As this pandemic continues to disrupt our lives it is important to not be overcome with a sense of dread and hopelessness, but rather to empower yourself by taking measures that have been scientifically proven to boost your immune system and protect you from covid-19.
Boosting Your Immune System with vitamin D! While you may be used to us talking about vitamin D as a bone builder, the truth is that this vitamin does a whole lot more than just support bone-building – it supports a strong immune system too.
What can D do for you to help you fight covid-19?
Studies show that it can prevent respiratory infections, or reduce the severity of them.
It can reduce inflammation and improve immune function.
It can make you less susceptible to infections like influenza and viral infections, because a deficiency in D puts you at higher risk.
It activates T cells whose job it is to destroy pathogens—such as viruses.
How do you get adequate vitamin D?
From Food: Vitamin D naturally occurs in egg yolks, beef liver, fatty fish like salmon, tuna, swordfish or sardines and fish liver oils. However, vitamin D isn't naturally occurring in lots of foods, which is why some foods have vitamin D added to them. WARNING: Many foods that fortify with vitamin D use vitamin D2 (not D3). Do not eat foods that fortify with vitamin D2 or take supplements that contain vitamin D2, also known as ergocalciferol. Despite previous belief that both forms were safe and effective, in a study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vitamin D2 supplementation was shown to increase D levels in the short term, but actually reduced overall vitamin D levels in just 28 days! The researches concluded that not only have “no successful clinical trials to date shown that vitamin D2 prevents fractures…vitamin D2 should no longer be regarded as a nutrient appropriate for supplementation or fortification of foods.” Many practitioners still prescribe megadoses of D2 for deficiency, so be aware.
From the Sun: Get outside. However, if you live north of Atlanta, during the winter months you will likely need more support than the great outdoors. During the summer and for those who live south of Atlanta, if you have fair skin, you need to have your arms, legs, and face exposed to sunlight at midday [between 11am -1 pm] for at least 10 -20 minutes without sunscreen to meet the RDI of vitamin D, and that time increases for those who are older or have darker skin. In the winter those time increase further to 1-2 hours.
Remember, in the fight against coronavirus the individuals being hit the hardest with the worst odds of recovering are the elderly and individuals with darker skin. These 2 groups top the list for vitamin D deficiencies! Deficiencies in vitamin D were also found in individuals with SARS.
Due to the lack of vitamin D in food and low exposure to sunlight it is essential to supplement vitamin D
Supplementation: Under normal circumstances (which we are not currently living under) we agree with those health professionals who recommend supplementing 2000 IU daily of vitamin D3 as a safe and effective dose for most people. In 2011, the Endocrine Society issued clinical practice guidelines stating that vitamin D levels must be at least 30 ng/ml (75 nmol/l) to get its beneficial effects. According to this report, we need approximately 2000 IU per day of supplemental vitamin D to achieve this level.
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