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Video: What Is The Link Between Vitamin D And The Coronavirus?
Is there really a link between vitamin D and the coronavirus? The sunshine vitamin plays many important roles in the body and is known for its benefits on the immune system. It can therefore be very useful during a pandemic. Vitamin D is considered today to be a powerful hormone that acts in a manner comparable to steroids. This partly explains its far-reaching effects on human health.
Vitamin D and its countless benefits for human health
Vitamin D helps maintain nervous balance and brain health. In addition, it increases vitality throughout the body by fighting chronic fatigue, depression, stress and lack of energy. The sunshine vitamin acts as a powerful antioxidant and helps fight premature aging of cells. It strengthens the action of the immune system by increasing the response strength of white blood cells and their number. Vitamin D decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer's disease, decreases the effects of bad cholesterol, diabetes and high blood sugar.
Vitamin D deficiency is associated with serious conditions such as breast and colorectal cancer. If it is a deficiency, 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 problems. As everyone knows, vitamin D, which is also called "the sunshine vitamin", is synthesized naturally by exposure of the skin to sunlight. This means that without exposure to the sun, impairments can appear,especially if the confinement is prolonged.
Many researchers estimate that nearly 70% of Europeans lack vitamin D. France is particularly affected, with 80% of adults below 75 nmol / l (30ng / mL). As it is already clear, the sun is the first source. Sun exposure for 15 to 30 minutes per day (of the face and arms) is more than recommended. Since ultraviolet rays produce vitamin D, it's good to know what times of the day it's best metabolized. In summer, the hours to enjoy it are between 9:00 am and 11:00 am and between 3:00 pm and 6:00 pm. In winter, between 11:30 am and 3:00 pm.
The point is that the sun is an uneven source of vitamin D intake. It is therefore necessary to meet its daily needs through food or in the form of supplements. But since the sunshine vitamin is found in few foods, it is virtually impossible to meet all of its needs through food alone. For your information, the foods that contain it are: oily fish (salmon, sardines, mackerel), canned tuna, drinks and cereals fortified with vitamin D. As for the supplements, these are essential of the month of October to April for all. People at high risk of vitamin D deficiency should take it all year round. Generally, vitamin D supplements come in two forms: D2 and D3. It is D3, cholecalciferol which is to be privileged. On the absorption side, it is important to remember that vitamin D (like vitamins A, E and K) is fat soluble, which means that it needs fat to be absorbed in the intestine. If you have a condition that limits your gut's ability to absorb vitamin D, or if you have osteoporosis, consult your doctor who will determine the optimal dose of vitamin D supplements to take.
Vitamin D, is it a way to protect against the coronavirus?
Lately, a question keeps asking us: is there a link between vitamin D and the coronavirus? Since there is currently no cure for COVID-19, the possible possibility of being able to protect against the virus thanks to the vitamin of the sun, seems more and more interesting. So, could an extra dose of vitamin D increase our chances of resisting the coronavirus?
How can we explain the possible link between vitamin D and the coronavirus?
In our article dedicated to the functioning of the immune system, we paid special attention to the importance of vitamin D for immunity and immune defense. Now we'll make it even clearer. 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. And it's not without reason that the flu mostly occurs during winter and early spring, when vitamin D levels are lowest. During the flu season,when the lack of vitamin D is very present in the population, the influenza virus is the most virulent. And that's more than a theory! One study found that people who took vitamin D were less likely to get the flu than those who took a placebo.
A 2017 study, which was published in the British Medical Journal, showed that vitamin D supplementation could protect against acute lower respiratory infections. For your information, this study (link provided at the end of the article) was based on data from more than 11,000 patients. Analyzes of the results showed the benefits of daily or weekly vitamin D supplementation, compared to monthly intake. The effects of this supplementation were much more marked in patients with severe vitamin D deficiency.
Another study (link provided at the end of the article) related to vitamin D supplementation, shows that a dose of 20 to 50 micrograms per day, could be a way to protect against the coronavirus. Although the link between vitamin D deficiency and coronavirus risk has yet to be proven, the study authors believe that vitamin D supplementation could help limit contamination and flatten the effects of COVID-19. The study by Irish doctors also indicates that vitamin D supplementation suppresses the CD26 protein, considered to facilitate the entry of the virus into the host cell.
In addition, it is well known that ENT and bronchopulmonary infections are more common in children with the lowest vitamin D levels. This has been shown in several countries for nasopharyngitis, bronchiolitis or even pneumonia. It should also be noted that children who are born at term and in good health but have very low vitamin D levels are 6 times more likely to develop bronchiolitis one year after birth.
Although there is no data proving that vitamin D could reduce the risk of coronavirus, nor that it could mitigate the attack. However, daily vitamin D supplementation could be of real benefit, especially for the proven benefits of the sunshine vitamin on bone health, the immune system, and the preservation of brain and muscle function.
* To the study published in the British Medical Journal
* To the study published in the Irish Medical Journal