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Video: Vitamin D Intake Prevents Covid-19: True Or Not?
The coronavirus continues to spread and the majority of the world's population is still vulnerable to it. Although there are around 40 different covid-19 vaccines that are in clinical development, none of them are proven to protect the body against viral infection. However, scientists are continuing their research to find THE miracle cure. So how do you protect yourself from the coronavirus while waiting? Is vitamin and mineral supplementation a good idea? To answer your questions, Deavita.fr takes stock of a natural prevention reflex that is within everyone's reach: vitamin D intake!
Does Vitamin D Intake Really Help Prevent Coronavirus?
Since the confinement period, health experts recommend considering taking vitamin D throughout the year to strengthen the immune system. In the summer, many of us have had enough of it by spending most of our time in the sun. But while it's recognized for its many benefits on overall health, does vitamin D intake really help the body stay in shape during times of high contamination? In short, the sunshine vitamin (also known as the anti-rash vitamin or calciferol) is crucial for bone health and calcium metabolism in the body. Today, calciferol is also considered to be a powerful hormone acting in a manner comparable to steroids, which partly explains its far-reaching effects on human health. But is that enough to answer the main question of our article of the day? Let's see!
A little reminder on the coronavirus before diving into the heart of the matter …
As a reminder, Covid-19 is a disease caused by the Sars-Cov-2 virus. With many symptoms, the coronavirus normally manifests with a fever and signs of difficulty breathing (cough or shortness of breath). However, there are people infected with the virus who are asymptomatic, but who can transmit the disease to others. And although the death rate from covid-19 is believed to have peaked, the coronavirus continues to spread and agitate around the world.
Faced with the rapid spread of the virus and the many serious cases recorded, specialists are testing several vaccines and studying numerous therapeutic avenues to relieve patients' symptoms. According to a good number of immunologists, filling up with vitamins, minerals and probiotics represents a good preventive reflex to boost the immune system quite naturally during periods of high contamination. Obviously, this does not exempt us from having good hand hygiene and respecting barrier gestures.
What is vitamin D used for? Special features and benefits
Why take vitamin D? Being both a vitamin and a prohormone, calciferol exists in two forms in the body: D2 of plant origin (ergocalciferol) and D3 of animal origin (cholecalciferol). After the transformation it undergoes in the body, its only active form remains calcitriol. Granted largely by the sun, the sun vitamin is involved in the absorption of calcium and phosphorus by the intestines and kidneys. It also helps to:
- strengthen bones and teeth
- boost the immune system (hence the close link between vitamin D intake and the coronavirus)
- fight chronic fatigue
- maintain nervous balance and brain health
- reduce the risk of osteoporosis, psoriasis, epilepsy
- limit fractures in the event of a fall
- prevent respiratory infections
- fight against cell aging by acting as a powerful antioxidant
- relieve certain diseases (cardiovascular diseases, Alzheimer's disease, cancer)
Where can I find vitamin D?
Vitamin D deficiency is often associated with serious conditions such as breast and colorectal cancer. If it is a deficit, a drop in immunity is noticed. Insufficiency, on the other hand, can cause bone and muscle wasting. In young children, vitamin D deficiency can lead to defects in bone mineralization and rickets. In adults, vitamin D deficiency can lead to osteoporosis. Vitamin D deficiency can also have serious consequences for the body such as immune problems, loss of energy and sleep disturbances.
It is estimated that exposure to the sun for 15 minutes without sunscreen can provide the required dose of vitamin D. However, this duration may vary depending on the type of skin (black, white), the season and the time to which you are exposed. For your information, people with darker skin take almost double the time to synthesize vitamin D compared to people with fair skin. During the winter, when the sun is lower, the risk of having a vitamin D deficiency increases. Having said that, ultraviolet rays are not a reliable source of calciferol. Well, not always …
Foods rich in vitamin D to favor
Fortunately, there are foods rich in vitamin D that can be preferred to compensate for the lack of sun. The anti-rickety vitamin is found in particular in certain fish (salmon, swordfish, eel, bluefin tuna, trout, herring, halibut), in egg yolk, in beef liver and fortified milk. However, the quantity found is absolutely insufficient to fill a deficiency. This is why dairy manufacturers in North America routinely add small amounts of vitamin D to milk and margarine to prevent illnesses linked to calciferol deficiency.
