Known as the ‘sunshine vitamin’, vitamin D could well be your best Protection against Coronavirus
In an earlier blog, 9 ways to protect yourself against Coronavirus, we chatted about recommended ways to strengthen your immunity and give yourself the best shot against this new alien invader.
Coming in at number six was Vitamin D. Could this be your secret weapon against Covid-19?
Is Vitamin D the silver bullet?
It seems that this fat-soluble, and somewhat elusive, vitamin is a major player in protecting your lungs against infections like the common cold, flu and pneumonia.
Clinical studies have shown that giving patients with pneumonia vitamin D can speed up their recovery as well as reduce the severity of the disease.
Not surprisingly, vitamin D’s ability to conquer and inhibit lung diseases has got much more focus lately in how it shapes up in the war being raged against Coronavirus.
While there are still no definitive clinical trials proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that vitamin D can prevent you from falling victim to Covid-19, or at least only having a mild infection if you do get exposed to it, there is too much coincidence and correlation to ignore.
Vitamin D could well be your secret weapon to give you the protection you need right now.
A recent Irish study sheds new light on vitamin D
Ireland’s Trinity University conducted “The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing” (TILDE) which unearthed some interesting facts regarding Covid-19 and vitamin D, especially in those over 60.
- It is essential for bone and muscle health
- It may help prevent respiratory infections in those with low vitamin D levels
- It is seasonal and cannot be made during winter-time; the amount in summer time is subject to sunshine, weather and other factors
What are the rates of deficiency in older adults in Ireland?
- 47% of all adults aged 85 and over are deficient in winter
- 27% of the over 70’s who are ‘cocooning’ are likely to be deficient
- 1 in 8 (13%) adults over 55 are deficient all year round
Who is at risk of Vitamin D deficiency in Ireland?
- Those who are housebound or confined, with little sun exposure and/or eat inadequate amounts of fortified foods
- People who don’t take vitamin D supplements – currently over 91% of older adults 55+ do not take a supplement during the winter
- Only 4% of men and 15% of women take a supplement
- People who are obese, physically inactive, have asthma or chronic lung disease
Where do we find vitamin D?
Vitamin D is made in the skin from 10-15 minutes per day of sun exposure (in countries like Ireland, this is only from late March to late September)
Vitamin D is available in oily fish (salmon, mackerel, tuna), eggs, liver, fortified foods such as cereals and dairy products – be sure to check the labels.
How much vitamin D should you be taking?
According to the TILDE study:
- 10 ug (400 IU) is the minimum recommended daily during the wintertime
- Between 15 -20 ug (800-1,000 IU/day) recommended for most at-risk groups
Professor Rose Anne Kenny, part of the TILDE team, quoted in a recent article:
“In England, Scotland and Wales, public health bodies have revised recommendations since the COVID-19 outbreak. Recommendations now state that all adults should take at least 400 IU vitamin D daily.”
Are you Taking enough Vitamin D?
These are common symptoms that could show your vitamin D levels are too low:
- Fatigue and tiredness – a general lack of energy.
- General aches and pains, especially in your bones and your back
- Depression (winter blues?)
- Muscle pain and weakness
- Your wounds take longer to heal
- Low bone density and osteoporosis – low vitamin D as well as a lack of calcium
- Suffering from frequent infections
- Hair loss or alopecia
Can You Get Too much of a good thing?
While you cannot overdose on natural vitamin D from sunshine and the food you eat, you can take too much vitamin D via supplements – especially if the vitamin D levels are stronger than stated on the packaging.
To overdose on this vital vitamin, you’d need to exceed the daily recommended dose of 400 IU by at least 10 times.
So unless you’re taking vast amounts, there’s very little chance of you harming yourself with the recommended dosage, and every chance of you giving yourself the best protection you can right now.
Please make sure you’re getting your recommended vitamin D dose daily. It could well be your secret weapon against Covid-19.
And that ‘s what I wish for you more than anything.
Please bear in mind:
Not all products are created equal – make sure you purchase your supplements from a reliable source, with the recommended dosage.
As with any supplement, please always chat to your doctor beforehand, especially if you are on other medications.
As an Amazon Associate, I may earn a small commission from qualifying purchases. There is no extra cost to you.