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COVID-19 & Vitamin D Supplementation

Wanted to share this interesting article on the use of vitamin D supplementation to reduce the risk of infection by the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2 virus causing COVID-19.


Facts supporting importance of vitamin D:

- Influenza and Covid-19 outbreak occurred in winter, a time when 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] concentrations are lowest.

- Number of cases in the Southern Hemisphere near the end of summer are low.

- Vitamin D deficiency had been found to contribute to development of acute respiratory distress syndrome

How does vitamin D reduce the risk of infections:

- Induces cathelicidins and defensins which can lower viral replication rates. These are considered part of the cellular innate immunity.

- Reduce concentration of pro-inflammatory cytokines that produce the inflammation resulting in injury to the lining of the lungs.

- Increase concentration of anti-inflammatory cytokines.

How much vitamin D to take:

- Consider taking 10,000 IU/day of vitamin D3 for a few weeks to rapidly rise 25(OH)D concentrations, followed by 5,000 IU/day.

- The goal should be to raise 25(OH)D concentrations above 40-60 ng/mL (100-150 nmol/L).

- Vitamin D levels should be checked to make sure that it does not rise significantly above the normal range.

The functional medicine approach to health uses testing to evaluate the nutritional status of patients as well as diet and supplementation to optimize it. The best offense against a pathogen like SARS-CoV-2 is a good (immune) defense!



References:

Grant WB, Lahore H, McDonnell SL, Baggerly CA, French CB, Aliano JL, Bhattoa HP. Evidence that vitamin D supplementation could reduce risk of influenza and COVID-19 infections and deaths. Nutrients. 2020 Apr;12(4):988.

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