Last month I wrote at length on the crucial role vitamin C and D and iodine play in helping the immune system to fight Covid-19.
Since I wrote that article I released a short video that highlights the compelling evidence that has been published to show that vitamin D deficiency is a demonstrable factor in deaths from the virus, whilst those with normal vitamin D levels are 20 times more likely to have a mild clinical outcome than a critical one. You can view the video here.
Or, put another way, you’re 20 times more likely to have mild symptoms of the illness should you contract it.
The Indonesian study, carried out over a seven-week period between early March and late April this year and involving 780 cases of laboratory-confirmed Covid-19 cases, looked at 380 people who had died with the illness and 400 who had survived and recovered.
It then split those cases into three groups: those who had normal or better vitamin D levels (where normal is 30ng or better – a figure universally recognised by the global medical community), those who had insufficient levels of the vitamin (21-29ng) and those who were vitamin D deficient (20ng or lower).
The results were startling.
It found that 93% of those who survived had normal or better levels of vitamin D (6.5% had insufficient levels and only 0.5% – 2 people – were vitamin D deficient)
By contrast, of those people who died, only 4.2% had normal or better vitamin D levels.
The conclusions of the study were that statistically speaking you are 12 times more likely to die with Covid-19 if you have insufficient vitamin D and 19 times more likely to die if you are vitamin D deficient.
Sunlight is the main source of naturally occurring Vitamin D and there is already a wide range of evidence to prove it reduces the risk of getting the common cold, but a 2006 study also established proof that it is also instrumental in prompting the body to produce antimicrobial peptides, which effectively behave like antibiotics.
It also ramps up the strength of our innate immune system, making us more resistant to a plethora of conditions, including Covid-19.
Crucially, though, vitamin D deficiency has also been shown to be a common factor in people who suffer with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) – a form of which, of course, is consistent with the symptoms of Covid and its cause of death.
And several reputable and regarded studies have concluded that a deficiency in vitamin D is a direct contributor to ARDS, represents an increased risk of hospitalisation and admission to intensive care and is more likely result in death among patients with pneumonia.
As I discussed in my previous article, one of the common theories around the seasonality of flu is that the shorter days of winter – the time flu is most prevalent – mean the majority of people have lower vitamin D levels than in the spring and summer.
Previous trials have already shown that among people with very low vitamin D levels, taking regular daily or weekly vitamin D supplements halved the risk of infection.
Now that spring seems to have arrived and brought warmth and sunshine with it, exposure to 15 minutes of unfiltered sun two to three times weekly, depending on skin type and the time of day, would be sufficient to increase naturally occurring vitamin D levels to normal. However, you should be careful to ensure that only the arms and legs are exposed, and your face should be protected at all times.
However, unless you have tested to make sure that your vitamin D level is in the optimal range (i.e. 40 -50 ng/ml or more) I believe it is prudent in the current circumstances to supplement Vitamin D3 with K2. Vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency is more prevalent in the UK than people think. For many years I have tested all my patients’ levels and would estimate the prevalance of insufficiency to be around 70% or more of those tested.
It is worth emphasising again that normal levels of vitamin D are not the same as optimal levels – developing a regimen of supplemental vitamin D alongside sensible exposure to unfiltered sun would bring even greater benefit in terms of immunity and resistance.
While the world searches for a vaccine that will end coronavirus’ grip on it, there seems to be no doubt that the simple act of being outside in the sunshine and taking vitamin D supplements is highly likely do more for your personal prevention strategy around Covid-19 than you might have imagined.
If you’d like to know more about the role vitamins and iodine can play in keeping you healthy, I recommend to you my recent detailed article and video.