You’ve heard that vitamin D deficiency is the root cause of nearly all health problems. And replenishing this vitamin deficiency can cure all diseases. In 2020 (and now 2021), which is natural, vitamin D began to be promoted as a means of preventing coronavirus. We decided to find out if vitamin D will save you from COVID-19.
What is Vitamin D
Vitamin D is called the “sunshine vitamin”. Indeed, this vitamin is formed by us under the influence of ultraviolet radiation on our skin. In addition, we can get it from food – everything goes into one piggy bank.
The most important function for which vitamin D is responsible is the formation and renewal of bone tissue, because without it, neither calcium nor phosphorus is absorbed in the body. But he has many other tasks as well. Among them are the regulation of cell division and the control of cell differentiation, the regulation of the immune response and the secretion of hormones.
Thousands of studies show that a lack of vitamin D increases the risk of heart disease, multiple sclerosis, certain cancers and even psoriasis.
We talked in detail about this vitamin.
Vitamin D against Covid-19
During an epidemic, we are less exposed to the sun
Not so long ago, news came out : in Britain, due to the coronavirus epidemic, the government will distribute a four-month supply of vitamin D free of charge to more than 2.5 million people who are potentially deficient in this vitamin.
“Due to the incredible sacrifices the British people have made in the fight against the virus, many of us have spent more time indoors this year and may be vitamin D deficient,” Health and Human Services Secretary Matt Hancock expressed concern.
Research on the relationship between vitamin D and the protective function of the body against Covid-19 is still actively ongoing, as a group of scientists from Queen Mary University of London is studying the impact of correcting vitamin D deficiency in winter on reducing the risk and / or severity of Covid-19 and other acute respiratory infections.
There are studies in which researchers looked at whether people with vitamin D deficiency were more likely to get covid. There were also studies that looked at how severely people with and without vitamin D deficiency got sick . The results were contradictory : according to some sources, vitamin D deficiency was indeed associated with the incidence of covid and a poor prognosis, according to others – not.
But back in November, a meta-analysis came out , which says that the risk of dying from complications of COVID-19 is higher for those who are deficient in vitamin D.
There are also theoretical grounds for pinning some hopes on vitamin D and studying its effect on the incidence of covid and the course of the disease. In particular, vitamin D is involved in the work of the immune system and helps it to cope , including with viral infections, as well as prevent an overly violent reaction, which can also harm a person.
How to get vitamin D
As we have said, to get vitamin D in two ways – in the sun and eat foods high in vitamin D .
If you live in Russia, where in most regions the number of sunny days is small, then you almost certainly experience vitamin D deficiency.People who live north of latitude 40, and this is all of Russia, cannot produce vitamin D in the skin from November to March due to insufficient solar radiation.
Getting enough vitamin D from food is also not easy. It is difficult to compose a diet from foods in which it is contained in large quantities, because it is mainly fatty fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, sardines). Some vitamin D is found in beef liver, mushrooms, cheese, and egg yolks.
You can also get vitamin D by taking medications . In the UK, where there is also little sun, doctors recommend taking extra vitamin D supplements from October to March. In Russia, they believe that you constantly need to take as much as, in principle, a person needs to consume: up to 50 years old – 600-800 international units (15-20 micrograms), after 50 years – 800-1000 international units (20-25 micrograms), pregnant women and lactating women, 800–1200 IU (20–30 micrograms).
In Russia, there are no programs to provide the population with vitamin D, so we can only independently choose and buy a vitamin D supplement .
At the same time, it is definitely not worth going over with vitamin D. Large doses can be dangerous – for example, lead to acute poisoning. Chronic toxicity can cause pain, bone demineralization, and nephrocalcinosis. Vitamin D is fat-soluble, that is, its excess is not excreted in the urine.
On the other hand, in order for an overdose to occur, you need to drip yourself openly more than indicated in the instructions, 10 or more times – you will not accidentally do this. We do not recommend doing this on purpose.
Due to the fact that for the formation of vitamin D in the body we need sunlight, and during the pandemic, we began to be more indoors, the risk of vitamin D deficiency increased. And this deficit is harmful to our body, it needs to be replenished.
Research on the effects of vitamin D on morbidity and disease is not yet definitive on this issue. But we can already conclude that during the COVID-19 epidemic, it is worth avoiding vitamin D deficiency. But also not to consume it excessively “just in case.” However, at any other time.