Importance of vitamin D in the prevention of coronavirus

Importance of vitamin D in the prevention of COVID

Vitamin D’s significance in COVID prevention

Vitamin D has been recommended by many experts as a preventative treatment for COVID-19 infection.  Vitamin D is produced in the body when the skin is exposed to sunlight.  Staying indoors hampers the level of vitamin D in the body.  During the COVID-19 surge, when everyone is suggested to stay indoors, it is very important to check the level of vitamin D in the body.

COVID-19 lockdown vs vitamin D requirement

Although there is no direct evidence on the effect of vitamin D in the treatment of COVID-19, due to its role in controlling inflammation, experts are considering it as a preventive treatment.  COVID-19 infection causes myocarditis, microvascular thrombosis, and/or cytokine storms, all of which involve inflammation.  The main function of vitamin D is to boost immunity and relieve inflammation, which is probably why there are suggestions to increase vitamin D intake to prevent COVID-19.  Low levels of vitamin D have been associated with an increase in inflammatory cytokines.

Partly due to government orders and partly due to concern for their own health, people prefer to stay home these days.  While on the one hand it is a blessing, as the community spread of the coronavirus is slowed to a certain extent, on the other hand it can trigger a drop in the level of vitamin D in the body.

What do the experts say?

“Our view is that if vitamin D does reduce the severity of COVID-19 with respect to pneumonia/ARDS, inflammation, inflammatory cytokines, and thrombosis, then supplementation would offer a relatively easy option to lessen the impact of COVID-19.” the pandemic.”  says a group of researchers from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, USA.

“Low vitamin D levels have been associated with increased inflammatory cytokines and a significantly increased risk of pneumonia and viral upper respiratory tract infections. Vitamin D deficiency is associated with increased thrombotic events, which are seen frequently in COVID-19. Vitamin Vitamin D deficiency has been found to occur more frequently in patients with obesity and diabetes. These conditions are reported to carry higher mortality in COVID-19,” the researchers also say.

According to the Harvard School of Public Health, in a study of seasonal and pandemic influenza caused by the H1N1 virus in 2009, vitamin D supplementation was found to reduce the odds of developing acute respiratory tract infections by 12 to 1 percent. 75%.  “The beneficial effect of supplementation was seen in patients of all ages and in people with pre-existing chronic diseases. Among those who were infected, flu symptoms were fewer and recovery was earlier if they had received higher doses of vitamin D to 1,000 IU. The benefits were relatively greater in people with vitamin D deficiency than in those with adequate vitamin D levels,” the Harvard article says.

What should be the immediate response?

One should take expert suggestions regarding vitamin D supplementation. Apart from this, one should expose the skin to sunlight for a few minutes every day.  One should add foods rich in vitamin D in their daily diet.  Foods like oily fish such as salmon, cod liver oil, mushrooms, cow’s milk, soy milk, and eggs are rich in vitamin D. It is often observed that older people are always deficient in micronutrients .  Supplementation is a must for people belonging to this age group.

Source: Times Of India

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