In recent weeks, there has been much to do about the link between vitamin D deficiency and the corona virus. Some studies speak of the fact that 80% of patients who ended up in intensive care were deficient in vitamin D.
Researchers from the British Anglia Ruskin University, University of East Anglia and specialists from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Foundation Trust examined the vitamin D levels of residents of twenty different European countries. They compared those figures to the number of deaths from the coronavirus in each country. For example, they discovered a striking link between countries where a vitamin D deficiency is a common fact and where the coronavirus caused many deaths. We already know that the most vulnerable population group for the virus lies in our older population. Vitamin D deficiency is much more common in that group.
What is Vitamin D?
The term vitamin D stands for a group of fat-soluble prohormones, of which the two main forms are:
– Vitamin D2 (Ergocalciferol, the vegetable form) and
– Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol, the animal form). Vitamin D3 can be produced by the skin with the help of ultraviolet light from the sun. In most cases, however, skin synthesis in Western Europe is inadequate and humans remain dependent on supplies from external sources. Today, vitamin D3 is often considered a prohormone, as it is converted into the active form (calcitriol) by hydroxylation in the liver and kidneys. Vitamin D2 must be metabolized in the body to vitamin D3 and then converted into the active form (calcitrol).
Our current Western diet already contains many essential nutrients. Vitamin D is one of them. Only a number of foods (egg yolks, mushrooms, cod liver oil) contain easily absorbable forms of vitamin D. Research has shown that in Western Europe almost three quarters (!) Of adults have an insufficient Vitamin D intake of 3.2 µg / d on average. from food, while the recommended daily allowance (RDA value) of Vitamin D is 5 µg.
This deficiency is particularly relevant in the over-40s: three quarters of the population over 45 years of age has a vitamin D deficiency (<30ng / ml).
Why is vitamin D so important?
Vitamin D plays an important role in a number of physiological processes in the body:
- it regulates the levels of calcium and phosphate in the blood by promoting their absorption from food in the intestines, as well as by promoting the reuptake of calcium and phosphate in the kidneys. Vitamin D also reduces the mobilization of calcium from our bones, which is a typical phenomenon of aging and causes osteoporosis. Sufficient vitamin D is crucial for normal bone and tooth mineralization
- it supports immune system function through its influence on immunosuppression, phagocytosis and anti-tumor activity.
- it helps to maintain the normal muscle functions we need to stay physically active and strong
What does vitamin D do with COVID-19?
All experts seem to agree on one thing: most people who live in temperate climates suffer far too often in winter with a vitamin D deficiency. can create. This compromises the functioning of the immune system and plays a crucial role if we become infected with the virus. That is why it is recommended to take a vitamin D supplement every day, especially during the gloomy months. This way you strengthen your immune system, you increase your chances of recovery from COVID-19, but also your bone capital.
What form of Vitamin D to take?
As with all supplements, it is very important to choose high quality. That way you can be sure that you are not taking any crap and you are also sure that it is an optimally absorbable form. I myself take a product made in Belgium: Vitamin D-complex Forte from Natural Energy that you can easily order at the pharmacy.
I used to take Vitamin D from Life Extension which also has great products.