We have all heard the best way to stop the spread of COVID-19 is frequent hand washing and social distancing, covering your nose and mouth and disinfecting surfaces, but these measures are only external factors. What about factors from within our own bodies?
As with any illness, maintaining optimal health is obviously important, but many experts are discussing possibilities of Vitamin D helping to reduce the risk of COVID-19. These discussions are in the early stages and specific research is still ongoing. However, knowledge of links between Vitamin D and immunity and lung health has developed greatly over the last 20 or so years.
In a recent interview with “MBG Health” David Sinclair PhD (a Harvard geneticist) said “There’s no disagreement between scientists and doctors that vitamin D is important for the immune system. Our immune cells need vitamin D to function.”.
Recent studies have indicated that Vitamin D plays a part in promoting an immune response and activating certain genes which are involved in immune responses.
Besides assisting our immunity, Vitamin D is also really important for keeping our musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal and endocrine systems running smoothly.
Vitamin D deficiency is more common that you might think with one study suggesting there could be as many as 1 billion people worldwide who are deficient. Research has indicated there is a link between Vitamin D deficiency and autoimmune diseases, respiratory diseases and increased infections.
The best way to get adequate levels of Vitamin D is with exposure to the sun, but at this time of the year getting enough of that can be quite difficult. There are many Vitamin D rich foods, such as fatty fish (eg, salmon, tuna and mackerel), fish liver oils, egg yolks and mushrooms. Increasing your intake of these foods in winter can only help your levels and they are healthy too!
There are also supplements that can be taken to increase your Vitamin D levels, however you should visit your doctor before taking supplements.
In summary, whether Vitamin D will provide some protection against COVID-19 or not, it is still unarguably an important Vitamin to help keep our bodies in optimal health.
Disclaimer: there is no cure for or guaranteed way to avoid contracting COVID-19. Discussions amongst experts, about links with Vitamin D, are in the early stages only and research is still ongoing. The purpose of this article is to provide information on Vitamin D and the importance to your health regardless of a proven link with reducing risk of COVID-19.