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Home / Body Conditions / COVID 19 and Vitamin D Important

COVID 19 and Vitamin D Important

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg April 05, 2020

Let’s talk about COVID-19 and vitamin D.

Now, just realize that what I’m going to say is not meant to replace medical care. I’m not making any claim that vitamin D is going to cure this virus and I’m not going to sell you any vitamin D.

I just want to increase your awareness about how important vitamin D is for the immune system. This information can be particularly relevant during the coronavirus pandemic.

In this article, I will cover:

 

These Times Call For Added Immune Support

We know that the coronavirus attacks a weakened immune system. That is the virus’s strength and your weakness.

So the question becomes what could you do to strengthen your immune system so you’re less vulnerable to this and other viruses?

Particularly if you have a pre-existing health problem and you already have a weakened immune system, you need to do some things to strengthen your immune system and give yourself that added protection. Specifically, you must protect your lungs.

The answer: take vitamin D.

 

Vitamin D and Its Role in the Immune System

Vitamin D is always critical for your immune system. Though it’s most “famous” for its ability to promote calcium homeostasis and bone health, studies show that vitamin D can also:

  • Reduce cancer cell growth
  • Help control infections
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Modulate the immune system
  • Help kill ceratin viruses
     

Let’s talk about these points a little more. Regarding inflammation, vitamin D decreases pro-inflammatory cytokines. What does that mean? Well, these pro-inflammatory cytokines increase inflammation. Vitamin D inhibits these cytokines, thereby decreasing the inflammatory component of an immune response.

Vitamin D also increases the anti-inflammatory cytokine 2. In this way, it helps actively lower inflammation.

This is particularly relevant right now. You can imagine, if you are sick with the coronavirus and you have inflammation in your lungs, you’re going to need some support. Vitamin D provides this support, acting in a similar way to cortisol - which is an anti-inflammatory - but without the side effects.

That said, it is difficult to get enough vitamin D from food sources, so deficiency is has become a prevalent concern.

There are few food sources of vitamin D


 

Vitamin D Deficiency Is a Big Problem

Now, what’s interesting about vitamin D is that there are quite a few articles out there that talk about vitamin D deficiency being a pandemic in itself. Over 70-80% of the population on the planet has either a vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency of vitamin D.

And this is a serious health concern. If you’re deficient in vitamin D, you’re at risk for:

  • Developing dental problems
  • Having more inflammation in the body, especially in your low back
  • Developing an autoimmune condition
  • Increased infections
  • Cardiovascular problems
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes type 2
  • Bone loss
  • Neurological problems
     

It’s also interesting that a lot of infections involving viruses occur in the wintertime when you can’t get as much vitamin D from the sun. That’s no coincidence.

There are increased infection rates in winter when vitamin D is low


Vitamin D deficiency can also:

  • Increase your risk of developing over 300 illnesses, including flu and respiratory infections like pneumonia.
  • Increases your susceptibility to getting these infections because it impairs the immune system.
     

It will also increase your risk of getting something called ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome) which is involved in this coronavirus. In fact, there are studies that talk about the link between vitamin D and the coronavirus.

 

Factors That Contribute to Vitamin D Deficiency

So what causes such a high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency? Well, there are many factors here, including:

  • Obesity: There’s a strong association between obesity and vitamin D deficiency.
  • Lack of sun: This is one of the biggest causes of vitamin D deficiency because it’s very difficult to get vitamin D from foods unless you’re consuming salmon, halibut, herring, cod liver oil - things like that.
  • Sunscreen: Sunscreen can physically block vitamin D from entering the body.
  • Darker skin: The darker the skin, the less vitamin D you can get from the sun.
  • Malabsorption: If you have malabsorption issues in your gut - caused by things like an imbalanced microbiome - you’re not going to be able to absorb the full amount of vitamin D, so you’re going to have to take more.
  • Breastfeeding: Women that are breastfeeding are using a lot of vitamin D for their infant, leaving the mother deficient - so women who are breastfeeding should definitely take more vitamin D.
  • Pregnancy: Pregnant women are usually deficient in vitamin D
  • Aging: Aging causes vitamin D deficiency,
  • Winter: In the winter months, you’re at risk for developing a vitamin D deficiency
  • Statins: Statins block cholesterol so you can’t make vitamin D anymore.
  • Cortisol: If you’re taking prednisone or some type of medication with cortisone cream, that can lower your vitamin D levels
     

Also, certain viruses have strategies of blocking your ability to absorb vitamin D. Apparently, these viruses know that vitamin D is an immune modulator - which means vitamin D helps control the immune system - so they try to block it altogether.

Now, another interesting thing to note is that the great majority of people with lung infections have a deficiency in vitamin D.

So how do you know if you’re deficient? One simple way to know is if you have back pain or you’re feeling like you have the blues - you’re a little bit down or depressed. Vitamin D can actually bring up your mood big-time.

 

Summary

While we can’t say for sure that vitamin D can help cure the coronavirus, we do know that vitamin D has an incredibly important role in the immune system - and that vitamin D is a prevalent concern associated with decreased immunity and other health risks.

As a result, you should make sure that you’re getting enough vitamin D no matter what.

If you haven’t seen my other videos on vitamin D, you can check them out here:

Disclaimer: Our educational content is not meant or intended for medical advice or treatment.

Editor’s Note: This post has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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