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Vitamin D and its Relationship with COVID-19

Ricky Singh 24/05/20

Since the start of the Coronavirus outbreak, there has been a lot of research into what relationship vitamin D has with COVID-19. Recent studies are showing that there may be a strong correlation between individuals with low levels of vitamin D being twice as likely to experience health issues with COVID-19.

A particular study analysed medical data from 10 countries and discovered a strong link with vitamin D levels and cytokine storm (a hyper-inflammatory condition) which damages the lungs severely and leads to acute respiratory distress syndrome and in worst cases death. 

The study showed that vitamin D plays a key role in preventing the immune system becoming overactive which is a key element to depressing cytokine storm. Increasing evidence is showing that it is cytokine storm that seems to kill the majority of COVID-19 patient and not the virus itself. Therefore lower levels of vitamin D could be a risk factor in getting and fighting off the virus. 

Studies have also found that countries with higher levels of vitamin D have had lower infection and death rates. Norway, Finland and Denmark have recorded lower rates but have less sunlight exposure however sources found these countries have a higher supplementation of vitamin D and the fortification of foods was found to be more common in these countries. 

The study also looked into what amount of supplementation may help reduce the risk of COVID -19 and research into what role vitamin D plays in respiratory tract infections. It was concluded that vitamin D supplementation proved useful in reducing the risk. Researchers found that taking 10,000 IU per day for a few weeks followed by 5,000 IU per day until you can raise 25 (OH) D concentrations above 40-60ng/mL (100-150 nmol/L). 

With several studies finding that vitamin D may pay a pivotal role in helping fight and reduce the risk of disease, it can’t be forgotten that the one of the best recommendations overall is to improve your diet and increase your levels of exercise. 

25 (OH) D – this is a pre hormone Calcifedol, also know as calcidiol its produced by the liver by hydroxylation of Vitamin D3, Physicians measure this metabolite to determine patients vitamin D levels. 

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