A new strain of COVID 19 has raised alarms in the UK and has forced some counties to impose travel bans on persons travelling from that territory. Even while this is happening and there are rising numbers of cases in the United States of America and other parts of the world, there is hope that relief is in sight; this with the approval of at least two vaccines for emergency use. Could we have stemmed the tide and reduced the negative impact of the pandemic sooner? If the claim of the group Vitamin D for all Coalition has any merit, then the answer is yes.
In an open letter to governments, doctors and other key stakeholders worldwide, more than 110 scientists and doctors across the globe are advocating that with immediate effect increased Vitamin D intake should be recommended to reduce COVID -19 infections, hospitalizations, ICU admissions and deaths. “The data strongly suggests that vitamin D is the safest, easiest, and most important anti-pandemic measure the world is failing to prioritize,” says Karl Pfleger, Ph.D., biotech investor, former Google data scientist, and one of the organizers of VitaminDforAll.org.”
The signatories admit that they have been taking Vitamin D in doses exceeding the US daily recommended doses. According to the letter, “Evidence to date suggests the possibility that the COVID-19 pandemic sustains itself in large part through infection of those with low vitamin D, and that deaths are concentrated largely in those with deficiency.” Studies show that more than 80% of COVID 19 patients are deficient in vitamin D. Interestingly, this letter comes a few days after some the UK government‘s health bodies deny that there is enough evidence to support increasing Vitamin D intake for COVID-19 specifically.
Vitamin D is also known as the sunshine vitamin because it is naturally produced by the body when the body is exposed to sunlight. It can also be had through foods such as salmon, shrimp, sardines, yogurt and fortified milk, cereal yogurt and orange juice and through supplements. Vitamin D deficiency has been known to result in bone diseases such as osteoporosis (fragile bones) and osteomalacia (soft bones). Adequate amounts are said to ward of illnesses such as the flu. While it is highly unlikely to get too much vitamin D from sunlight and food intake, taking Vitamin D supplements in high doses and over prolonged periods can cause toxicity in the body.
While the verdict is still out on the effectiveness of Vitamin D in the fight against COVID 19, it is recommended that you try to get an adequate amount of this important nutrient. A point to ponder is whether or not increased COVID-19 numbers can be any way attributed to lack of exposure to adequate amounts of sunlight or Vitamin D deficiency in diets.