It will help us to a great extent. But very few have raised the topic of immunity, which says that having a strong and powerful Vitamin D level can be a game-changer for sure and may play an essential role in preventing COVID-19. Lately, a couple of studies have identified that Vitamin D deficiency in a person can turn out to be deadly to some extent and is considered as a risk factor for the same. Coronavirus has been one of the deadly pandemics around the globe.
Until medical scientists discover an effective vaccine or treatment for COVID-19, taking precautions is the best we can do to fight this deadly virus. Medical experts and scientists suggest that sanitizing or washing hands more often, wearing proper face masks when in public places, practicing social distancing, and disinfecting the areas which have frequently been touched, can be the best preventive measures that we can adopt at this stage.
What does the latest research say?
Recent information from the Philippines found that the patients infected with COVID-19 had a low level of Vitamin D, which is significantly associated with clinical outcomes. This deficiency can be related to a higher level of death from the effect of the COVID-19 virus.
Also, new research by the experts at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Foundation Trust and The University of East Anglia in the UK (QEHKL) reminded the authors to advise and give a push to the fact that the level of vitamin D increase can protect and keep us safe from any respiratory illness caused due to Coronavirus. Similarly, a very recent study from Switzerland also had led the experts to advise Vitamin D supplementation to protect against SARS-CoV2 infection.
How does Vitamin D help fight respiratory infections like COVID-19?
Former associate professor of medicine at UCLA, Sarfraz Zaidi, M.D. keeps it this way: “Vitamin D stimulates the production of CAMP- (Cathelicidin Anti-Microbial Peptide) from our immune cells. Think of CAMP as our natural Anti-Viral agent.”
You might now think that how much Vitamin D should you intake to help your immune system fight COVID-19?
The answer is, the usual quantity of vitamin D in your daily multivitamins is 600 to 1000 IU (International Units). This is generally recommended for adults.
But Zaidi disagrees. He says that this dose is too low to get back your vitamin D levels into the optimal range, especially if you are suffering from vitamin D deficiency in the first part.
Rather, he highly recommends that you need a daily dose of 5000 to 15000 IU depending upon your weight, which is 5000 IU for every 100 Lbs. This was a dose that he had established based on his vast clinical experience. Zaidi also recommends you to take a daily dose of 50 mg. of zinc for building your immune system.
How does Vitamin D protect an Individual Against Acute Respiratory Infections?
Vitamin D plays a major role in protecting you against acute respiratory infections. In older adults, the group that is most affected and deficient in vitamin D, are also the ones who are seriously affected by this pandemic.
Vadim Backman is the Walter Dill Scott Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering.
This is exactly where Backman believes that vitamin D does play a major role in our lives.
Not only does it help to enhance your innate immune systems; it prevents and stops your immune systems from becoming dangerously overactive at times.
This further means that having healthy and appropriate levels of vitamin D in the body could protect the patients against these severe complications, which includes death in most cases due to COVID-19.
Backman adds that the analysis shows that it might be as high as cutting the mortality rate into halves. It will not prevent or stop a patient from getting or contracting the virus, but it
may surely reduce the complications caused by it and prevent death in people who are infected with it.
Italy and Spain both have experienced the highest number or ratio of COVID-19 fatality rates. As per the new study and analysis, it shows that both the countries have lower as well as an average level of Vitamin D than most of the northern European countries. This is partly because people in southern Europe, and to be very precise the elderly people, avoid the strong sun, while skin pigmentation also lessens the natural vitamin D synthesis in the body.
Most of the people in Northern Europe are on average levels for vitamin D due to the consumption and intake of cod liver oil and vitamin D supplements and possibly less sun avoidance too. The Scandinavian nations are among the countries with the lowest rate and a very low number of COVID-19 cases, with low mortality rates per head of population in Europe.
The relation between Vitamin-D Deficiency and Mortality Rates
After studying the whole global data from the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, researchers and scientists have found a strong correlation and link between severe vitamin D deficiency in people and the mortality rates.
This correlation can help explain many of the mysteries surrounding COVID-19.
One of them is why children are less likely to die. The answer to it is that kids do not possess a fully developed acquired immune system, which is the immune system’s second line of defense and thus is more likely to overreact. Children primarily depend on their immune system. This explains why their mortality rate is lower as compared to adults.
What are the Precautions to be Followed?
You should keep in mind that you do not consume an excessive dose of vitamin D because it might lead to some other type of problems with its negative side effects.
Backman claimed that this subject of how Vitamin D can be considered as a game-changer and effectively protect people against COVID-19 complications need a bit more research to come to an accurate conclusion.
It is, of course, hard to say which dose is most beneficial and exact for COVID-19, but a deficiency can generally be easily addressed with appropriate supplementation. This might be another key to help protect the vulnerable population in countries such as Africa, America, India, and the elderly patients, who have a prevalence of vitamin D deficiency. There are numerous ways in which you can boost your immunity amidst the pandemic.