Historically, Vitamin D has been great for support of immune function and protection against respiratory illnesses, so the big question is, can it prevent the contraction of the Coronavirus?
In simple terms, maybe. Not very helpful I know, but if there was even a 1% chance of it having a positive effect on your immune system, then don’t you think it’s worth a try?
We all know that the body’s first line of defence when contracting an illness is the Immune System. When trying to keep yourself healthy and virus-free, Vitamin D is up there with the top minerals and vitamins. Vitamin D enhances the functions of cells, like T-cells and macrophages, which protect your body against pathogens.
Vitamin D deficiency has led to higher susceptibility of immune-related conditions, diseases, infections and decreased lung function. These include Tuberculosis, COPD, Asthma, viral and bacterial respiratory infections. Although we call it a vitamin, Vitamin D is, in fact, a hormone we create in our body.
The best way to steer clear of Covid-19 is by following the government guidelines by staying home, following social distancing measures and continuing with vigorous hand washing routines. Still, studies have shown that an increase in your Vitamin D intake can have immune system stabilising qualities, as can recommended vitamins and minerals. Diet or supplementation can ensure your natural defences are fighting fit. Should you catch Coronavirus, you stand a much better chance of returning to optimal health.
The best way to ensure you’re receiving sufficient Vitamin D is to get out in the sunshine!
During the autumn and winter months, we may need to take a good quality supplement to absorb the correct levels, but when the opportunity arises, go and be outdoors. It comes from the ultraviolet rays from the sun, so it is essential to be safe and wear sunscreen. There are many foods you can incorporate to keep your levels of Vitamin D high too, such as:
- Oily fish like sardines, salmon, trout, herring, pilchards, eel and kippers
- Cod liver oil supplements; not to be taken during pregnancy
- Egg yolk, offal, meat and milk contain small amounts of Vitamin D
- Some yoghurts, breakfast cereals, margarine and infant formula, have added Vitamin D
To ensure calcium is absorbed correctly, Vitamin D must be present. Hence Vitamin D deficiency can be a contributing factor to the development of rickets and osteomalacia.
Darker skins, typically cultures from Asian, African, Afro-Caribbean and Middle Eastern descent, find Vitamin D absorption more difficult from the sun. It is advisable to take the recommended daily dose of Vitamin D while maintaining a mineral-rich diet, to armour your immune system against the Coronavirus.
It may not boost the immune system as such. It can only have a positive impact on your health if you ensure you take the correct dose of Vitamin D during these turbulent times.