Vitamin D: the infection-fighting one

3 mins read

The sun is our biggest source of Vitamin D. But as it turns out, Britain isn’t the sunniest of places, especially in autumn and winter. And that leaves us in a bit of a pickle.

So since many of us are lacking the Vitamin D we need to help our bodies fight respiratory infections like flu and maybe even Coronavirus, Public Health England recommends that we should all take daily supplements during the colder months.

If you’ve got darker skin, you should think about doing this all year round.

What does the research say?

In 2016, there was a review of 25 randomised control studies into whether Vitamin D prevents respiratory infections, led by Queen Mary University of London

It found that taking extra Vitamin D does protect against acute respiratory tract infections, especially in patients who are vitamin D deficient

Can Vitamin D reduce the Risk of Covid 19?

To see whether higher doses of Vitamin D have a greater benefit in protecting us from Covid-19, a CoronaVit trial began in October 2020, also led by Queen Mary University London.

It’s led by Clinical Professor of respiratory infections Professor Adrian Martineau, who’s basing the new research on 3 primary facts:

  1. Vitamin D boosts responses to respiratory viruses in general and dampens down inflammation. People who do badly with Covid-19 have over enthusiastic inflammation responses.
  2. People who are Vitamin D deficient are also at most at risk of Covid-19 (including older people, black & Asian ethnic origin, and those overweight)
  3. Several studies have linked low Vitamin D levels to increased risk of Covid-19 an poorer outcomes. An initial study found that ONLY 2% of patients admitted to hospital with Coronavirus, who were then given high doses of vitamin D had to be admitted to ICU, Vs 50% of the group without Vitamin D.

We’ll update this page once we know the results of the trial.

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