Add news
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010June 2010July 2010
August 2010
September 2010October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011March 2011April 2011May 2011June 2011July 2011August 2011September 2011October 2011November 2011December 2011January 2012February 2012March 2012April 2012May 2012June 2012July 2012August 2012September 2012October 2012November 2012December 2012January 2013February 2013March 2013April 2013May 2013June 2013July 2013August 2013September 2013October 2013November 2013December 2013January 2014February 2014March 2014April 2014May 2014June 2014July 2014August 2014September 2014October 2014November 2014December 2014January 2015February 2015March 2015April 2015May 2015June 2015July 2015August 2015September 2015October 2015November 2015December 2015January 2016February 2016March 2016April 2016May 2016June 2016July 2016August 2016September 2016October 2016November 2016December 2016January 2017February 2017March 2017April 2017May 2017June 2017July 2017August 2017September 2017October 2017November 2017December 2017January 2018February 2018March 2018April 2018May 2018June 2018July 2018August 2018September 2018October 2018November 2018December 2018January 2019February 2019March 2019April 2019May 2019June 2019July 2019August 2019September 2019October 2019November 2019December 2019January 2020February 2020March 2020April 2020May 2020June 2020July 2020August 2020September 2020
News Every Day |

I'm a Doctor and This Vitamin May Reduce Your COVID Risk

I'm a Doctor and This Vitamin May Reduce Your COVID RiskAs a doctor, I have been scratching my head and thinking hard about what on earth we can do to help ourselves to beat coronavirus. One answer may lie in a simple vitamin: Vitamin D. "If you are deficient in vitamin D, that does have an impact on your susceptibility to infection," said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert. "So I would not mind recommending, and I do it myself taking vitamin D supplements." Read on to the end to see if you need more of this important vitamin, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.1 How Does Vitamin D Help Fight COVID-19? "Low levels of vitamin D may put people at risk for developing COVID-19, according to a new study by Leumit Health Care Services and Bar-Ilan University's Azrieli Faculty of Medicine," reports the Jerusalem Post. "The main finding of our study was the significant association of low plasma vitamin D level with the likelihood of COVID-19 infection among patients who were tested for COVID-19," say researchers. "Furthermore, low vitamin D level was associated with the risk of hospitalization due to COVID-19 infection."Have you thought about vitamin D? Up to 60% of the US population are estimated to have low levels of vitamin D. Could you be one of them? Should you consider a vitamin D supplement? Let's start with the basics.2 What Is Vitamin D?Vitamin D is an essential vitamin—essential because our bodies can't exist without it. There are two forms of vitamin D: D2 and D3. * Vitamin D2 comes from the diet—it's found in oily fish, egg yolks, red meat, liver, some fat spreads, and fortified cereals. Dietary intake of vitamin D2 is vital because we cannot synthesize this in our bodies. Many people just don't like eating these foods, and do not take in enough vitamin D2. * Vitamin D3 is made in the skin in response to sunlight—UVB radiation. However, many of us are also deficient in this too. This occurs especially in the winter, when the days are short and dark. Also, using SPF factor 30 sunscreen—imperative for skin cancer protection—reduces skin absorption of UVB by 95%.It may not be a coincidence that seasonal flu and other respiratory infections peak in the winter months.3 How Common Is a Vitamin D Deficiency?50% of the world are vitamin D deficient. It affects one billion people around the globe. How could this be? Here's a partial list of reasons: * Social/cultural – Fewer people work outdoors these days for long periods. Plus peoples' eating habits have changed. * Skin color –The increased amounts of melanin in darker skin absorb greater quantities of UVB. Darker-skinned people need more UVB exposure than fairer skinned people to achieve adequate vitamin D levels.  * Older people – In the US, 60% of people in nursing homes and 57% in the hospital are vitamin D deficient. They may only go outside infrequently, tend to wear long-sleeved clothes, and cover up more—plus they may have a small appetite, or eat a poor diet. * Babies, children, pregnant and breastfeeding women - They all have increased vitamin D requirements and intake may not match demand.4 What Does Vitamin D Do?Vitamin D has two important roles:1\. Calcium and Phosphorus MetabolismVitamin D increases blood levels of calcium and phosphorus. It also regulates osteoblastic (bone-building) and osteoclastic (bone-clearing) activity. It is used to prevent and treat osteoporosis. However, mega-doses of vitamin D are not advised. It should be used within the recommended dosage.2\. Supporting the Body's Defense Mechanism Against InfectionVitamin D has many complex effects on the body's defense mechanisms. It plays a role in maintaining the barrier function of the skin and at other epithelial cell surfaces. It is also involved in innate immunity – this is your body's ability to recognize and destroy an invading organism. Vitamin D also plays a role in adaptive immunity – the way your body produces an antibody response.5 Why Does Vitamin D Deficiency Matter?Evidence is accumulating of the potential health risks associated with low levels of vitamin D. It must be stressed that these are observational studies—studies which report data that have been collected in specific populations/situations—and that just because these statistics have been observed, that does not prove causation. More research is needed. However, the links between low levels of vitamin D, and many different diseases are still relevant, and of great public health interest.In 2017, the journal PLOS One, reported a meta-analysis of 26,916 participants, regarding vitamin D and mortality. The authors concluded that people with low blood levels of vitamin D —less than 30 nmol/L—had significantly higher mortality than those with recommended levels of 75-99.9 nmol/L.RELATED: COVID Mistakes You Should Never Make6 What Are the Health Problems if You Don't Consume Enough Vitamin D?Vitamin D deficiency has been reported: * To increase the risk of cancer of the breast, prostate and bowel, by 30-50%. * To increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Vitamin D stimulates the production of nitric oxide and helps prevent oxidative stress. There appears to be a link between low levels of vitamin D and high blood pressure. Vitamin D may have an anticoagulant effect. It may also have a role in reversing atherosclerosis. * To increase the risk of the onset of diabetes. Vitamin D deficiency is associated with insulin resistance, and with pancreatic cell function. * To effect brain function. Vitamin D works a neurotransmitter and also has a protective role for brain tissue. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to a higher risk of depression, Alzheimer's disease and epilepsy.Of note, other studies have reported reduced mortality in people taking vitamin D supplements.7 How to Increase Your Vitamin D Levels 1. Eat foods rich in vitamin D, like fatty fish (tuna, salmon); foods fortified with vitamin D, like some dairy and cereals; cheese; eggs (the yolks); beef liver and any of these. 2. Expose your skin to sunlight, without sunscreen. For fair-skinned people 15-20 minutes per day. For darker-skinned people 20-40 minutes per day. 3. Consider taking a vitamin D supplement.8 How Much Vitamin D Supplement to Take?The Mayo Clinic "recommends that adults get at least the RDA of 600 IU. However, 1,000 to 2,000 IU per day of vitamin D from a supplement is generally safe, should help people achieve an adequate blood level of vitamin D, and may have additional health benefits."9 Are Vitamin D Supplements Safe?For the vast majority of people, if you take vitamin D supplements within the recommended levels, it is safe. However, as with any new regular medication/supplement, if you have any medical conditions or take any other medicines, you are strongly recommended to discuss this with your doctor in advance. It is possible to have a blood test to check your vitamin D levels—however, this is rarely felt to be necessary. RELATED: Everything Dr. Fauci Has Said About Coronavirus10 What Are the Side Effects of Vitamin D?Vitamin D is well tolerated and side effects are uncommon. The most common side effects are skin rashes or urticaria, aka hives. The most serious side effect is hypercalcaemia—a raised calcium level—but this is only possible when you take high levels of vitamin D for long periods and is very rare. If you know you have high calcium levels already, do not start vitamin D supplements.Signs/symptoms of vitamin D toxicity include * Anorexia * Vomiting * Fatigue * Weakness * Thirst * Frequently passing urine * ConstipationIf you take vitamin D supplements and develop these symptoms, you must see your doctor without delay.11 Who Should Not Take Vitamin D Supplements?Do not take vitamin D supplements if you have: * Hypercalcemia (too much calcium in your blood) * Severe kidney disease * Kidney stones * Heart disease – and/or take digoxin * Sarcoidosis * Allergy to vitamin D, or any vitamin