We are now a year into the Coronavirus pandemic that has sprung onto the world, the battle continues each day to fight this virus and try to find a way to beat it. What we have found out is that if Covid19 hits the body hard it creates a cytokine storm and the body attacks itself, in this case this is leading to a number of deaths across the world.
This is due to high activation of the immune system prior to contracting the disease. The big contributors to the efficiency of the disease is obesity, type 2 diabetes and metabolic dysfunction, these create systemic inflammation in the human body which means there are high circulating levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines and with an overflow of these lead to tissue and organ failure which can lead to death.
With rates of obesity and metabolic dysfunction hitting all time highs due to lack of exercise and poor dietary and lifestyle habits, there is no wonder that the virus is affecting a majority of the people in the United States. We have the highest rate of obesity, that's nothing to be proud of.
So our goal is to create a body of armor for our immune system. So how do we do this?
Enter Vitamin D
A study from The Endocrine Society cited that over 80 percent of COVID-19 patients have vitamin D deficiency, another study published in Nutrients concludes that vitamin D deficiency accounts for almost 9 of 10 COVID-19 Deaths. What is clear now is that if there are underlying conditions related to deficiencies in nutrients and more importantly metabolic dysfunction there is a greater risk that this disease will affect people. Now is the time that people need to take their health and put it in check, realize that this virus is attacking the human body and if there is not an efficient immune system to defend then the organism will not survive. Tough to hear but that's how it goes.
Vitamin D is not just any old vitamin, it is a powerhouse for the immune system, it helps build the shield we need. It causes the body to make AMPs (Antimicrobial Peptides) they provide the first line of defense against a wide range of pathogens, killing them when they enter the body. The vitamin gives the cells a suit of armor, who doesn’t want their cells to be like Iron Man.
Vitamin D3 has been shown to downregulate the production of inflammatory cytokines (IL-6, TNF-alpha, while increasing inhibitory cytokines. With a decrease in production of the “bad” cytokines and enhancement of the immune system Vitamin D packs a punch against metabolic disease and other pathogens.
So now it’s time to take action!
It is time to get serious about our health, we have a virus in this world that wants to wipe us off it and in no way are our systems going to let that happen. But if we do not take care of our bodies then it can. In regards to vitamin D we need to optimize it in our body we need to get it in so the cells can utilize it. The best food sources of Vitamin D are:
Cod liver oil
Getting these foods in on a daily and weekly basis is key, the other way to get optimal vitamin D is sun exposure, probably the best way. If you live in a zone where it is available then perfect get outside and get the sun on your skin. If you are like me and it's winter time (right now) and the sun is not optimal then supplementation is another way to get it in.
Make sure you make it a priority to get Vitamin D in and make your body a pathogen fighting machine.
1.Aranow C. (2011). Vitamin D and the immune system. Journal of investigative medicine : the official publication of the American Federation for Clinical Research, 59(6), 881–886. https://doi.org/10.2310/JIM.0b013e31821b8755
2. European Society of Endocrinology. (2019, July 25). Vitamin D supplementation may slow diabetes progression. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 9, 2020 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/07/190725211631.htm
2.Frontiers. (2016, December 21). Vitamin D improves gut flora and metabolic syndrome: Extra vitamin D can restore good bacteria in the gut, according to a study in mice, giving hope in the fight against risk factors for diabetes and heart disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 9, 2020 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/12/161221125439.htm
3.Rekha, Rokeya Sultana. “Role of Antimicrobial Peptides in Tuberculosis and Respiratory Tract Infections: Clinical and Mechanistic Studies.” Stockholm: Karolinska Institutet, 2015.
4. Vitamin D And COVID-19: Everything You Need To Know, 2020): Ben Greenfield Fitness - Diet, Fat Loss and Performance Advice. 2020. Vitamin D And COVID-19: Everything You Need To Know. [online] Available at: <https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/podcast/supplements-podcasts/vitamin-d-and-covid-19/> [Accessed 9 December 2020]