New research indicates that by taking vitamin D supplements, we may be able to increase our chances of recovering from COVID-19 and decrease the severity of the disease.
A study in the Irish Medical Journal found that nations like Sweden and Norway, which integrate vitamin D supplements into their diet and foods, have a higher level of this vitamin than those in lower latitudes, who rely more on the UVB light in their climates as a source of vitamin D. And higher levels of vitamin D may be contributing to a resilience to COVID-19. This finding is the result of statistical analysis that arose from a collaboration among Trinity College Dublin's School of Medicine, the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA), and the University of Liverpool.
According to reporting from SciTech Daily, vitamin D is produced by sunlight exposure, which then goes to the liver and subsequently to the kidney, where it becomes an active hormone that increases calcium transport from food in the gut, thus helping with bone strength. However, even more important these days is the fact that vitamin D can likely boost the immune system. In particular, it may help lessen the body's reaction to the virus that leads to respiratory difficulties and ultimately death.
Contrary to popular belief, lower-latitude nations are more resistant to COVID-19, but this is not the case. As it turns out, the nations that are at a higher latitude, which receive less sunlight each day, have adjusted their diets to fortify their bodies to compensate for the lack of vitamin D. These nations have lower death rates than those of countries in lower latitudes. Vitamin D may play an important role as we all adjust our lives to mitigate this virus.
Dr. Eamon Laird, one of the co-authors of the study, said that there is evidence of a link between vitamin D and mortality rates from COVID-19. "Optimizing vitamin D intake to public health guidelines will certainly have benefits for overall health and support immune function."
Professor Rose Anne Kenny appealed to the Irish government to recommend that all adults take supplements to help mitigate the effects of the coronavirus and COVID-19.