For many of us taking vitamins is an everyday practice but lately, it’s become more and more important with the onset of the Covide pandemic, so let’s see why Vitamin D is important. So what’s all the fuss anyway? You have been taking vitamins forever and now you have been told it can help protect you against COVID, so what’s it all about and is it true or just another magical cure?
What The Heck Is COVID Anyway?
To fight covid19 it’s best to know what you are fighting against. COVID or coronavirus is a catch-all name for a family of respiratory diseases, transmitted between livestock, that we have seen more and more outbreaks of over recent years. For example SARS-CoV in 2003 MERS-CoV 2012, 2015, and 2018, with the most prolific strain severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 or SARS-CoV-2 2019. Later designated as Covid-19 to denote the year of the initial outbreak in Wuhan City in China in December 2019, scientists across the globe have raced to find an effective treatment to combat the deadly virus but declared a pandemic March 2020.
Amazingly, recent studies have suggested Vitamin D can offer protective properties again COVID with has already infected more than 18 Million people and killed 700,000.
So Tell Me About Vitamin D
Vitamin is a fat-soluble vitamin that is produced when ultraviolet rays from the sunlight hit the skin to trigger vitamin D synthesis, and can also be found naturally in foods and dietary supplements. The best way to keep your Vitamin D level up is by ingestion of natural foodstuff, the photo-synthesis works well but it runs the danger of sun damage, so the next best approach would be a dietary supplement.
Calcitriol, a steroid hormone is the active form of vitamin D made from the kidneys which is known for its role in regulating the levels of calcium and phosphorus and in the mineralization of bones. It can be seen as the main building block responsible for healthy strong bones by helping the body absorb calcium.
But more than this, vitamin D is seen and a multi-tasking steroid hormone carrying out multiple roles. This includes promoting healthy communication between the brain and nerves and boosting the all-important immune system to fight off invading bacteria and viruses.
The science stuff says Calcitriol is also biologically active calcotrophic hormone with anticarcinogenic, antipsoriatic, anti-osteoporotic, immunomodulatory, and mood-modulatory properties.
The recommended dose is 10 micrograms of vitamin D every day to keep the bones and muscles healthy.
This caveat being taken into account the team summarised “supplementation with vitamin D could become protective, preventive, or therapeutic against COVID-19.”
How Does Vitamin D Fight COVID
Although it has been said Vitamin D has the potential to protect against COVID this is not a new story because this idea that D can protect against respiratory infections has been around since the 1930s.
However, The Lancet published a report produced by a team of researchers that investigated the possibility of vitamin D protecting against COVID -19 which concluded vitamin D has protective effects against acute respiratory infections. Although the caveat took one further step to state the protection offered by vitamin D was essentially the same as resolving health issues of those suffering from D deficiency.
This would be people with obesity, those of older age, and Black or Asian ethnic origin.
The immune system is seen to be fortified by the introduction of Vitamin D, as the authors of the study noted, the vitamin D induced hosts responded to the SARS-CoV-2 early and in the later stages of the illness. This linked up well earlier studies showing vitamin D supporting the body’s natural antiviral effector mechanisms, like antimicrobial peptides and autophagy.
Vitamin D And Severity Of COVID
Vitamin D has been seen to increase the levels of hydroxyvitamin D, which in turn has been seen in previous research to be linked between circulating levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D), the biomarker of vitamin D status of the body, and the incidence and severity of SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Two European studies show that when there are lower concentrations of 25(OH)D the risk or susceptibility to COVID-19 increases, and so too, the severity of COVID-19 increases when there are low levels of Vitamin D in the body. It all fits in because airway diseases are tied to dysregulated vitamin D metabolism, so when there is a vitamin D deficiency things may become more complicated with the inflammation in the respiratory tract.
Vitamin D As Prophylaxis
Again, referring to a published study this time on the preprint server bioRxiv*, it is claimed the steroid hormone calcitriol expresses significant and potent activity against SARS-CoV-2. This could mean a way of developing prophylaxis or preventative therapies. Yet another published study by medRxiv* preprint server suggested vitamin D supplementation has been proven to be safe and successful against cute respiratory infection (ARI) of which COVID is one.
*bioRxiv and medRxiv publish preliminary scientific reports
The Take Away
So the jury is still out over whether vitamin D is a magic bullet but the evidence is there in preliminary scientific reports from studies that are ongoing. In an unsure world, it could be a good idea to level the playing fields, after all, what do you have to lose?
If vitamin D is looking like it can help in the fight against COVID my reaction is to take the correct amount of vitamin D to protect me. I have a good diet but it’s always good to top up on vitamins especially as we age and don’t always eat the best things or metabolite with the best efficiency. I for one am adding D to my list of supplements, after all, if you take the correct dose it’s not something you came to overdose on.
If you want to check out a good resource for well-priced vitamins look no further than here
If this was helpful or interesting please share with others who may benefit from this post. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to drop me a line.
Thanks for visiting. See you next time.
To review Ant-Ageing Techniques please read my Definitive Guide using the friendly orange button below.