Vitamin D is a vitamin that comes from sun exposure, food, and food supplements. It is an essential vitamin the body needs to be able to absorb calcium to the bones and teeth that promote growth and remodeling. Other benefits of vitamin D are:
- It lowers the risk for heart disease
- It boosts your energy and mood
- It wards off depression
- Boosts weight loss
- Strengthens the immune system
- Promotes anti-inflammatory effect
An insufficient amount of vitamin D in the body is called Vitamin D Deficiency which results in; low energy levels in doing daily tasks / feeling lazy; muscle and bone pain or weakness; and a higher risk of osteoporosis for adults.
HOW IS VITAMIN D LINKED TO FIGHTING COVID19 INFECTION?
Few studies have shown that there a strong connection between the amount of vitamin D in a person’s body and the risk of getting the COVID19 infection. These studies found out that more than 80% of the COVID19 patients are suffering from vitamin D deficiency. Another study supports this after being able to test 190,000 Americans and found that those who are low in vitamin D have a 54% higher chance of getting the virus. This is because vitamin D suppresses excessive cytokine release that can present as a cytokine storm, a common cause of COVID-related morbidity and mortality.
Moreover, lower vitamin D in the blood affects the immune system that causes a person more likely to get an upper respiratory infection, said Dr. Michael Holick, professor of medicine, physiology and biophysics at Boston University School of Medicine, which was also stated in the research published by National Institutes of Health.
However, even though vitamin D is proven to have an amazing effect on the body and immune system and that it is highly relevant for very ill coronavirus patients who are suffering from lung inflammation, there is no hard evidence that vitamin D can stop COVID19. Hence, experts advice taking enough amount of vitamin D to help the body become stronger but not invincible to the virus.
It is true that more research is still needed before making a conclusion but one thing is for sure, the pandemic calls for a stronger immune system, and vitamin D can help give you just that.
Here is a couple of things you can do to get enough vitamin D:
- Take vitamin D supplements which are available at most supermarkets and pharmacies.
- Eat oily fish like salmon or sardines; eggs; margarine; and fortified cereal, yogurt and milk.
- Take a morning walk for 15-30 minutes per day but make sure that strong sun burns the skin so it is better to wear long sleeves or apply sunscreen if needed.
HOW MUCH VITAMIN D SHOULD I TAKE?
An average adult needs at least 1,500-2,000 IU of vitamin D per day. While for children and teens, a 1,000 IU is enough. If you are a dark-skinned person, experts suggest that more vitamin D must be taken. However, it is still best if you talk to your doctor to know your vitamin D level and how much you need as the required vitamin D level also depends on a person’s blood level.