Vitamin D3: Game changer for the Covid-19 Pandemic and Flu season?



A new study published in the Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism found that 80% of the 200 patients admitted to the hospital with the coronavirus were deficient in vitamin D.  Another study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found an association with vitamin D deficiency and the likelihood of being infected with the coronavirus. In this study, conducted at University of Chicago Medicine, found that patients with a vitamin D deficiency were twice as likely to test positive for coronavirus then those with a normal level of vitamin D. Another study published in the Public Library of Science ( PLOS Journal)  found that Vitamin D supplementation in hospitalized patients with Covid-19 reduced clinical severity, inpatient mortality and reduced the inflammation marker C-reactive protein and increased lymphocyte percentages. The study suggests that improving vitamin D levels in the general population and in hospitalized patients could provide a potential benefit in patients suffering from morbidities of the coronavirus.  An additional hospital study that took place between March 3rd to April 10th 2020 that was published in JAMA found that vitamin D treatment decreased the incidence of viral respiratory tract infection suggesting that vitamin D deficiency increased Covid-19 risk. 
 
Vitamin D is classified as a fat soluble vitamin whose main purpose is to provide calcium absorption in the gut enabling normal bone mineralization.  Vitamin D is very important for bone health and bone growth.  In addition, much research shows that vitamin D reduces inflammation in the body and has a major impact on immune system function.  Ironically, vitamin D is not actually a vitamin, it is a prohormone.  Vitamins are the nutrients that the body cannot create.  They have to be taken in via food and or supplementation.  The body creates its own vitamin D by synthesizing it from sunlight.  Sunlight exposure to the skin is what creates vitamin D3 in our body.  The only other way to acquire vitamin D is through supplementation.
 
In a nutshell, vitamin D3 has been shown to increase immune system health, decrease inflammation, strengthen bones and teeth, help with depression, benefit blood pressure, help prevent type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Lastly, vitamin D has been shown to reduce cancer risk of colorectal, breast, prostate and pancreatic.
 
What should you do?  Healthy sun exposure in the warmer months is very important. 20-30 minutes of sun exposure is enough to boost levels of vitamin D without burning your skin.  If you cannot get enough sun exposure due to your job or aversion to the sun, vitamin D3 supplementation is the answer.  It is also the answer for the fall and winter seasons.  One scientific theory is to why flu season is in the fall and winter is due to the decreased level of sun exposure.  For this reason, vitamin D3 has been nicknamed the flu shot vitamin.
 
To make the most out of your vitamin D3 intake, you must take your D3 with vitamin K. Vitamin K when taken with D, activates certain proteins that pushes vitamin D into the body’s cells, primarily bone cells.  It is also a good idea to take magnesium with vitamin D3, as all of the enzymes that metabolize vitamin D3 require magnesium for optimal vitamin D3 uptake.
 
How much D3 do you need?  First, it is best to have your vitamin D3 levels checked with lab work to see if you are deficient.  If you are, you will need extra dosages to bring your levels up.  Studies show that with sun exposure 400-800 units a day is fine.  No sun or the winter months, studies show 1000-2000 units a day is beneficial.  Top level researchers on vitamin D3 have said that you should take 35 units per pound of bodyweight. In my case at 190 lbs, I take 7000 units a day in the winter.
 
At the very least after reading all the research about vitamin D3 and immune system health (plus, all the other benefits) during this coronavirus pandemic, it would definitely be a good idea to take vitamin D3 on a daily basis.

Pregnancy News:  Why do they call it morning sickness?  As all pregnant women know, nausea can occur at anytime of the day during your pregnancy.  A British study confirmed that most women know they are pregnant by the 2nd month of their pregnancy.  And while the most intense nausea occurs between 7am and 1pm, nausea typically occurs all day.  The point of the study is to let women know that they should not feel that something is wrong if during their pregnancy they feel nauseas in the afternoon or evening.  On a side note, a visit to the chiropractor has been shown to help with cases of pregnancy nausea.

Author
Dr J. Zimmerman, Chiropractor Dr. Zimmerman is a practicing chiropractor from Galloway, NJ with 30 years of chiropractic practice.

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