COVID-19 and Vitamins: How Does Vitamin D Play a Key Role?

The rise and spread of COVID-19 around the world hit with force and furry. It led governments, doctors, scientists, and civilians to quickly change their everyday life. Stores closed, restaurants shut down, grocery shopping become stressful, and people began having a hard to shopping for necessities like cleaning products and toilet paper.

However, it also forced everyone into thinking about their health more, wanting to improve immune systems, what the best ways to protect themselves and their families were.

Despite hand washing, staying home, and trying to not touch you face as much as possible, one of the next most popular options people tend to turn to are vitamins.

Vitamins play a key role in our bodies and certain vitamins are known to help fight a variety of conditions and illnesses. Some new research has begun to suggest that vitamin D plays one of the biggest roles in COVID-19.

Not only may vitamin D help prevent one from becoming sick with COVID-19, studies have also shown that people who have severely low vitamin D levels are much more likely to develop severe complications from this relentless virus.

How Vitamin D and COVID-19 are Related

Studies that have been led by Northwestern University have found that the connection between the virus and vitamin D is more connected and complex than initially thought.

After studying statistical data from a variety of countries who have experienced the biggest concentrations of cases, they found that countries that had higher mortality rates and had more people with lower levels of vitamin D.

More specifically, vitamin D and the cytokine storm, which is also known as a hyperinflammatory condition that occurs in the body when someone’s immune system is overactive.

A cytokine storm damages the lungs and leads to respiratory distress, and then death, in many patients. This means that when a patient dies from COVID-19 it is not because of the virus attacking the lungs. Rather, it is because the body is overwhelmed, leading to complications and an overactive and misdirected immune system response to the illness.

So, how does vitamin D begin to play a role in this situation?

The answer is simple, and it has to do with the positive effect that vitamin D has on the immune system.

Vitamin D has the ability to boost the human immune system and can also prevent the immune system from becoming overly active to the point where it becomes dangerous to patients.

Therefore, proper and healthy levels off vitamin D make play a key role in helping patients effectively recover from COVID-19 and not experience the severe complications that so many times lead to death.

What Vitamin D Does and Does Not Do for COVID-19

 

With all of this said, there are a few important things to distinguish between when it comes to the connection between COVID-19 and vitamin D. Vitamin D is not a cure and cannot be a complete safeguard against the virus.

  • While vitamin D is powerful and having healthy levels of vitamin D in the body will make your immune system stronger, it will not prevent you from contracting the illness. You can still contract COVID-19 even if you have healthy vitamin D levels.
  • But vitamin D does have a strong possibility to aid in the reduction of severe complications that often leads to death in patients that are diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • Therefore, increasing your vitamin D intake from fruits, veggies, and other wholesome foods is a good way to ensure that you have a healthy and properly functioning immune system. Including some foods like the following are great sources of vitamin D to help keep your body healthy and strong:

 

  • Salmon
  • Herring
  • Sardines
  • Cod liver oil
  • Canned tuna
  • Egg yolks
  • Mushrooms