It is estimated that up to 85 percent of people have insufficient levels of vitamin D and are unaware of their deficient state…. Over 95 percent of senior citizens in the US may possibly be deficient…. The late winter average vitamin D level was found to be about 15 to 18 ng/ml, which is far below optimal levels.
MERCOLA, VITAMIN D RESEARCH PAGE, 2020
A short article describing research by Vadim Backman, a Biomedical Engineer at Northwestern University, presents additional compelling evidence for the importance of having a Vitamin D serum level high enough to protect yourself from experiencing severe complications or dying from Covid-19.
This is the article in its entirety, How Does Vitamin D Affect COVID-19 Infection?:
New research from Northwestern University suggests Vitamin D levels could play an important role in the body’s reaction to the COVID-19 disease. After analysing data from 10 countries, the team noticed a link between hyperactive immune systems and Vitamin D deficiency. Lead author of the study Vadim Backman warns lack of Vitamin D can increase mortality rates, with severely deficient patients 50% more likely to experience potentially fatal complications due to COVID-19.
Boosting the immune system
Used to describe a cluster of fat-soluble secosteroids, Vitamin D increases intestinal absorption of important minerals such as magnesium, calcium, and phosphate. This ramps up immunity and prevents the immune system from ticking into overdrive, which can be fatal during a COVID-19 infection.
Backman and his team were prompted to explore the role of Vitamin D levels after noticing significant mortality rate differences between countries. For example, COVID-19 mortality rates were noticeably higher in the UK, Spain, and Italy. While some experts put this down to age demographics, testing rates, quality of healthcare, and even the possibility of different and more severe coronavirus strains, Backman suspected it could be driven by something else.
“None of these factors appears to play a significant role,” asserts Backman. “The healthcare system in northern Italy is one of the best in the world. Differences in mortality exist even if one looks across the same age group. And, while the restrictions on testing do indeed vary, the disparities in mortality still exist even when we looked at countries or populations for which similar testing rates apply.”
The risk of cytokine storms
After analysing data, the team found a high COVID-19 mortality rate correlated with low Vitamin D levels. For Backman, the findings could explain why symptoms can vary so drastically, as well as why children are unlikely to die from the disease. “Instead, we saw a significant correlation with Vitamin D deficiency,” he said.
Postdoctoral research associate and first author of the study Ali Daneshkhah says cytokine storms, which can cause severe damage to the lungs and trigger fatal acute respiratory distress, are often the cause of death in COVID-19 patients. They’re caused by misdirected attacks from the immune system, with Daneshkhah musing that Vitamin D can help prevent this sort of pattern.
“Our analysis shows that it might be as high as cutting the mortality rate in half,” says Daneshkhah. “It will not prevent a patient from contracting the virus, but it may reduce complications and prevent death in those who are infected.”
Experts warn against hoarding
The researchers caution that while Vitamin D is being explored as a potential preventative treatment for COVID-19, hoarding supplements is not advised and could even be dangerous for people with balanced levels of Vitamin D.
“While I think it is important for people to know that vitamin D deficiency might play a role in mortality, we don’t need to push vitamin D on everybody,” adds Backman “This needs further study, and I hope our work will stimulate interest in this area. The data also may illuminate the mechanism of mortality, which, if proven, could lead to new therapeutic targets.”
- (Labmate Online, 6/14/2020)
Vitamin D deficiency. symptoms and diseases caused by insufficient vitamin D. Symptoms & Signs. Human silhouette with highlighted internal organs
Here’s the original article about Dr. Backman’s work published last month by Northwestern University in case you want to look at it: Vitamin D appears to play role in COVID-19 mortality rates: Patients with severe deficiency are twice as likely to experience severe complications, including death. (Northwestern University, 5/7/2020)
FOOD SOURCES OF VITAMIN D3
Dr Joseph Mercola’s Vitamin D Resource Page is a good source of information on why Vitamin D is essential to almost all aspects of our health. If you’re interested in preserving your health, I strongly recommend looking at it. (Mercola, 2020)
For additional information on the vital importance of Vitamin D – including the many diseases and conditions it protects us from and why Vitamin D3 is the one to take as a supplement, see Vitamin D for Coronavirus … and Much More. (Hardin, 5/3/2020)
Hardin, J.R. ( 5/3/2020). Vitamin D for Coronavirus … and Much More. See: https://www.allergiesandyourgut.com/post/vitamin-d-for-coronavirus-and-much-more
Labmate Online. (6/14/2020). How Does Vitamin D Affect COVID-19 Infection?. See: https://www.labmate-online.com/news/laboratory-products/3/breaking-news/how-does-vitamin-d-affect-covid-19-infection/52457
Mercola, J. (2020). Vitamin D Resource Page. See: https://www.mercola.com/article/vitamin-d-resources.htm
Northwestern University. (5/7/2020). Vitamin D appears to play role in COVID-19 mortality rates: Patients with severe deficiency are twice as likely to experience severe complications, including death. See: https://news.northwestern.edu/stories/2020/05/vitamin-d-appears-to-play-role-in-covid-19-mortality-rates/
© Copyright 2020. Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.
DISCLAIMER: Nothing on this site or blog is intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Comments submitted prior to 8/25/2021
You mentioned the importance of vitamin D weeks ago. Think of you when I sit on the bench soaking up the sun!