Searching for a simple way to help protect yourself from COVID-19? According to recent research, one nutrient could be the key to helping your body fight against COVID-19.
While masking and social distancing are still the best ways to protect yourself against the virus, scientists are finding that vitamin D may be able to improve your symptoms and prevent harmful inflammation that can cause long-term damage to your body.
WHAT DOES INFLAMMATION HAVE TO DO WITH COVID-19?
Inflammation is a major factor in severe cases of COVID-19. Critically ill COVID-19 patients appear to experience a hyperinflammatory response that results in numerous adverse conditions.
Many studies, such as this one, noted that severe cases of COVID-19 can manifest with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), which can lead to lung inflammation, damage, and death in progressive cases. Other research suggests that severe COVID-19 cases are associated with increased unregulated inflammation.
This inflammation can result in a “cytokine storm”, which happens when an infection triggers your immune system to flood your bloodstream with inflammatory proteins called cytokines. This immune response can cause lasting tissue and organ damage and lead to other complications.
So it’s no wonder that doctors are searching for ways to combat inflammation and dampen the inflammatory response during the illness. With that in mind, here are a few discoveries researchers have made about the role vitamin D might play in caring for those impacted by this disease.
HOW CAN VITAMIN D HELP WITH INFLAMMATION IN COVID-19 PATIENTS?
In one research study, patients with vitamin D deficiency exhibited higher levels of chemical markers of inflammation in their blood. Higher vitamin D levels were also correlated with lower interleukin 6 levels (a protein that regulates your immune system’s response to an infection). Keeping these levels low can help control the “cytokine storm” immune response – which means you’re less likely to experience the long term negative effects mentioned earlier in the article.
Vitamin D may also affect respiratory tract health. Low vitamin D levels are already associated with susceptibility to disease, including respiratory illness. One study found that vitamin D has a protective effect against respiratory tract infections, and reduces the release of chemicals that amplify inflammation. This has led some scientists to hypothesize that vitamin D supplementation, when deficiency is found on lab testing, may be able to improve clinical symptoms of COVID-19.
Understanding your vitamin D levels can be key in helping your body fight against COVID-19. Know your status, and get tested at home with a kit from empowerDX.