Vitamin D Might Help Fight COVID-19

THURSDAY, January 28, 2021 (HealthDay News) – Vitamin D is an essential nutrient, and recent research has suggested that it may also help guard against severe COVID-19.

But how much is enough and how difficult is it to get the right amount of vitamin D?

“We know that a large percentage of the population has suboptimal levels of vitamin D. In fact, up to half of the American population may be vitamin D deficient,” said Kristin Gustashaw, clinical dietitian at Rush. University Medical Center of Chicago. “This can eventually lead to symptoms such as fatigue, fatigue, hair loss, delayed wound healing, decreased immune health, muscle pain and more, with no other known causes.

“Part of the difficulty in maintaining vitamin D levels is because there isn’t a wide variety of foods that contain a lot of vitamin D,” Gustashaw added in a press release from the medical center.

The vitamin is available to people through certain foods, supplements, and even in the sun.

Food sources include egg yolks, milk, cheese, beef or veal liver, and some fish, such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines. Other foods are fortified with vitamin D, including certain grains, breads, soy milk, and orange juice.

Gustashaw also recommends that people be in the sun for at least 15 to 30 minutes a day, but says they should be sure to get a constant source of nutrients through their diet and supplementation.

Adults should receive at least 600 IU of vitamin D per day and 800 IU if they are over 70 years old. Children should receive 600 IU per day. And infants up to the age of 12 months should receive 400 IU / day. Gustashaw says you can determine your vitamin D level with a blood test.

If you have low vitamin D levels, it’s always best to talk to your healthcare provider or dietitian about the best way to increase your intake, experts at Rush University said..

Certain drugs can affect the absorption of vitamin D. These include steroids, cholestyramide, a cholesterol lowering drug, and the anti-epileptic drugs phenobarbital and phenytoin.

Although vitamin D toxicity is rare, there is no evidence that taking more than the upper limit of the recommended dose is beneficial, experts said. In some cases, excessive amounts of vitamin D can lead to kidney failure, calcification of soft tissues throughout the body, including coronary vessels and heart valves, heart arrhythmias, and even death.

More information

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is doing more to ensure that your children are getting the proper amounts of vitamin D.

SOURCE: Rush University Medical Center, press release, January 22, 2021

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