Have you wondered how much Vitamin D you should take during Covid-19?
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It is now three months since the World Health Organization declared a global Coronavirus pandemic.
And now - what do we know so far?
Certainly, we understand that this is a highly virulent and destructive virus with mortality rates as high as 3.6%.
Does How Much Vitamin We Take Matter?
Some scientists think that low vitamin D levels lead to low immunity that makes a person more susceptible to COVID-19, the multisystemic disease caused by the Coronavirus.
Certainly, we know that Vitamin D does not prevent COVID-19.
But we think that healthy Vitamin D levels are associated with less severe COVID-19 disease.
How Much Vitamin D in Food and Supplements?
Foods that contain Vitamin D include fatty fish like salmon, sardines, tuna, and egg yolk.
In some countries, the typical recommended daily dose of Vitamin D for children is 400 units.
For people aged 18 years and above, recommended daily Vitamin D dose could vary from 800 units to 1000 units.
Additionally, in individuals who have low levels of Vitamin D, the daily needs for Vitamin D will be higher.
But, excess doses of Vitamin D for prolonged periods can increase your risk of developing kidney stones.
It can also cause calcium buildup in the blood vessels.
But remember - taking more than maintenance doses of Vitamin D (over 1000 units per day in kids or more than 4000 units per day in adults) is considered harmful.
In addition, the best multivitamin will contain Vitamin D amounts that meet the daily need, so that additional supplementation is not required.
Most importantly, this should guide people to know how much Vitamin D they need.
Research on Vitamin D with COVID-19
Here are the summaries of two clinical research papers on Vitamin D concerning COVID.
- Firstly, in winter climates, there is reduced exposure to sun rays which usually help the skin to produce vitamin D.
- Reduced stay home periods and outdoor movements lead to reduced sun exposure and thus the ability to make Vitamin D in the body (learn more about how this works here).
- Secondly, low vitamin D has been linked with respiratory infections due to reduced immunity.
- As a result, some scientists believe maintaining healthy vitamin D levels to boost the immune system is essential.
Summary: How much Vitamin D You Need? (Three-Nation Review)
|Vitamin D |
|CHILDREN||200||400 - 600||400 - 600|
|ADULTS||200 - 600||400 - 800||600 - 800|
*RDAs may vary from one country to another - and people with known risk factors for low Vitamin D may require more.
For instance, in Nigeria, people such as those with obesity, fat malabsorption or women who are menopausal need 800 to 1000 IU vitamin D per day.
During Covid-19, it helps to keep your vitamin D levels at normal range.
Fortunately, this is easily achieved through your diet, supplements and adequate (not excess) sunlight exposure.
Low levels of Vitamin D can be detected by blood tests - and if low, you will be given a treatment dose to return the levels to normal.
Finally. if you are unsure of your Vitamin D you need - discuss this with your doctor. Blood tests can be arranged to see if you require regular or higher doses.
Watch these Videos for more information:
- Vitamin D and the Immune System links
- Vitamin D for Covid-19: Prevention or Cure
- Your Immune System Explained - How It Works
Author - Contributed by Dr Ngozi Onuoha, Primary care doctor and founder of www.health4naija.com (Health through Education). Twitter @DrNgoziOnuoha
Editing by AskAwayHealth Team
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