Vitamin D is known to be a fat-soluble vitamin that plays a variety of important roles in the body. Vitamin D nutrient is particularly crucial for immune health, leaving many of us wondering whether taking supplements of vitamin D helps in reducing the danger of contracting the coronavirus which causes COVID-19.
There’s no cure for COVID-19 currently, some preventive measures such as social distancing and proper hygiene can protect you from this virus.
Some studies found that having good levels of vitamin D nutrients may help you keep immunity healthy and also protect you against respiratory illnesses.
This blog explains how with the help of vitamin D your immunity is affected and how taking supplements of vitamin D nutrients helps in protecting you against respiratory conditions.
How does vitamin D nutrient affect immunity?
Vitamin D is important for the functioning of the immune system that is your body’s first layer of defense against every infection and disease. Vitamin D plays a necessary role in encouraging immune reaction. It has anti-inflammatory and immune regulatory properties and is important for the activation of immune health defenses. Vitamin D is famous to reinforce the function of immunity cells, which includes T-cells and macrophages protecting the body against pathogens. Also, vitamin D is so crucial for proper immune function showing a low level of vitamin D is related to higher susceptibility to many infections, many diseases, and many immunity-related disorders.
For instance, low levels of vitamin D nutrients are related to an increased risk of several respiratory diseases, which include TB, asthma, and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), also bacterial and viral respiratory infections. Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with reduced lung function, which can affect the body’s capability to fight many respiratory infections.
Can vitamin D nutrient protect against COVID-19?
There’s no treatment against COVID-19 currently, and no study results have found that the effect of taking vitamin D supplements or its deficiency on the danger of contracting coronavirus which causes COVID-19. But, many studies have found that deficiency of vitamin D can affect immune function and increases the danger of growing respiratory illnesses. Adding to this, various studies show that supplements of vitamin D can increase immune reaction and may protect you against respiratory infections.
A review in which 11,321 people from 14 different countries indicated that vitamin D supplementation can reduce the danger of ARI (acute respiratory infections) in those people who had a deficiency and enough levels of vitamin D. all in all, the study demonstrated that taking vitamin D supplements decreases the danger of growing a minimum of one ARI by 12%. The protective effect was highest in those people with a low level of vitamin D.
The review also found that supplements of vitamin D nutrients were best at protecting you against ARI when they are consumed weekly or daily in small doses and very less effective when consumed in large amounts.
Supplements of vitamin D also shows that mortality is reduced in older adults, who are mostly in danger of spreading respiratory illnesses such as COVID-19.
Vitamin D deficiency is also famous to reinforce a process referred to as “cytokine storm”
Cytokines are protein types which is an important part of the immunity system. They have pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory results that play an important role in helping you to protect against every infection and other diseases. However, cytokines may also induce tissue destruction under some circumstances. A cytokine storm mentions to uncontrolled freeing of the pro-inflammatory cytokines which take place in reaction to some infections or different factors. This excessive and deregulated release of cytokines results in severe tissue damage and increases disease severity and progression.
It’s a serious issue for multiple organ failure and ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome), also as a crucial factor about the severity and progression of COVID-19.
For instance, patients with cases of COVID-19 are shown to release big numbers of cytokines, especially interleukin-6 (IL-6) and interleukin-1 (IL-1).
The deficiency of vitamin D is related to reduce immune function and it may elevate the cytokine storm.
Researchers also postulate that vitamin D deficiency increases the danger of COVID-19 complications, also taking vitamin D supplements may decrease the complications associated with cytokine storms and some uncontrolled inflammation in those patients with COVID-19.
Nowadays, many clinical trials are being investigated to know the effects of taking vitamin D supplements at a dosage up to 200,000 IU in patients of COVID-19.
Although researches are still an ongoing process, it’s necessary to know that taking vitamin D supplements alone can’t protect from spreading COVID-19. However, deficiency of vitamin D increases susceptibility to infection and disease by affecting immunity function overall.
This worries especially those who are deficient in vitamin D nutrients, particularly older adults who are in danger of developing COVID-19 serious complications.
Due to these reasons, it’s a better choice to take healthcare provider tests about vitamin D levels and get it done to find out whether you’ve deficient in this important vitamin D nutrient. Depending on blood levels, taking supplements around 1,000–4,000 IU of vitamin D per day is usually sufficient for people. Individuals with low blood levels may require higher doses to extend their levels to an adequate range. Recommendations about what constitutes a necessary vitamin D level vary, most experts say that proper vitamin D levels are between 30–60 mg/mL (75–150 nmol/L).
Vitamin D plays a crucial role in the overall body, which includes promoting your immune health system.
Scientific research found that taking supplements of vitamin D nutrient protects you against respiratory infections, particularly those individuals who are deficient in vitamin D. But, do remember that currently there’s no evidence that taking any nutrient supplement (including vitamin D), decreases the risk of developing COVID-19 virus as an effect of contracting SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.
If you’re curious about taking supplements of vitamin D to reinforce your overall immunity reaction, consult your doctor or healthcare provider or dietitian for accurate information on proper dosing of vitamin D.