Vitamin D could be the secret essential hormone that we all need, especially in the prevention of or recovery from COVID-19.
As you know, so much information in the press recently has been focused on the relationship between infection and death rates of people within ethnic minorities and COVID-19 infection. There has also been a correlation established between COVID-19 and those with low Vitamin D. They are at increased risk of contracting the virus and of fatality.
Vitamin D3 is very important for immune system function and the prevention of infection. Vitamin D receptors are allocated in immune cells and help to keep immune balance. This also links to the relationship between seasonal respiratory infections in winter and Vitamin D deficiency.
Recent studies by the University in Sussex, found that Caribbean women and South Asian women are at higher risk of contracting the infection and have lower amounts of Vitamin D in the body over the entire year and that they are deficient even in the summer.
But ethnicity is not the only factor. People that are overweight are also at high risk of getting the virus – this is because Vitamin D is stored in the fat cells. Being overweight or having a high BMI makes the vitamin metabolically inert, meaning that the vitamin cannot function in their bodies.
Public Health England made no recommendation for Vitamin D supplementation until 2016. Now, they advise that we need Vitamin D all year around and the daily requirement is around 400ius per day.
However, if you spend time out in the sun from March to September, you do not need really need to supplement. Mega doses are not good for us because the vitamin is fat soluble, which means they require to be broken down in the liver and high dosages can lead to harm in the liver.
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You can find out more about the benefits of Vitamin D in our blog post Is Vitamin D the Essential Hormone?