How important is Vitamin D in creating a personal immune system that can resist the Covid-19 Virus? Since the sheltering in place began, there has been a great deal of conversation about which vitamins are critical to healing from Covid-19.
Vitamin C, closely followed by Zinc, was the first nutrients touted to play a significant role in preventing and healing from this coronavirus. Vitamin D is receiving significant attention at the moment, as the scientific and health communities learn more about this particular virus and interactions in the body.
Chris Masterjohn, Ph.D., has a few articles(1) in which he analyzes the results of Vitamin D studies in relation to Covid-19. The clinical results are unsettled; however, what became clear to me is the need to have sufficient Vitamin D in your blood. Levels below 30ng/mL seem to be a commonality with those hit the hardest by this contagion. Vitamin D levels seem to impact men more than women when it comes to the severity of the illness. The lower the serum level of Vitamin D, the more severe the symptoms.
Without getting caught up in a lot of statistical data, here’s the information you need to know about Vitamin D and your immune system.
Vitamin 25(OH) D is the specific Vitamin D under discussion and research, which is an important distinction. Not all Vitamin D is the same. The best source of Vitamin D is sunlight; that doesn’t mean slather yourself in suntan lotion and bake all day, however, it is advisable to get in some sunlight daily safely.
When taking a Vitamin D supplement, it’s important to have adequate amounts of magnesium as well. In order to convert vitamin D into a useable format, it needs to be processed and activated through enzyme transactions in the liver and kidneys. According to a study in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association(2), the effectiveness and clinical benefits of vitamin D are significantly reduced when magnesium homeostasis in the body is not maintained.
If you aren’t sure what your Vitamin D level is, or RBC (red blood cell) Magnesium, your general practitioner can order this blood work for you. From a Functional Medicine perspective, typically the recommended levels of 50-60 for Vitamin D and 6. To 6.5 for Magnesium.
It’s important to realize that taking supplements alone are not a guarantee of creating a robust immune system. Having a healthy gut to effectively process and break down the vitamins and minerals, pass along for additional activity in the liver and kidneys is a vital component.
How is your overall mineral balance? If you are taking supplements, but you are struggling to pass the nutrients through your cells for conversion, how much are they really helping you? If you’d like to learn more about your blood chemistry through a functional medicine lens, you can book a call here.
How is your stress level? When we live in a state of stress or fear, our body has a difficult time moving into “rest and digest” mode. This hijacks our cortisol levels and makes digestion difficult; sleep a challenge, and we are more susceptible to illness. Managing your stress is one of the most important health choices you can make to creating a robust immune system.
Does Vitamin D reduce your risk of COVID-19?
It may not reduce your risk, but it certainly plays a key factor in your ability to fight this virus. While investing in improving your immune system, I would suggest the following supplements to add to your health routine: Vitamin D3 1000iu, Buffered Vitamin C (unless you have oxalate issues), zinc and magnesium glycinate should be on your list. The quality of your supplements matter; many contain additives that negate the benefits of the primary nutrient. You can access quality supplements through my dispensary(3) and receive a 10% discount.
About the Author
Kristina Cole, is a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner ( FDN-P ) is a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and wellness educator who teaches how to slow down, observe what is happening in our body and how our choices impact how we feel.