We are always seeking knowledge and information. While there is so much out there we all need to do our best to discern fact from fiction, and ultimately what is best for ourselves and our loved ones. We have been hearing and seeing a lot about the importance of vitamin D as it correlates to our body’s ability to fight COVID-19. Below is an excerpt from a study shared by the members of the School For Aromatic Studies. Click on the tab “read more” for the full study.
R E A D M O R E
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin produced by this skin in response to sun exposure. It’s also available in some foods, including fatty fish, like salmon, tuna, and mackerel, egg yolks and beef liver, fortified milk (dairy and non-dairy), and sun-dried mushrooms. This form of vitamin D, however, is biologically inert. For vitamin D to be used by the body it must be converted, first by the liver, then by the kidneys, to its active form — calcitriol.
- Current studies hint at correlation, not causation.
- Watch out for reviews funded by the supplement industry.
- Some studies show no impact of vitamin D supplementation on critical illness.
- Low levels of vitamin D may be a sign — not of inadequate intake — but of impaired production and metabolism due to illness.
Vitamin D serves several important roles in the body:
- Promotes calcium absorption in the gut; maintains serum calcium and phosphate concentrations for proper bone mineralization and to prevent hypocalcemic tetany (spasms caused by low calcium).
- Required for bone growth and bone remodeling by osteoblasts and osteoclasts. Insufficient vitamin D can lead to the condition of thin, brittle, misshapen bones known as rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults.
- Modulates cell growth, neuromuscular and immune function, and reduction of inflammation. Vitamin D partially modulates many genes encoding proteins that regulate cell proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis (NIH, 2020).
Regardless of any impact in COVID19, we can all likely agree that having healthy levels of vitamin D is generally a good idea.
Correlation vs. Causation
Let’s take a look at some of the studies claiming that vitamin D is protective in COVID19. Many of these studies are based on the correlation between vitamin D deficiencies in the geographic regions (viz. Spain, Italy, and Switzerland) and demographics (the elderly) hit hardest by the disease. The literature is clear and consistent: vitamin D deficiency goes hand-in-hand with COVID19 (Ilie et al., 2020), (Biesalski, 2020), (Ebadi & Montano-Loza, 2020), (Davies et al., 2020)[pre-print; not peer-reviewed].