How is Vitamin D Deficiency linked to COVID-19?
How is Vitamin D Deficiency linked to COVID-19?
From masks to hand sanitizers to limiting ourselves from traveling, life had altogether come to a halt. When the pandemic hit us unexpectedly, we were instructed to stay indoors until it was safe to travel again, while maintain social distancing.
Strangely enough, staying indoors for what seemed like forever may have equally cost us other ailments and diseases, and these may be linked to vitamin D deficiency. Studies have shown that vitamin D deficiency is a risk factor for COVID-19.
This blog will explore what the lack of vitamin D can lead to and what we should do to get our health back on track.
Vitamin D and its relation to COVID-19
Calciferol or vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin present in foods and dietary supplements. As we all know, this vitamin is also produced endogenously in our body when the UV rays from sunlight touch our skin.
However, 40% of our skin should absorb vitamin D from sunlight to effectively help us reap its benefits. At the same time, wearing long sleeves and pants in the sun really doesn’t help us achieve the target of gaining at least 50 NG/ML of Vitamin D.
Vitamin D deficiency is linked to an increased risk of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other diseases. You are considered deficient if your levels are below 30 NG/ML.
Subsequently, levels even lower than 20 NG/ML should worry you. So, having foods rich in this vitamin should help you get your levels back to normal.
Vitamin D has been linked with suppressing the progression of inflammation. It does this by reducing the production of inflammatory cytokines in the body.
Vitamin D3 helps prevent multiple organ damage (that would occur in COVID-19 patients) by reducing the severity of Cytokine Release Syndrome (CRS). It helps fight against respiratory viruses like that caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Furthermore, it has also helped reduce coagulation abnormalities in critically ill COVID-19 patients.
How to make sure vitamin D works for us?
We suggest taking supplements if you are indeed deficient. At the same time, you can add these foods to your regular diet, namely moderate consumption of salmon and fatty fish, chicken or beef liver, egg yolk, grass-fed butter, grass-fed raw cheese, and mushrooms.
Vitamin D has two primary forms in foods and dietary supplements – D2 (ergocalciferol) and D3 (cholecalciferol). These two forms are well absorbed in the small intestine. And the presence of fat in the gut helps absorb this vitamin, while some vitamin D is absorbed even without dietary fat.
It’s worthy to note that neither obesity nor aging can alter vitamin D absorption from the gut.
Now, there are other factors associated with the absorption of vitamin D.
It helps to combine vitamin D supplementation with vitamin K2. These two work together to get calcium out of the bloodstream and into the cells. Here, it can be used for strengthening bones, muscle contractions, and so on. If calcium remains in the bloodstream, it can lead to developing arteriosclerosis or calcification of the blood vessels. Therefore, the combined effect of vitamin D and vitamin K2 can help move calcium from the blood to the cells, allowing it to perform regular functions.
We also suggest taking Magnesium along with vitamin D and K2. Magnesium plays a very crucial role by converting vitamin D’s inactive form from the sun into its active form in our bodies.
The best sources of magnesium are grass-fed wild-caught fish, grass-fed animal products, green vegetables, avocados, and dark chocolate. Regular consumption of these foods can also help you deal with anxiety and sleep issues.
Vitamin K2 rich sources are egg yolk, liver, dairy, animal products, and fermented foods. It is also linked with ensuring healthy blood clotting and preventing excessive bruising and bleeding when blood vessels are damaged.
What are the health benefits of vitamin D?
Apart from fighting diseases, vitamin D has various other health benefits. It can help regulate your mood and reduce depression.
People struggling with weight issues, having a high BMI, or obesity can benefit from vitamin D.
Therefore, Dr2bThin recommends a weight loss diet consisting of foods rich in this vitamin. If you struggle with weight management issues, you can get a free medical weight loss consultation with an effective weight loss strategy. Our doctor may also prescribe you the FDA-approved weight-loss drug called Phentermine 37.5mg based on your medical reports. This drug aids in suppressing your appetite and increasing energy levels.
While some studies suggest the modest health benefits of vitamin D, more studies are required to prove the efficacy of this fat-soluble vitamin against COVID-19. However, as new clinical trials show up, research does indicate that you may have to be cautious of your vitamin D levels in a pandemic.