We all know a few things in life, or at least we think we all know a few things. It turns out however that a lot of things that everyone knows are not true. They are relics of the past or misunderstandings that have been passed down through the generations. Well something that everyone knows that is real is that Vitamin D is extremely important to your health. There are a lot of supplements out there on the market. Most of these don’t have any real data to back up their usage. A great example is Vitamin C, there are a myriad of Vitamin C products out there that claim to shorten colds and other sickness but the reality is that the evidence for those results is scanty as best. You can check out some info on Vitamin C here. The good news is that Vitamin D is one of the few things that has been extensively studied that seems to be beneficial for your health. Knowing that I take a Vitamin D supplement every day along with baby aspirin for heart health. Aspirin is one of the only other supplements that a lot of people take that has actual clinical studies that show it has a benefit for the average person. With Covid-19 cases surging though it is appearing that Vitamin D is even more important than we thought. Yes we all know it helps support the immune system and more importantly is vital to your bodies ability to uptake calcium which is especially important for women to help stave off osteoporosis. We also know that many many people are Vitamin D deficient. If you work indoors on a daily basis and/or live in a state that is cloudy for half the year then you are most likely Vitamin D deficient. There are plenty of foods that are enriched with Vitamin D like milk and cereal but still there are tons of people in the US that are Vitamin D deficient. So what does this have to do with Covid?
Covid-19 and Vitamin D
In the early days of this pandemic it became clear that there was some kind of correlation between Vitamin D deficiency and the severity of Covid-19. It seemed that many people with more severe symptoms were also deficient in Vitamin D and there were a few weeks there where the supplement shelves were bare after a Joe Rogan podcasts that talked about the potential benefits of Vitamin D. Well the data is now coming in and it appears that there is even more evidence to suggest that being Vitamin D deficient correlates very highly with having a more severe reaction to Covid-19. The numbers I am going to talk about come from this new study published in Nature. This was a study of 154 patients, so a relatively small study but we are doing this in the midst of a pandemic so we have to take what we can get. There was a group A and a group B. Group A contained 91 patients that were positive for Covid-19 but were asymptomatic and group B contained 63 patients who were severely ill with Covid-19. The difference in Vitamin D levels between the two groups was “highly significant” according to the studies authors. The mean level of vitamin D (in ng/mL) was 27.89 ± 6.21 in Group A and 14.35 ± 5.79 in Group B. Showing a much higher average level of Vitamin D in the asymptomatic group. This study also showed that the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency was 32.96% and 96.82% respectively in Group A and Group B. Out of total 154 patients, 90 patients were found to be deficient in vitamin D (Group A: 29; Group B: 61). Also serum level of inflammatory markers was found to be higher in vitamin D deficient COVID-19 patients. So basically if you are Vitamin D deficient you are far more likely to suffer from a more severe case of Covid-19.
So what does this mean?
Well this is where we are going to deviate into my opinions on the matter. It appears to me that with this new data coming in it seems extremely important that at risk populations of the country focus on increasing the amount of bioavailable Vitamin D in their diets and in the short term take a Vitamin D supplement in order to help shield them from more severe cases of Covid-19. We are focused on mask wearing and lock downs, but both of those things have mixed findings in terms of how effective they are in stopping this virus. Lock downs seem an especially bad idea as locking people inside seems like a great way to decrease people’s levels of Vitamin D which is one of the only things we know for sure that seems to act as a prophylactic for Covid-19. Lock downs simply push back the time at which people will contract Covid-19 since as soon as we reopen things people will begin to again spread the disease. The data on mask wearing shows us that masks can only really protect other people from you and countries with low levels of mask wearing seem to be doing as well if not better than countries where mask wearing is mandated by the government. So it seems to me that the answer to this pandemic problem is that the at risk populations should be taking 5,000 IU per day of Vitamin D and everyone else should be on at least 2,000 IU. Take your Vitamin D so that if you get Covid your case will be less severe and you will not end up in the hospital and then lets get everyone back to work so we can avoid the depression, suicide, and obesity that has come along with these ridiculous lock downs. Now I’m not a doctor obviously so before you begin taking any new supplements you should check with your doctor to make sure that it will not exacerbate any conditions you may have. However it seems that taking a daily Vitamin D supplement is our best way of combating Covid-19 as a society. Do your part and get your Vitamin D levels in order.