Move Over Vitamin C… There’s a New Immune Booster in Town
Vitamin C, especially when taken in conjunction with zinc, has long been revered as the ideal combo for boosting immunity. And for good reason. These are certainly excellent nutritional sources for boosting the immune system and protecting against illnesses. But in the fight against COVID-19, Vitamin D seems to be emerging as the powerhouse, according to some physicians.
Numerous studies across the globe are showing Vitamin D to be leading the way in protection against and reduction of the severity of cases of coronavirus. Most people know Vitamin D as a nutrient that aids in the body’s ability to absorb calcium and build strong bones. While this is certainly true, let’s look at what these new studies are revealing about Vitamin D’s role in the immune and respiratory systems.
Vitamin D and Immunity
Vitamin D boosts the immunity in a few ways. It has anti-inflammatory properties, immunoregulatory properties and activates immune system defenses. Dr. Jaclyn Tolentino at Parsley Health in Los Angeles further elaborates: Vitamin D activates T-cells (aka killer cells) that detect and destroy foreign pathogens – like viruses.
Conversely, having a Vitamin D deficiency is shown to increase susceptibility to infections, including upper respiratory tract infections, tuberculosis, influenza and other viral infections.
Vitamin D and COVID-19
While the world is still uncovering the mysteries of COVID-19, strides are being made in understanding the virus, including how it impacts the body and how to combat it. New research coming out of Dublin suggests that Vitamin D could enhance a body’s resistance to COVID-19 or lower the severity of the illness for those who contract and show symptoms of the coronavirus.
Dr. Daniel McCartney, a lecturer in Human Nutrition & Dietetics from the Technological University Dublin, noted that Vitamin D deficiency is rampant in Ireland, particularly in elderly populations, nursing home residents and hospital inpatients. Lack of access and exposure to sunlight, especially in the winter months, make them more vulnerable.
Vitamin D supplementation has been shown to suppress CD26, a cell surface receptor thought to facilitate the introduction of COVID-19 into the host cell.
Vitamin D Sources and Supplements
The best-known source of natural Vitamin D is the sun. Getting sunlight unprotected can be tricky business for some people. It’s important to get it, but you have to be careful when and how much in order to balance and protect against potentially harmful rays and prolonged exposure leading to skin cancer. (Think early morning or late afternoon / early evening for a short walk.) For optimal vitamin production and for those who have no sensitivites to the sun, it is recommended to get 20-30 minutes of exposure during the noon day hours.
Food sources of Vitamin D include fortified foods, such as milk and cereal, as well as foods with naturally occurring Vitamin D like egg yolks, cheese, beef liver and fatty fish. But even if you follow an ideal diet, getting sufficient Vitamin D through food sources alone can be difficult, especially when trying to beef up the quantities needed for protecting your immune system.
Fortunately, supplementing a healthy diet with Vitamin D (25-50 micrograms per day) is a cheap, safe and potentially very effective protection. This recommendation, especially over the next three to six months, is critical as the world awaits health improvements.
Vitamin D-3 softgels and our new liquid Vitamin D (which can be used by children or adults) offer just what you and your family need – the ability to boost your immune system and potentially protect yourself!
It is important to note that, at the time of this writing, there is no cure for COVID-19, and no known, proven preventive measures. Follow the CDC’s recommendations of social distancing and proper hygiene practices.
If you have questions on how Vitamin D can help your immune system and impact your respiratory health, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at BIPRI via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.