Covid: does vitamin D protects from the disease?

Published by Caroline J., Laurent P. · Published on 16 November 2020 at 15h55 · Updated on 17 November 2020 at 11h22
As England is about to give vitamin D to over 2 million British due to the Covid-19 crisis, vitamin D as more and more scientists interested. Effective against some respiratory diseases, is it also against coronavirus? Could vitamin D help recover from the virus and halt contamination risks? Different studies are being carried out in the world.

As winter is coming, many specialists recommend you take vitamin D in order to face this rough period of the year. But is Vitamin D truly effective against Covid-19? So far, even though no formal study proved the effectiveness of this vitamin against Covid-19, many countries are giving it away like hot cakes to help people the most at risk. This is the case of England, that after Scotland announced to give vitamin D to over 2 million British, especially elderly people, to face the winter and with the idea to reduce risks to develop a severe form of the disease.

Earlier in November, still in England, a study has been carried out to to check if vitamin D is effective against the virus. Furthermore, a certain number of studies showed the presence of a lack of Vitamin D in patients suffering from serious Coronavirus. According to a Spanish study released in the Journal of Clinical Endocrynology and Metabolismout of over 230 patients hospitalized, about 80% of them showed a lack, against 47% of the general popultion.

A clinical trial ont he matter has been carried out in Maine-et-Loire. Led by Pr. Cédric Annweiler - head of Anger university hospital geriatrics department - this study focused on the observation of seventy patients - all tested positive for Covid-19 and aged 65+. The idea? Creating three groups of sick receiving a treatment based on vitamin D at two very distinctive moments: one prior to the diagnosis and the other after the disease was confirmed. The last group has been given nothing. "With hindsight, we have noticed the survival rate of people given vitamin D on the long-term basis was much betterPr. Cédric Annweiler said in Ouest-France.

A new study - still led by Pr. Cédric Annweiler - is on since this past April. The goal? Assessing the effectiveness of vitamin D as a treatment to help recover from Covid-19. Results if this clinical trial are to be delivered in the next few weeks.

In Norway, searchers are studying the benefits of cod liver oil, especially rick in vitamin D, as a preventive medicine against Covid-19 and risks for developing a severe form of the disease. Once again, this is one of the major studies to have been organized in the country: Oslo university hospital is studying at least 70,000 volunteers as part of this study.

Therefore, is vitamin D a strong ally against Coronavirus? One thing is sure, it heps us fix calcium on bones. And it has been proven to be effective against respiratory infections such as the flue, cold...

Therefore, the Anses, or French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety, recently reminds the importance of vitamin D for our bodies and specially to boost our immune systems.

In the current covid-19 epidemic context, immune defenses can be particularly used” the Anses says on its website. But how can you sure you get your daily dose of vitamin D as confined?

As much as possible, try and stay in the sun for 15 to 20 minutes. In your garden, on your terrace, balcony or at the window, the Anses says that staying for fifteen minutes a day, even just your hands, forearms and face, guarantees “the daily share of vitamin D necessary to cover the needs of an healthy adult”.

And if the weather is bad, do not forget that several fatty foods are here to bring your dose of vitamin D. so, the Anses gave a list of foods packed with vitamin D:

  • Oily fish: herring, sardine, salmon and mackerel
  • Offal (especially liver)
  • Egg yolk
  • Dairies enriched with vitamin D
  • Butter and margarines
  • Cheese
  • Meat

The French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety also says “even when not confined, it’s important to regularly eat these foods to guarantee enough supply to your organism”.

Same call for the Académie Nationale de Médecine. In a release published this past May 22, the Academy explained: "Vitamin D cannot be considered as a preventive or healing treatment of the SARS-CoV-2 infection; but by softening the inflamatory storms and its consequences, it could be considered as an adjuvant to any kind of therapy". Furthermore, still according to the ANMVitamin D adapts the immune system "by stimulating the macrophages and the dentritic cells" and therefore is part of the "regulation and cancelation of the inflamatory cytokinic response originating the acute respiratory distress syndrom characterizing the serious and often deadly forms of Covid-19".

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