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Getting More Vitamin D Could Protect Us From The Coronavirus

Vitamin D favors the production of anti-viral substances in the body. That is why it is so important that, right now, we ensure a reasonable dose. How do we do it if in confinement we cannot go out in the sun?

Vitamin D, the same, which is essential for healthy bones, could improve the prognosis of COVID-19 or even have a protective effect against the disease.

This is what is deduced from very preliminary studies (therefore they must be taken with tweezers) that have observed that the severe patients of COVID-19 suffered hypovitaminosis D.

Something that, and without the intention of throwing away the investigations, is not too strange Because in Spain, for example, 40% of the adult population suffers from vitamin D deficiency and the percentage rises to 80% in people over 65 years of age.

What is true is that vitamin D plays a vital role in the immune system. Therefore, its possible involvement in the evolution of a viral infection caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus causing COVID-19 is more than feasible.

On the other hand, if the levels of this vitamin are usually low among Spaniards (lack of sun exposure is the leading cause), now that we come from winter and being confined at home, they must be on the ground. A simple analysis would be enough to verify it.

The protective role of vitamin D and how to obtain optimal levels during confinement.

1. How Vitamin D Protects Us

COVID-19 is a new disease, and there are many uncertainties about it. There is scientific evidence that optimal levels of vitamin D in the blood protect us from viral infections such as influenza and may even improve the prognosis of others such as hepatitis or AIDS. And this is so, basically for a reason:

Vitamin D activates the manufacture of anti-viral substances such as cathelicidins and defensins, which are produced by white blood cells and whose objective is to neutralize viruses, thus preventing them from infecting cells.

Vitamin D increases the production of anti-viral substances.

Therefore, the better our vitamin D levels, the better our body will respond to a viral infection, probably also caused by this coronavirus.

2. Why Are We Lacking Vitamin D

90% of our vitamin D is activated in the skin through sun exposure.

Lacking Vitamin D

Only 10% comes from diet.

3. How to Get It Now That We Are Home

If the vitamin D switch turns on sunbathing, we should force ourselves to do it despite confinement.

  • Where. A garden, patio, or balcony is enough to expose yourself a little each day to the sun. And if you don’t have these options, identify that wonderfully sunny window at home, open it (the glass filters some of the radiation), and take your sunbath next to it. Take the opportunity to read, relax, listen to music while the sun caresses your skin.
  • How. We have already said that this vitamin is activated through the skin, so the more surface you expose the better. Wear a swimsuit or at least a short-sleeve or shorts. Of course, do not use sunscreen or makeup (most have sun protection factor).
  • How long. A half-hour is sufficient. In winter it should be done at the central hours of the day because the radiation is weak, while in summer those hours should be avoided because you could get burned. Now a good time could be 11 in the morning or 5 in the afternoon. Remember that brown skin needs more time in the sun because they have more melanin and this makes them a shield against vitamin D activation.

4. How to Get It Now That We Are Home

If the vitamin D switch turns on sunbathing, we should force ourselves to do it despite confinement.

Where. A garden, patio, or balcony is enough to expose yourself a little each day to the sun. And if you don’t have these options, identify that wonderfully sunny window at home, open it (the glass filters some of the radiation), and take your sunbath next to it.

sunny window at home

Take the opportunity to read, relax, listen to music while the sun caresses your skin. If you live in a city, it absorbs pollution of this ultraviolet radiation, so it will cost you more to achieve optimal vitamin D levels.

If you smoke, the levels are also lower because tobacco interferes with the synthesis of vitamin D.
And we must not forget that with age, the ability to synthesize vitamin D is reduced.

This is why it is so important for older people to sunbathe every day. They are the leading risk group for coronaviruses and the ones with the worst prognosis.

5. To What Extent Does Feeding Help

it is impossible to obtain the vitamin D we need only through food. Still, it does not hurt to remember the ones that contain it the most and keep them in mind on our menus:

      • Fat dairy like butter or cheese.
      • Bluefish.
      • Egg yolk.

When to Take Supplements

Costa advises doing tests to check our levels and taking supplements if there is a deficiency (consulting the doctor before doing so, it should be he who will guide you).

  • Ideally, do it in the spring to check your levels after winter and after summer to determine if they have risen enough sun exposure.
  • The tests’ results will determine if you have to take supplements throughout the year or only in the cold months when the deficiency is most significant.
  • And people who are already scheduled to take supplements every 15 days or once a month, now that we are confined, it is even more important not to stop doing it.

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