(WellnessPursuits.com) – Are you looking for ways to boost your immunity and strengthen your body against illnesses? Especially now, with COVID-19 circulating, it’s a good idea to do what we can to bolster our health. Vitamin D might help reduce the severity of the coronavirus if you do become infected. Here’s how.
Being deficient in essential vitamins and nutrients can alter our ability to muster a proper immune response. Vitamin D is of special interest because findings from a large meta-analysis indicate that daily or weekly vitamin D supplementation lowers the risk of acute respiratory infections. In light of the findings, the possibility has been raised that low or insufficient vitamin D levels might increase the severity of a COVID-19 infection.
What Role Does Vitamin D Play?
Vitamin D is known to enhance immune function, but with regards to the COVID-19 infection, it may have a special advantage because it helps modulate concentrations of pro-inflammatory cytokines. It won’t prevent you from getting ill, but having an adequate supply of vitamin D in your body might reduce the severity of symptoms you experience.
According to one study, it “dramatically stimulates the expression of potent anti-microbial peptides, which exist in neutrophils, monocytes, natural killer cells, and in epithelial cells lining the respiratory tract where they play a major role in protecting the lung from infection.”
People Most at Risk
Many of those most at risk for being deficient in vitamin D are also at greater risk from severe effects from COVID-19. Those most at risk of being deficient in vitamin D include individuals who are:
- Chronically ill
- Dark-skinned (due to melanin)
- Not active outdoors
What You Can Do
If you suspect that you might be deficient in vitamin D, you can talk with your medical provider about testing and supplementation. Another potential solution is to spend at least 15 minutes in the sun each day (if you can do so safely) to help your body make vitamin D.
One study specifically recommended supplementation for people who are at greater risk for complications due to COVID-19. High-risk individuals were recommended to consider taking 10,000 IU/day of vitamin D3 for a few weeks to rapidly raise their blood concentrations of Vitamin D and then follow that by taking 5000 IU/day to maintain those levels. The goal should be to raise the blood Vitamin D concentrations into the range of 40-60 ng/mL (100-150 nmol/L).
Bolstering our health by eating right, exercising, getting rest and taking precautions all makes sense. While research has yet to find that any vitamin will prevent or cure COVID-19, making sure you have adequate reserves of vitamin D might reduce the severity of your symptoms if you do contract the illness.
~Here’s to Your Healthy Pursuits!
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