It is now 2 months since the World Health Organization declared a global Coronavirus pandemic.
What do we know so far? We know that this is a highly virulent and destructive virus with mortality rates as high as 3.6%.
There has been much discussion about Vitamin D supplements.
It is discussed that low vitamin D levels predispose to low immunity that makes a person more susceptible to COVID-19, the multisystemic disease caused by the Coronavirus. Certainly, we know that Vitamin D does not prevent COVID-19. We know that normal Vitamin D levels are associated with less severe COVID-19 disease.
Vitamin D foods and supplements
Foods that contain Vitamin D include fatty fish like salmon, sardines, tuna, and egg yolk. Children should be given one egg daily.
Typical doses of Vitamin D for children is 400 units daily.
For ages 18 years and above, Vitamin D dose is 800 units to 1000 units daily.
Vitamin D prescribed doses to treat laboratory test confirmed Vitamin D deficiency may be higher. Excess doses of Vitamin D for prolonged periods can predispose to kidney stone formation and vascular calcium buildup. Maintenance doses of Vitamin D of more than 1000 units per day in kids or more than 4000 units per day in adults are considered harmful.
Certainly, a good multivitamin will contain Vitamin D that meets the daily requirement, so that additional supplementation is not required.
Here are the summaries of 2 clinical research papers on Vitamin D in relation to COVID.
In winter climates, there is reduced exposure to sun rays which help the skin to produce vitamin D. During the stay at home period there was reduced outdoor movement and reduced exposure to sun rays to make vitamin D. So it has become essential to take a daily vitamin D supplement. Authors note the guidelines for Vitamin D supplementation at 400 IU/day for the UK and 600 IU/day for the USA (800 IU for >70 years) and the European Union (EU).
Low vitamin D has been linked with respiratory infections due to reduced immunity. This article discusses maintaining normal vitamin d to boost the immune system.
Lanham-New SA, Webb AR, Cashman KD, et alVitamin D and SARS-CoV-2 virus/COVID-19 diseaseBMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health 2020;bmjnph-2020-000089. doi: 10.1136/bmjnph-2020-000089
Kohlmeier MAvoidance of vitamin D deficiency to slow the COVID-19 pandemicBMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health 2020;bmjnph-2020-000096. doi: 10.1136/bmjnph-2020-000096