D products * Other allergies —some vitamin D drops contain peanut oil, aspartame, and other substances, such as food colorings and dyes. Check the product ingredients carefully. * Check with your doctor before taking any supplements.12 Are There Any Drug Interactions With Vitamin D? * Anticonvulsants – enzyme-inducing e.g. carbamazepine, phenytoin, topiramate, and non-enzyme inducing e.g. gabapentin, lamotrigine * Benzodiazepines - e.g. diazepam, nitrazepam * Steroids - e.g. prednisolone taken by mouth * Digoxin – there is a risk of digoxin toxicity * Cholestyramine – this prevents vitamin D absorption * Actinomycin –this possibly inhibits vitamin D absorption from the gut * Imidazole – this inhibits activation of vitamin D in the kidneyThis list is not exhaustive. If you take regular medication, always check with your doctor or pharmacist before you start to take any additional medicines.13 How to Take Vitamin D Supplements * Vitamin D is available as a tablet, capsule, soft gel, or as drops. * Choose the preparation/brand which suits you best and the appropriate recommended dosage. There is no benefit from taking large doses of vitamin D and this may be harmful, so do not be tempted to exceed the recommended dose. * Take care because not all vitamin D products contain the same amount of vitamin D - cholecalciferol. In one 2013 study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers tested various vitamin D brands and found the potency of cholecalciferol varied from 9 - 146% of the stated dose. Only one manufacturer supplied a product within 90 - 120% of the expected potency. 14 How to Choose Best Vitamin D Product for You?When choosing a vitamin D product, always look at the back of the packaging and check the product is USP verified. This means the products have been rigorously tested and the ingredients have been verified.  * Vitamin D options are available for vegans. * Take vitamin D just before a meal. This is a fat-soluble vitamin and if you take it on an empty stomach is unlikely to be absorbed. * You generally take vitamin D once a day—either in the morning or at night. If you don't eat breakfast, take in the evening, just before your evening meal. * There is a suggestion that vitamin D may interfere with melatonin production, although there is no evidence it affects sleep, however you may prefer to take it in the early evening. * Make sure you always drink plenty of fluids. * If you forget your daily dose, miss it out that day, and take it on time the next day.15 Vitamin D, Respiratory Infections, and COVID-19UK scientists have warned that you should not take high levels of vitamin D for the purpose of preventing or treating COVID-19. However, some experts are suggesting the reverse. In a publication from March 2020 in the journal Nutrients, the authors reviewed the current medical evidence and suggested that vitamin D supplementation might reduce the risk of influenza, COVID-19, and deaths.They presented evidence to suggest that higher levels of vitamin D in the population would reduce the risk of acute respiratory tract infections including influenza, COVID-19, and pneumonia. They also suggested that additional vitamin D should be started now, to raise levels before the onset of the winter.But on the contrary, UK scientists warn that caution is needed. The currently available evidence comes from observational studies only which do not prove causation. Furthermore, high levels of vitamin D can be harmful. RELATED: I'm a Doctor and Here's When You Can Safely Keep Your Mask Off16 Final Thoughts From the DoctorThe issue of vitamin D deficiency and the threat of COVID-19 was recently discussed in the New York Times. They reached a sensible conclusion—that those who cannot obtain enough vitamin D from their diet should consider a supplement of 1000-2000 IU/day.It seems to me that vitamin D deficiency is so common, supplementation is safe, and may indeed have numerous understandable benefits for our overall health. This is something relatively easy we can do, which is likely to be beneficial and not harmful for ourselves and those we love. Whether or not it will help protect us from COVID-19 is unknown—but maybe … just maybe? Furthermore, to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID..Dr. Deborah Lee is a medical writer for Dr Fox Online Pharmacy.

Read also

Kylie Jenner’s ex Travis Scott already has a PS5 that he ‘plays all day’ – and could be 1st person in world with console

Warning lifted after Texas child dies from brain-eating microbe found in tap water

Rennes Bow Out Of Chase For Everton Target Jean-Clair Todibo

News, articles, comments, with a minute-by-minute update, now on — latest news 24/7. You can add your news instantly now — here