November 13, 2020

Vitamin D may be a Little Ray of Sunshine in the Treatment and Prevention of COVID-19

COVID-19 and Vitamin D - the big connect.

COVID-19 cases continue to climb as scientists race tirelessly toward the discovery of a widespread treatment and vaccine. Exciting news from Pfizer gave the country a moment of hope when they shared interim results of their Phase 3 study, which showed that an experimental mRNA-based vaccine was 90% effective at preventing COVID-19.

We may be close to a vaccine, but the race is far from over.

Many mysteries still surround the coronavirus, including why children with COVID-19 don't get as sick as adults and why people with heart and lung conditions are more likely to die from COVID-19. Though the picture isn't fully developed, scientists are beginning to discover that vitamin D may play a leading role.
COVID-19 and Vitamin D: What's the connection? Vitamin D is quite popular in the health scene, and one of its leading superpowers is to reduce inflammation. Several recent studies have shown that COVID-19 causes an inflammatory reaction in the body (which can be fatal), and vitamin D can help curb some of it. These studies have even shown that vitamin D may directly reduce the number of coronavirus copies made in the body.
In particular, children seem to have more protection from COVID-19 because they have higher vitamin D levels than adults. People with health conditions like diabetes or heart and lung conditions, in contrast, are thought to have a greater risk of becoming very ill with COVID-19 because they often have low vitamin D levels and high levels of inflammation.
Vitamin D - coronavirus

Vitamin D and its effects on COVID-19 - Pharmaceutical Technology.

Though this discovery is exciting, it's not much of a surprise, considering that vitamin D has similar effects in other respiratory conditions, like the notorious flu. There's even speculation that flu and respiratory infections go rampant during the winter months because of low vitamin D levels caused by reduced sunlight exposure. This causes worries amongst the healthcare community as winter has begun and COVID-19 cases are agin on the rise.
Don't go stocking your shelves with bottles of vitamin D just yet. The results are promising, but the doses of vitamin D given to patients in these studies far exceed the FDA daily recommended dose of 600 IU for adults. Depending on vitamin D levels in the patients studied, there was a wide range of doses used, some going as high as 5,000 to 10,000 IU a day. Like any study, these patients were closely monitored for possible symptoms of vitamin D overdose.
The studies continue, but so far, there are no recommended doses of vitamin D for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19 or other respiratory illnesses.
World Health Organization Vitamin D

World Health Organization: Vitamins and minerals cannot cure COVID-19.

The benefits of Vitamin D at the FDA recommended dose may still be worth it. Aside from the potential of preventing many types of respiratory illnesses, like COVID-19, vitamin D has been shown to strengthen our bones and immune system and possibly reduce symptoms of depression. Besides, we all deserve a bit of sunshine and fresh air to ward away those quarantine blues.


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