Vitamin D supplementation
Certainly, few foods provide a significant amount of calciferol (calcium carrier). In this case, specialists recommend daily vitamin D supplementation, especially for the elderly. Experts say people under 50 need a supplement of 400 to 1000 units of vitamin D and a dietary calcium intake of 1200 mg. People over 50, on the other hand, should take at least 600 units of calciferol and 1200 mg of calcium. As for the maximum dose of vitamin D3 and D2 for an adult, it is estimated at 2000 units per day!
Before opting for supplementation, it is best to measure your blood level in vitamin D. A circulating level of at least 50 nmol / l is generally recommended to optimize bone mineralization and avoid osteoporosis and a level above 75 nmol / l for optimal general health. If your level is lower, daily vitamin D supplementation becomes essential.
Vitamin D in pills or liquid?
Calciferol usually comes either in liquid form or in pill form. The ideal will be to choose vitamin D in liquid form, because it dissolves better and faster. Likewise, it is essential to choose a supplement that contains only calciferol. Liver oil should be avoided. Although it contains vitamin D, it is intended to be toxic and may cause an overdose due to its high vitamin A level.
What about the possible link between the coronavirus and vitamin D deficiency?
The importance of vitamin D for the proper functioning of the immune system has been mentioned several times. We therefore take advantage of the subject of the current article to explain in more detail the possible link between the antirachitic vitamin, immunity and viral infections. T lymphocytes, cells that are specifically involved in monitoring the body's cells and, more specifically, in eliminating infected cells, must first find vitamin D and attach it to a receptor, in order to that the defense process be launched. In short, it is vitamin D that activates our body's defense system.
Having said that, it's made clear why the flu mostly occurs during the winter months and early spring, when vitamin D levels are naturally reduced due to shorter days, the angle of the sun's rays, and the lower exposure of the skin. During this vulnerable period, viral infections of the respiratory tract are more common. It is therefore believed that vitamin D intake plays a major role in the regulation of immune defenses, both in adults and in children. Indeed, several studies show that people taking vitamin D are less likely to get an acute respiratory infection than those taking a placebo.
In this context, it is well known that ENT and bronchopulmonary infections are the main cause of death in children under 5 years of age. They usually affect children with very low vitamin D levels. This has been shown in several countries for nasopharyngitis, bronchiolitis or even pneumonia. It should also be noted that the youngest among us who are healthy full term but with vitamin D deficiency are 6 times more likely to develop bronchiolitis one year after birth. So, contrary to popular belief that covid-19 only affects the elderly, children, too, can be infected with and transmit the coronavirus.
Since the start of the pandemic, numerous scientific publications have shown that a small amount of calciferol (a dose of 20 to 50 micrograms) per day can be a way to protect against covid-19. Although a strong link between vitamin D deficiency and the risk of coronavirus has not yet been proven, specialists believe that vitamin D supplementation (in pills, capsules, gout) could help limit contamination and flatten the negative effects of the virus. Moreover, an Irish study indicates that vitamin D supplementation suppresses the CD26 protein, considered to facilitate the entry of the virus into the host cell.
In conclusion, the sunshine vitamin is essential for every organism for its beneficial effect on strengthening the immune system, despite the fact that there is still no data proving that calciferol could be considered as a preventive or curative treatment of the 'viral infection. What is certain is that its production by the body decreases with each new age group. However, dietary supplements and natural sources of vitamin D are varied enough that everyone can find a solution that works for them to maintain their health during the flu season.