Vitamin D and the Fight Against COVID
Your daily dose of vitamin D can help protect you from the nasty effects of COVID-19. Now that fall is setting in, that means cooler weather, more indoor activities, and more chances to catch any virus, including the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Spending time indoors and time change overall also means that we are absorbing less vitamin D since we are spending less time in the sun. The harsh truth is that while the warm weather and long days of sunshine are coming to an end, the COVID-19 pandemic is not going away in the foreseeable future.
Vitamin D and COVID-19
Recent research demonstrates that those with higher levels of vitamin D are at lower risk of infection from COVID-19. Individuals with lower levels of vitamin D have a higher chance of testing positive for the Coronavirus and are more likely to have severe symptoms. Vitamin D is critical to the function and success of your immune system, so take that into account as you spend more time indoors and away from the sun. As with anything, having too much vitamin D is possible, so before starting a daily regime make sure you get a simple blood test and the recommended dose by your doctor. Never forget that staying out in the sun also helps increase your vitamin D level, too.
It is better to get vitamin D from natural sources (food and sun) before taking supplements. Lastly, the benefits of vitamin D will help boost your immune system and will increase the protection you need against COVID.
COVID-19 and Your Immune System
Understanding the immune system overall is critical to also understanding how it will react and respond to the COVID-19 virus. Our immune system works essentially in two parts:
1) Our skin and mucus act as natural barriers to germs which help protect and fight against any infection attacking our body. This is the body’s first act of defense, and it is immediate.
2) The adaptive response reacts at a slower pace as a virus or disease enters your body. It does, however, fight against whatever you have contacted but your immune response will begin to build antibodies to better protect against that specific infection in the future.
COVID-19 is a new virus, but researchers are still studying to find out why some people get very sick from the virus while others show mild symptoms or no symptoms of it at all. Everyone’s body and immune system are different. If your immune system is already fighting a disease or infection, it may be too preoccupied to fight as actively in defense against new infections. These are what we know as co-morbidities.
While the scientists are busy studying COVID-19 and how it impacts people’s bodies and immune systems, let’s re-focus back to protecting against COVID-19 through a healthy immune system and vitamin D.
What can you do to boost your immune system?
- Get enough sleep
- Exercise regularly
- Eat a healthy diet
- Drink enough fluids, especially water
- Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a nutrient needed to support bone and teeth health, growth, and function. Vitamin D aids in the regulation and absorption of calcium so that bones can maintain their density and mass, too. Calcium is what makes up most your bones, and it can only be absorbed when vitamin D is present in the body – see why it is important now?
Vitamin D comes from the following sources:
- The sun
- Foods such as, milk, fortified foods, and fatty fish
So what impacts your vitamin D levels then? It is more than you think!
- Where you live/amount of sun exposure year-round
- Daily food intake
- Health conditions
- Skin color
Not only does vitamin D support bone health, but also your immune health, too – hence why it can aid in shielding you from COVID-19.
Let’s check out some of the benefits of vitamin D.
- Improved mood
- Increased calcium absorption
- Healthy bones and teeth
- Boosted weight loss
- Reduced depression/symptoms of depression
- Improved function of immune system
- Reduced risk of disease/infection
Time for a Recap
Vitamin D is vital for your bone, teeth, and immune health. The more normalized your vitamin D levels, the more you are decreasing your risk for testing positive for COVID-19 and/or reducing your risk of severe symptoms.
When vitamin D boosts your immune health, your immune system is being set up for success in fighting against illness and infection. Why not take the opportunity to strengthen your bones and boost your immune system at the same time?
You should take every opportunity that is available to help protect yourself against COVID-19 as we continue to live through this pandemic. Be conscious of your levels, talk to your doctor, make note of your routine, and decide where you can improve your vitamin D intake, even if it is a combination of sunshine, food, and supplements.