A sufficient level of this vitamin could halve the risk of catching coronavirus and protect COVID-19 patients from the worst of the disease.
Vitamin D supplementation reduces the risk of COVID-19 infection and the severity of the disease, if it is caught, research finds.
Professor Michael Holick, study co-author, said:
“Because vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency is so widespread in children and adults in the United States and worldwide, especially in the winter months, it is prudent for everyone to take a vitamin D supplement to reduce risk of being infected and having complications from COVID-19.”
A blood level of 30 nanogram per millilitre of vitamin D has been shown to protect patients with COVID-19 against complications and death, as well as reducing the risk of getting ill by a large amount.
According to a new study, COVID-19 patients with adequate levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D are less likely to have severe clinical problems from the illness.
These outcomes include hypoxia — poor oxygen supply to the body — being unconscious, and death.
25-hydroxyvitamin D is produced in the liver and it is a major form of vitamin D3 and vitamin D2.
Also, patients with a sufficient amount of vitamin D have higher levels of lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell which fights infection, and their blood shows a lower level of C-reactive protein, an inflammatory indicator.
Professor Holick said:
“This study provides direct evidence that vitamin D sufficiency can reduce the complications, including the cytokine storm (release of too many proteins into the blood too quickly) and ultimately death from COVID-19.”
The study examined 235 hospitalized coronavirus patients to see if serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels can change the severe clinical outcomes from the disease.
Vitamin D status, numbers of lymphocytes, and C-reactive protein were analysed from patient’s blood samples.
The patients were also checked for severity of the infection, breathing difficulties, unconsciousness and hypoxia.
The analysis showed that patients with a blood level of at least 30 ng/mL of 25-hydroxyvitamin D had a 52 percent higher chance of surviving the infection than those with lower levels of vitamin D.
Professor Holick, in a recent study, revealed that an adequate amount of vitamin D can lower the odds of becoming infected with COVID-19 by 54 percent.
Vitamin D sufficiency helps to overcome the coronavirus disease and other types of upper respiratory infections such as influenza.
Professor Holick pointed out:
“There is great concern that the combination of an influenza infection and a coronal viral infection could substantially increase hospitalizations and death due to complications from these viral infections.”
Vitamin D is a cheap but effective way to boost people’s immune system against the virus and can decrease health-related issues such as needing ventilatory support and immune system overactivity resulting in cytokine storm.
The study was published in the journal PLOS ONE (Maghbooli et al., 2020).
About the author
is a Nutritionist and Food Scientist. She holds a BSc in Human Nutrition and an MSc in Food Science.
October 7, 2020
“The sun is not strong enough for the body to make vitamin D from October to May,
especially for those living north of Atlanta,” Althea Zanecosky, RD
15 Foods That Are High in Vitamin D
Eating plenty of vitamin D foods strengthens your bones, regulates your immune system, and more—but chances are, you’re not getting enough.
Vitamin D may be known as the sunshine vitamin, but too few of us think to look for it in the fridge—and that’s a big mistake. “The sun is not strong enough for the body to make vitamin D from October to May, especially for those living north of Atlanta,” says Althea Zanecosky, RD, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. That’s probably why nearly half of people tested at winter’s end had a vitamin D deficiency, according to a University of Maine study. Compounding the problem is our vigilant use of sunscreen; SPF 15 blocks 93% of UVB rays, the type our bodies use to make D. Skin also has a harder time producing vitamin D with age.
Back up: What is vitamin D, and why is it so important?
Your body creates vitamin D on its own after being exposed to sunlight. It helps the body absorb calcium, one of the main building blocks of bones. If you’re low on D, then you’re at increased risk for bone diseases like osteoporosis.
Evidence continues to mount that vitamin D also helps to regulate the immune system, lower blood pressure, protect against depression, and reduce risk of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and several kinds of cancer. A 2014 study from the University of California-San Diego School of Medicine also found that people with low vitamin D levels were twice as likely to die prematurely.
So, are you getting enough vitamin D?
Probably not. The Institute of Medicine has set the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of vitamin D at 600 international units (IU) for everyone under the age of 70. (It’s 800 IU for adults 70+.) But many experts believe that’s too low. “There is talk that the RDA may be increased,” says Zanecosky. “Many physicians are now advising 2,000 milligrams daily for those with low blood levels.”
The Top Vitamin D Foods
In a recent nutrient survey, many respondents were rightfully concerned they weren’t getting enough D, with 22% actively looking for it in foods. But just 9% knew that salmon is a good natural source of the vitamin, and only 5% recognized fortified tofu as one, too. Here are some other ways to get more foods with vitamin D in your diet:
Wild-caught fish (425 IU in 3 oz salmon, 547 IU
in 3 oz mackerel)
Beef or calf liver (42 IU in 3 oz)
Egg yolks (41 IU per egg)
Canned fish (154 IU in 3 oz tuna, 270 IU in 3.5 oz sardines)
Shiitake mushrooms (40 IU in 1 cup)
Milk: whole, nonfat or reduced fat (100 IU in 8 oz)
Yogurt (80–100 IUs in 6 oz)
Almond milk (100 IU in 8 oz)
Pudding made with milk (49-60 IUs in ½ cup)
Orange juice (137 IU in 1 cup)
Breakfast cereals (50–100 IUs in 0.75–1 cup)
Fortified tofu (80 IU in 3 oz)
Oatmeal (150 IU in 1 packet)
Cheese (40 IU in 1 slice)
Eggnog (123 IU in 8 oz)
By Aviva Patz Jun 10, 2018