chief of cardiology at University of California, Los Angeles, a common complication associated with Covid-19, myocarditis causes inflammation of the heart muscles and it could cause heart failure in the long run.
A study published by Journal of the American College of Cardiology reveals that 229 heart patients who took Vitamin D supplements for a 12 month period reported better cardiac function.
Augment your bone health with Vitamin D
Sunlight could give us all the Vitamin D we ever needed. However, owing to the pandemic, the reduced outdoor times have tremendously affected our vitamin D intake. A deficiency of Vitamin D can lower your bone density and cause major complications like osteoporosis, rickets, osteomalacia and fractures.
Individuals above 50 years are at a higher risk of diminished bone health and the contemporary scenario limits easy access to medical care. Cautious efforts should be taken to maintain healthy levels of Vitamin D so as to safeguard your bones from becoming weaker.
Vitamin D acts as a catalyst in your weight loss journey
In the wake of the pandemic, obesity rates are at an all time high owing to various reasons:
1.Limited options to stay physically active and fit due to closing down of gyms and parks
2.Self-isolation forces the intake of processed and canned foods that have a better shelf life
3.Busy work-from-home schedules
Obese individuals are at a higher risk of having severe complications related to the coronavirus infection. Having adequate levels of Vitamin D in the body can create a better balance of your hormone levels, lower your body fat and thus, aid in shedding the unwanted pounds.
Vitamin D reduces the risk of depression
The pandemic has indeed taken a toll on the mental health of all. Depression and stress have been mounting further to situations like isolation due to Covid-19 contraction, loss of dear ones due to Covid-19, job loss, disturbed harmony in personal lives etc.
Researches indicate that individuals with Vitamin D deficiency are at a higher risk of depression. Vitamin D, vital to the proper functioning of the brain, can effectively regulate your mood and help in keeping depression at bay.
Who should consider taking Vitamin D?
As for any other medication and supplements, Vitamin D supplements should be taken only post consultation with a medical practitioner as an overdose can cause serious complications. People who have limited or no outdoor activities are at a higher risk of Vitamin D deficiency. The elderly and the individuals who live in nursing homes fall under this category. Dark-skinned people are more prone to having lower levels of Vitamin D in their bodies. Individuals in cold places have no exposure to sunlight, staying indoors or covering them completely. The same reason makes them susceptible to Vitamin D deficiency.
What are the natural sources of Vitamin D?
The major natural sources of Vitamin D include:
- Fatty fishes like salmon, sardine and mackerel
- Egg yolks
- Fortified foods
- Red meat