There is growing evidence that an often-overlooked vitamin may have a protective effect against COVID-19, according to recent research.
Several studies have shown that COVID-19 patients who are deficient in vitamin D are more likely to experience serious illness, severe complications and increased risk of death. And one study showed that when hospitalized COVID-19 patients took oral vitamin D supplements as part of their treatment, they were significantly less likely to be admitted to the intensive care unit than COVID-19 patients who didn’t receive vitamin D supplements.
Doctors and researchers are still learning a lot about the novel coronavirus as it moves through our communities, but it does appear that having sufficient levels of vitamin D in your system may offer some protection from the worst that COVID-19 has to offer.
Why vitamin D helps and where to find it?
Vitamin D helps the immune system function smoothly, so having sufficient levels in your body may help you fight COVID-19 if you get sick.
Common sources of vitamin D include:
- fatty fish, like salmon
- egg yolks
- fortified dairy products, like milk and yogurt
- fortified non-dairy milk products, including almond, soy and oat milk
- fortified orange juice
- fortified breakfast cereals
- dietary supplements
How to find out if you’re vitamin D deficient?
You may be deficient in vitamin D and not realize it. About 40% of Americans are believed to have lower-than-recommended levels. For African-Americans, that number is nearly double at 76%, 3 common reasons are we don't absorb the co-factor needed for our bodies to create Vitamin D well via the sun because of the melanin in our skin, our indoor lifestyle especially during the pandemic and many of us are lactose intolerant.
Across the board, African-American adults are generally at greater risk for a number of chronic and potentially life-shortening conditions such as hypertension, stroke, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, cancer, heart disease and all-cause mortality, some of which is associated with vitamin D deficiency.
How to supplement with vitamin D?
spending more time outdoors in sunlight
eating foods that are rich in vitamin D
taking vitamin D supplements
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Please don't wait to get sick to take your health seriously- Dr. K