I read this article today about a small Spanish study confirming aspects of vitamin D that have been published within the past several months regarding COVID-19. Those with adequate amounts of vitamin D in their bodies have less risk of catching the SARS-CoV-2 virus and fewer complications compared to those deficient in vitamin D.
Vitamin D Study
https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2770157 was published last month. It substantiates the correlation between those deficient in vitamin D and those with adequate levels of vitamin D regarding the risk of COVID-19 infection.
The Spanish study
https://academic.oup.com/jcem/advance-article/doi/10.1210/clinem/dgaa733/5934827 was published this week by the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. The purpose of this study done at the University of Cantabria in Santander, Spain was to analyze vitamin D levels in COVID-19 hospitalized patients to determine the influence of vitamin D on infection and disease severity.
The findings revealed that 80% of these patients did not have adequate levels of vitamin D in their blood. This same group of vitamin D deficient patients also had higher inflammatory markers (ferritin and D-dimer) which have predicted poorer COVID-19 recoveries.
Many studies have pointed out that patients with adequate levels of vitamin D tend to have a lower risk of death and a significantly reduced risk of complications. If this is true in study after study, why are these higher risk COVID-19 hospitalized patients not given vitamin D to bolster their recoveries?
Unless there are randomized clinical trials to prove or disprove the influence of vitamin D and COVID-19 infection and level of complications, there will be no vitamin D supplementation given to patients suffering from COVID-19. As much as a medical or health scientist wants to use testimonial data to act, their hands are tied because no study corroborates their theories.
Comorbidities and Vitamin D
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352364620300067?via%3Dihub This article is one of the better ones that I have read when researching vitamin D, immunity, and COVID-19. It is long and a bit technical, but well worth the time if you want details.
Hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and obesity are the three primary comorbidities associated with increased risk of COVID-19 infection and mortality. The article cited above states that there is ample evidence that hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and metabolic syndrome are associated with lower vitamin D plasma levels. It also stated that lockdowns have kept people away from sunlight which has exacerbated the human levels of vitamin D.
Forms of Vitamin D3
https://bit.ly/3mGONDq Vitamin D, depending on the form stabilized in the body, has a half-life of 15 hours to 15 days. Cholecalciferol is the vitamin D3 our bodies produced from exposure to the sun. It can also be found in some foods and supplements.
Calcidiol (25-hydroxyvitamin D3) is a prehormone made in the liver. It is not biologically active, but plentiful in our blood plasma. Calcitriol (1,25 hydroxyvitamin D3) is activated from calcidiol made in the kidneys and some tissues. Calcitriol is the most potent steroid hormone in the human body.
Vitamin D Deficiency
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4143492/ estimates that around one billion people on earth are deficient in vitamin D. In America, studies have shown that roughly 40% of adults are deficient in vitamin D.
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21310306/ states that nearly 70% of Hispanics and over 80% of African Americans are vitamin D deficient. The main reason is the skin color. The lighter the skin tone, the more rapidly the body converts sunlight into vitamin D.
A secondary reason is exposure to the sun. Many people live in latitudes where available sunlight is limited year-round. Living closer to the equator gives more availability to sunlight.
Other than geographic location and skin color, elderly, obese, diet, staying indoors, and using sunscreen are high-risk factors for being vitamin D deficient.
I am an advocate for annual physicals. I strongly recommend c-reactive protein, homocysteine, and vitamin D blood tests are taken for these yearly health assessments. If you do not know your baseline – where your health is, how can you improve it? Vitamin D is critical for many aspects of health, most importantly the regulation of your immune system.
Do not go to the store and buy high-dose vitamin D and start taking them without knowing where you are today. You will only know that if you get the proper vitamin D blood test. You also want to ensure that increasing your vitamin D plasma levels does not interfere with any medications or maladies you have. Your doctor should provide medical advice prior to you increasing your vitamin D levels.
You can certainly eat healthy, nutritionally balanced foods along with moderate exposure to sunlight as part of a new lifestyle (also approved by your physician). There are many things we can do to protect ourselves during this pandemic and vitamin D supplementation in one of them.
Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughin – RedOLaughlin.com