For the past few days, we have been constantly hearing how vitamin D can protect us against COVID-19. But does vitamin D actually protect you from coronavirus?
Your skin gets vitamin D when it is exposed to sunlight. The vitamin is essential for bone growth and strength as it helps in the intestinal absorption of calcium, magnesium, and phosphate.Vitamin D is fat-soluble and regulates the immune response of white blood cells by preventing them from releasing too many inflammatory cytokines.
Excess of cytokines can lead to cytokine storm, which is a complication associated with COVID-19.
Cytokine storm is an acute immune reaction which makes the body destroy its own cells and tissues along with the virus.
Who is more at risk?
According to a paper published in The Lancet, older and darker-skinned people who are likely to have low levels of Vitamin D may benefit from supplementation of the essential vitamin to protect against severe symptoms of COVID-19.
Thus, elderly and dark-skinned people might reap benefits from vitamin D supplements, when it comes to strengthening their immune system.Do not self-medicate
Low levels of vitamin D and susceptibility to acute respiratory tract infections. When taken orally, the danger of side effects and toxicity of the vitamin are low.
The risk of toxicity could be high for people with kidney and liver diseases, as their body might not be able to excrete the vitamin. Thus, vitamin D supplements should not be taken without a prescription.