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Low Vitamin D May Increase Risk and Severity of COVID-19



Dr. Gabe Markin

Vitamin D deficiency increases the risk of infection with COVID-19 and death from complications and illness.
• In a study of 500 patients, patients with low blood levels of hydroxyvitamin D (<20 ng / mL) were twice as likely to develop COVID-19 as normal patients (<20 ng / mL).JAMA Netw Open, September 3, 2020, 3 (9): e2019722). Hydroxyvitamin D is measured in place of vitamin D itself. This is because vitamin D levels do not drop until the vitamin is already severely depleted.
• Vitamin D suppresses the growth of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) in tissue culture (Int J Mol Sci, 2019; 20: 1–17).
• COVID-19 can kill people by causing an excess immune system called a “cytokine storm”. Vitamin D is a helper T cell and an inflammatory cytokine (APMI, 2019; 127: 681–687), and by increasing anti-inflammatory cytokines (Nutrients, 2020; 12: E236).
• Vitamin D deficiency is a comorbidity of COVID-19, such as obesity, diabetes, the elderly, or darker skin (NFS journal, August 2020; 20: 10–21; BMJ nutrition, prevention, health, May 13, 2020).
• Low vitamin D status is exacerbated by indoor isolation and lack of sunlight.
• Some studies that have not yet been peer-reviewed have vitamin D in people with COVID-19 (medRxiv, June 22, 2020), and vitamin D deficiency is associated with increased mortality from COVID-19 in European countries (, June 22, 2020).European Journal of Endocrinology, medRxiv, May 7, 2020). However, there is no evidence that high doses of vitamin D provide better protection from COVID-19 than medium doses.

How Common Is Vitamin D Deficiency?
About 42% of North Americans have low levels of vitamin D, 82% of African Americans and 70% of Hispanics (Nutr Res, January 2011, 31 (1): 48-54). You need about 800 IU of Vitamin D per day from exposure to sunlight, foods you eat, or vitamin D pills. Most North Americans meet their vitamin D needs in the summer, but many need supplements or fortified foods in the winter.

How Much Vitamin D Do You Need?
The National Academy of Sciences recommends a daily dose of 600 IU for vitamin D up to age 70 and 800 IU for ages 71 and older. People with light skin can get the vitamin D they need from about 10 minutes. Sun exposure 3-4 days a week. However, the darker the skin, the more time of exposure or skin area. Vitamin D-enriched foods include milk, yogurt, soy beverages, orange juice, and cereals. Check the nutrition information label. Fatty fish such as salmon are also an excellent source of vitamin D. If you are deficient in vitamin D (less than 20 ng / mL), you need to take 1000-2000 IU per day for normal hydroxyvitamin D levels (less than 20 ng / mL).Intern Med, March 20, 2012, 156 (6): 425-37). Obese people may need more.

How much is that?
Administration of vitamin D above 4,000 IU may increase the risk of kidney stones, calcification of blood vessels, decreased levels of parathyroid hormone, and even a heart attack. to see Large amounts of vitamin D can be harmful.. It’s true that the sun’s rays convert skin cholesterol to vitamin D, but because the sun’s rays destroy the skin’s vitamin D, the sun doesn’t raise vitamin D levels too high.

I recommend
Vitamin D deficiency seems to increase the risk of death from COVID-19 infections and complications of the disease, so it is advisable to have a blood test for hydroxyvitamin D. If the blood level of hydroxyvitamin D is less than 20 ng / mL, take at least 1000 IU of vitamin D3 tablets per day for 1-2 months. If blood levels of vitamin D do not return to normal (> 20 ng / mL), check with your doctor to take high doses or get a medical assessment of the cause of the deficiency. to see Sunlight: Vitamin D or higher

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