It is worrying to see that many people still have low levels of vitamin D. It is the easiest to obtain, and yet you face this problem. Thousands of genes in our body are affected by the presence of vitamin D. In times of COVID-19, it is even more important because it is related to immunity. Among the functions and forms of protection related to the nutrient, we can mention:
- Increased production of the CD31 molecule, reducing the risk of autoimmune diseases
- Reduced risk of various types of cancer by up to 60%
- Reduced risk of Parkinson’s disease
- Improves bone and muscle health
- Maintains good testosterone levels in men.
With all these benefits, it is not surprising that the vitamin is seen as an ally in the fight against the novel coronavirus. Recent research seems to support this statement.
Vitamin D and COVID-19 – New Research
Researchers at Anglia Ruskin University, in the United Kingdom, evaluated in patients who were infected with the new coronavirus and the relationship of the disease with their vitamin D levels. It was clear that in people with low levels of this vitamin, both COVID-19 and other acute diseases of the respiratory tract may be more dangerous.
Scientists recall an important fact: Italy and Spain, two of the countries with the highest death rates from COVID-19, are also where the population has lower levels of vitamin D than in other European countries. In these two countries, further south of the continent, the Sun is stronger, and the elderly mainly tend to avoid it.
On the other hand, in northern Europe, with the weaker sun, people tend to be more exposed. At the same time, in these places, the population consumes more cod liver oil, rich in vitamin D, and vitamin supplements. Not by chance, it is the region where the mortality from the disease was lower.
How does vitamin D work in preventing coronavirus?
The answer is not complicated, nor a miracle. A known effect of vitamin D is its influence on white blood cells, the active agents of our immunity. Good levels of the vitamin prevent the blood cells from releasing inflammatory cytokines in large quantities.
The most recent research shows that COVID-19 causes exactly the same thing: the excess release of these cytokines. In conjunction with the activity of white blood cells, the effects are very dangerous. With vitamin D up to date, your body will know how to deal with the situation better if it is infected by the virus. And the best part: you already know how to improve your vitamin levels!
Sunbathe consciously and your body will produce it properly. You should expose large portions of skin to the sun, without sunscreen, between 10 am and 3 pm. I know you were told it was bad, but it is quite the opposite.
The conscience that is asked for is in relation to time. Stay only until your skin looks rosy, or at most 20 minutes, as it depends on each person’s skin tone. You can also protect with fragile areas more fragile areas, such as the face and around the eyes, which will not harm the production of the vitamin. So, enjoy the sun! It is essential to obtain good levels of vitamin D and guarantee you an additional factor of protection against COVID-19.
Ilie PC, Stefanescu S, Smith L. The role of vitamin D in the prevention of coronavirus disease 2019 infection and mortality [published online ahead of print, 2020 May 6]. Aging Clin Exp Res. 2020;1‐4. doi:10.1007/s40520-020-01570-8