Thursday, 7 December 2023 – 20:27 WIB
VIVA Lifestyle – Vitamin D functions to increase the body’s immunity. After news of the spike in COVID-19 numbers occurring again in Indonesia, the public was also advised to start taking precautions, starting from adopting a clean and healthy lifestyle to consuming health supplements.
A series of studies reveal that vitamin D can protect the body from contracting SARS-CoV-2, the virus that can cause COVID-19. Vitamin D can also reduce the severity of the disease if the test results are positive for COVID-19. Scroll for more information.
In a study, University of Chicago Medicine researchers led by Dr, David Meltzer, the university’s Chief of Hospital Medicine, found a link between vitamin D deficiency and the risk of developing COVID-19.
Researchers studied 489 hospital patients and observed that those with vitamin D deficiency (defined as less than 20 nanograms per milliliter of blood) were almost twice as likely (1.77 times higher) to test positive for the novel coronavirus than those who normal vitamin D levels.
“These findings appear to support a role for vitamin D status in COVID-19 risk,” the researchers wrote in their retrospective cohort study, reported HealthlineThursday 7 December 2023.
They also called for further clinical studies into possible links between the vitamin and disease. Meltzer said he ranks the adequacy of vitamin D in food below wearing a mask and maintaining hygiene, when it comes to preventing COVID-19.
“But I think it should be at the top of everyone’s list. There’s a lot of evidence that we need to address [kekurangan vitamin D] very seriously,” Meltzer said.
Vitamin D plays a very important role in keeping the body healthy and fighting disease in the least damaging way by moderating the immune response without triggering excessive immune reactions such as cytokine storms that are often associated with severe illness due to COVID-19, according to Dr, Manisha Singal, a doctor internal medicine and chief medical officer at Bridgepoint Hospital in Washington, DC
“It directs the immune system away from highly inflamed pathways and toward more regulated pathways,” says Dr, Manisha Singal, an Internal Medicine Physician.
Illustration of COVID-19/Corona Virus.
While it is best to get vitamin D from natural sources, supplements are also effective in boosting the immune system. The body will get enough vitamin D if it eats relatively healthy foods and gets enough sunlight.
Lack of vitamin D in the body has a negative impact on health, namely susceptibility to viral infections. More than 40 percent of the US population is deficient in vitamin D, which can be found in foods such as salmon and other fatty fish, egg yolks, mushrooms, and foods fortified with the vitamin, such as milk. Vitamin D requires exposure to sunlight to be active in the body, a unique characteristic of the vitamin.
A recent meta-analysis of 40 studies found that long-term daily doses of vitamin D appear to protect against acute respiratory infections. Other studies have also found a link between vitamin D levels and susceptibility to COVID-19.
Notably, a small randomized study from the University of Grenada in Spain found that of 50 people with COVID-19 who were treated with calcifediol, a type of vitamin D, one person had to be admitted to the ICU, while 13 of 26 untreated people had to be admitted to the ICU.
The study found that people who died of COVID-19 in hospital also tended to have lower vitamin D levels than those who survived.
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