Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin known mostly for its’ positive impact on “bone health”. However, Vitamin D also appears to have positive impacts on the heart and cancer protective reactions on the body. We test for Vitamin D levels in the blood with the “normal” range being 30-100. Most people we test, especially women, show low to borderline low levels.
A multinational study was published this week describing the higher risk of developing severe disease/death from Covid-19 infections associated with having low Vitamin D levels. The overwhelming majority of people hospitalized and dying from Covid-19 have respiratory failure. There appears a marked inflammatory reaction in the lungs leading to acute respiratory distress syndrome (“ARDS”). One of the chemicals involved in this inflammatory response is cytokine. It is observed that a “cytokine storm” occurs producing marked damage to the lungs.
Vitamin D seems to reduce the cytokine inflammatory reaction and therefore, deficiency of this important vitamin appears to be a risk factor for people developing severe Covid-19 lung problems.
Well before the Covid-19 pandemic, it has been shown that poor weight control leads to lower Vitamin D levels. There are several reasons for this: 1- fat cells in the body will take up the Vitamin D thereby lowering bloodstream levels. 2- Overweight/obese people may spend less time in the sun than normal weight people.
I have written ad nauseam about serious Covid-19 outcomes being associated with poor weight control and the co-morbidities such as high blood pressure and diabetes. Here is another one to add to the list: Vitamin D availability to fight cytokine storm.
If you have not had a Vitamin D blood test performed recently, come on in for this. If levels are low or borderline low, prescription Vitamin D at 50,000 IU a week may be warranted.