Volume 9, Issue 2

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Page 22 | Abby's Magazine | of COVID Patients Make Analysis By Dr. Joseph Mercola Avoid e Mistake at 82% Aside from insulin resistance, vitamin D deficiency has emerged as a primary risk factor for severe COVID-19 infec on and death. Higher vitamin D levels have even been shown to lower your risk of tes ng posi ve for the virus in the first place. Ge ng the word out about this — especially to the Black community and the elderly in nursing homes — could have a significant impact on future hospitaliza on and death rates from this virus. If you have a loved one in a nursing home, taking the me to talk to the medical management about vitamin D tes ng and supplementa on could also make a big difference in the general health of all the residents, as vitamin D is something that can strengthen your immune system in a ma er of a few weeks and has many health benefits beside lowering your risk of viral illness. Vast Majority of COVID-19 Patients Have Vitamin D Deficiency According to a Spanish study published online October 27, 2020, in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 82.2% of COVID-19 pa ents tested were found to be deficient in vitamin D, the medical term for which is 25-hydroxycholecalciferol (25OHD). The researchers compared the vitamin D levels of 216 COVID-19 pa ents and 197 popula on-based controls, finding that hospitalized COVID-19 pa ents had a higher prevalence of deficiency and had lower vitamin D levels overall. While this par cular study failed to find a correla on between vitamin D levels and disease severity, other studies have shown pa ents with higher levels do tend to have milder disease. In fact, one such study found your risk of developing a severe case of, and dying from, COVID-19 virtually disappears once your vitamin D level gets above 30 ng/mL (75 nmol/L). Vitamin D's Impact on COVID-19 Vitamin D can reduce your risk of COVID-19 and other respiratory infec ons via several different mechanisms, including but not limited to the following: • Reducing the survival and replica on of viruses • Reducing inflammatory cytokine produc on • Maintaining endothelial integrity (Endothelial dysfunc on contributes to vascular inflamma on and impaired blood clo ng, two hallmarks of severe COVID-19) • Increasing angiotensin-conver ng enzyme 2 (ACE2)concentra ons. Vitamin D also boosts your overall immune func on by modula ng your innate and adap ve immune responses, reduces respiratory distress and improves overall lung func on, helps produce surfactants in your lungs that aid in fluid clearance. It lowers your risk of comorbidi es associated with poor COVID-19 prognosis, including obesity, Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. All of these factors make it an important component of COVID-19 preven on and treatment. COVID-19 Features Related to Vitamin D Status There are several features of COVID-19 that are indica ve of vitamin D deficiency. For starters, SARS-CoV-2 emerged in the winter in the northern hemisphere, and as we moved into summer, posi ve tests, hospitaliza ons and death rates fell. So, generally, COVID-19 prevalence has been inversely correlated with solar UVB doses and vitamin D produc on. Secondly, people with darker skin have higher COVID-19 case and death rates than Caucasians. Vitamin D is produced in your skin in response to sun exposure, but the darker your skin, the more sun exposure you need in order to maintain an op mal vitamin D level. While a light-skinned individual may need only 10 to 15 minutes a day, a person with very dark skin may need upward of 1.5 hours. As a result, vitamin D deficiency tends to be far higher among Blacks and dark-skinned Hispanics. Thirdly, one of the lethal hallmarks of COVID-19 is the cytokine storm that can develop in severe cases, which manifests as hyper inflamma on and ssue damage. Vitamin D is known to regulate inflammatory cytokine produc on, thereby lowering this risk.

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