Sunday Supplement: Vitamin D

Welcome to my new weekly supplemental. Every Sunday I’ll be featuring an important vitamin and the reasons why it may be vital to your health. 

Vitamin D: Immune System Superstar

I’m not pretending to be an authority on the subject – that I’ll leave for the experienced professionals.  Although I have an interest in health, I can at least share some knowledge I’ve gained from these experts. Some of them I know personally, and all agree that Vitamin “D” is of ultimate importance, especially right now with Covid.  I’ve done my own research too. What I’ve found out is that most people are deficient in Vitamin D and even if you eat really well, there are some vitamins (D being one of them) that you cannot create enough of from food alone.

D boosts the immune system and protects against respiratory infections. However, it is found in few foods and the body only replenishes its stocks through sunlight on the skin.

Vitamin D deficiency has emerged as a primary risk factor for severe COVID-19 infection and death. Higher vitamin D levels have even been shown to lower your risk of testing positive for the virus in the first place.  According to a Spanish study, 82.2% of COVID-19 patients tested were found to be deficient in vitamin D.

Dark skin color, increased age, pre-existing chronic conditions and vitamin D deficiency are all features of severe COVID disease. Of these, vitamin D deficiency is the only factor that is modifiable. As such, it would be foolish to ignore, especially since vitamin D supplements are readily available and low cost.

*The Scottish Government is giving out free vitamin D supplements to the most vulnerable to help boost their immune system.  People who have been shielding are to be sent a four-month supply to compensate for a lack of natural sunlight. (see link below).  

So I’ve upped my intake to 5,000 UIs a day in the winter months (some take more).  In the summer I take 1000 – 3000 UIs depending on how sunny it is.  Most medical doctors will suggest 400 UIs is enough.  However over a dozen research studies completed in 2020 alone show that we need at least ten times that amount to get optimum immune system benefits.

We already know that Vitamin D is good for a variety of illnesses and disorders such as depression (no surprise here – sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy.  Oh; you too?), hypertension, Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes, oral health, inflammation…

The point being there’s tons and tons of research out there. I’ve narrowed it down to some choice statements taken from various sites.

  • **Dr. Michael Holick, professor of medicine, physiology and biophysics at Boston University School of Medicine and colleagues studied blood samples of more than 190,000 Americans from all 50 US states and found those with deficient levels of vitamin D had 54% higher COVID positivity compared to those with adequate blood levels of vitamin D. The study was published in PLoS (the Public Library of Science One) peer-reviewed journal. Many people are vitamin D-deficient because there are only small amounts in food, Holick said.

For the Top 25 Vitamin D Publications in 2020 go to:

*Sunday Times UK – Coronavirus in Scotland: Vulnerable will receive vitamin D supplements:

 
Out of curiosity, how much Vitamin D do you take regularly?
 

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