Should you have your vitamin D levels checked? Is taking a supplement enough to protect yourself, or at least to lower your chance of getting COVID-19? Studies reveals nine out of 10 COVID-19 deaths could have been prevented if people had adequate Vitamin D levels. Based on studies, it’s reasonable for children and adults to take an adequate amount of vitamin D as recommended by the Endocrine Society to help reduce risk for acquiring the virus, as well as reducing morbidity and mortality if a child or adult develops COVID-19.
In the winter, Vitamin D levels are reduced because fewer people are outside and not soaking it up from the sun, the studies noted. People need at least 20 minutes of sunlight every day to get an adequate amount, which is why a supplement is often needed to get to a healthy level.
In fact, some hospitals are even using vitamins as a treatment for COVID-19, not just prevention.
“Vitamin D treatment should be recommended in COVID-19 patients with low levels of vitamin D circulating in the blood since this approach might have beneficial effects in both the musculoskeletal and the immune system,” José L. Hernández, PhD, of the University of Cantabria in Santander, Spain said in a statement.
For instance, dozens of recent studies have shown taking Vitamin D is an easy way to fight COVID-19 and your doctor can request a blood test to check your overall vitamin levels, Dr. Peter Osborne with Origins Nutrition Center in Sugar Land, Texas, said
"A lot of doctors are now learning this and suggesting this as a form of treatment. At the East Virginia School of Medicine there’s a COVID protocol that includes Vitamin D, Osborne said.
So if you're hospitalized for COVID, they're automatically putting you on between 20,000 and 60,000 units of Vitamin D. This is part of their standard of care protocol in that hospital system, he said.
Vitamin D is one of the most simple and affordable ways to help you stay healthy, Osborne said.
"With vitamin D, there's a therapy that can be done that I recommend, and it's 1,000 international units (IU) of vitamin D per pound. So if you're 100 pounds, you would take 100,000 international units of vitamin D for three days. After that, you don't have to keep taking those higher doses, but three days of high dose vitamin D will elevate your serum vitamin D levels to adequate levels," Osborne explained.
He stressed everyone should think of boosting their immune systems using four different supplements – Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Zinc and Quercetin, a natural bioflavonoid that opens up the cells in your body so zinc can get inside.
While some hospitals are already treating COVID patients with all four of the supplements, Osborne suggested a few dietary sources of vitamin D like cod liver oil, fatty fish and mushrooms could assist people in their goal to reach the recommended daily allowance, but warned you would have to eat a lot of it.
In the research, men had lower vitamin D levels compared to women.
People who had COVID-19 and lower vitamin D levels also had higher inflammatory markers such as ferritin and D-dimer. Those have been linkedTrusted Source to poor COVID-19 outcomes.
Comorbidities such as hypertension, diabetes, and obesity are associated with low vitamin D status, said Dr. Konrad Biesalski, a professor at the University of Hohenheim who has evaluated vitamin D and COVID-19.