Vitamin D Levels May Influence COVID-19 Death rate
A new study finds a connection between Vitamin D levels and the COVID-19 death rate.
When the crisis started, no one knew anything. Some said we should start taking vitamins to strengthen our immune system, others said they didn't help. People started buying tons of vitamins and pills they'd heard about on TV, thinking they might help. Some people hurt themselves by taking pills they shouldn't have. We're strongly recommending you don't take any pills or supplements without discussing it with your doctor first.
Studies have shown a link between Vitamin D Levels and Covid-19 Death Rate.
A team of researchers led by Northwestern University studied data from hospitals in China, France, Germany, Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. They found that patients from countries with high mortality rates, like Italy, Spain, and the UK had lower levels of Vitamin D compared to those from countries that weren't so critically affected.
The scientists also found a strong link between Vit D Levels and cytokine storm, a hyperinflammatory condition caused by an overactive immune system.
"Cytokine storm can severely damage lungs and lead to acute respiratory distress syndrome and death in patients," Ali Daneshkhah, a postdoctoral research associate at Northwestern's McCormick School of Engineering, said in a statement. "This is what seems to kill a majority of COVID-19 patients, not the destruction of the lungs by the virus itself. It is the complications from the misdirected fire from the immune system."
In Europe, the highest average Vitamin D levels are found in the Northern countries, where people consume plenty of cod liver, take vitamin D supplements, and don't avoid staying in the sun. These countries had the lowest numbers of COVID-19 cases in Europe and also the lowest mortality rates per head of population.
How to increase your Vitamin D levels.
1. Spend time in sunlight.
Vitamin D is also known as the "Sunshine vitamin", as the sun is the best source of Vit D. In your skin there a type of cholesterol that functions as a precursor to Vitamin D. When it is exposed to UV-B radiation from the sun, it turns into Vitamin D. Compared to Vitamin D from food or supplements, sun-derived vitamin D circulates for twice as long. However, the quantity of Vit D your body can produce depends on several variables. For example, people with darker skin need to spend a lot more time in the sun to produce Vitamin D, because their skin has more melanin, which can inhibit the production of Vit D. Age also matters. As you grow older, vitamin D production becomes less efficient.
2. Eat fatty fish and seafood.
Salmon, tuna, mackerel, oysters, shrimp, sardines, anchovies, are all great natural sources of Vitamin D.
3. Eat mushrooms.
Like humans, mushrooms also produce Vitamin D upon exposure to sunlight. The form of Vit D produced by mushrooms is different and not as efficient, but it's still good for you. Wild mushrooms typically have more vitamin D than commercially grown ones, due to sunlight exposure. However, make sure you buy them from trusted sources, as there are many poisonous mushrooms which can be dangerous to humans.
4. Eat egg yolks.
Egg yolks are another natural source of Vitamin D. Choose free-range and pastured eggs because chickens with access to sunlight produce more Vitamin D in their eggs than those staying indoors.
You can take supplements, especially if you are a vegan and don't enough Vitamin D from food. There are plenty of options, but you should check your levels before supplementing and pick the appropriate dose after consulting your doctor.