Covid 19 And Vitamin D3
Corona viruses are a large group of viral infections that can affect both humans and animals. They get their name from the Latin root for “crown” or the aura of plasma that surrounds the Sun. This is because they appear to have projections from themselves looking like the projections seen on our sun. There are now 7 known Corona viruses that have affected humans. The first four types are common and cause common colds. The next 3 include SARS, MERS and now the most recent pandemic SARs-CoV2 or Covid-19 also better known as the Corona Virus that is causing the current pandemic.
Studies of Vitamin D3 in Regards to Covid-19
The recent study in Ireland shows that countries such as Spain and Italy that rely solely on sunlight for their D3 supplementation have an overall lower rates of vitamin D3 level in their population vs. countries such as Sweden and Finland that use supplementation as their main means of D3 nutrition. What is also observed is that the populations that suffer lower levels of D3 had a worse outcome overall with Covid-19 infections. Hence the authors of the study recommend optimizing vitamin D3 levels in all populations as a means of preventing morbidity and mortality.
Effectiveness of Vitamins in Recent Studies
One of the biggest issues with Covid-19 infection is its pulmonary side effects and severe pulmonary edema causing need for ventilator support. Research has begun to show that this inflammatory response is more to do with the bodies over recruitment of inflammatory white blood cells than the viral load. It appears that vitamin D3 plays an important role in suppressing and controlling this overdrive of the immune system and slowing the pulmonary issues in patients with normal D3 levels. Recent studies are linking Vitamin D3 deficiency and poor outcome to Covid-19 infection. At the outset of the pandemic Northwestern University researchers were able to complete a statistical analysis of patients from countries across the globe that have been hit hardest by the Covid-19 infection. Their research appears to show a direct relationship between Vitamin D3 deficiency and Covid-19 mortality rates.
“…it is important for people to know that vitamin D deficiency might play a role in mortality…”.
Today at hospitals it is becoming the standard of care to add large doses of Vitamin D3 in levels of 20,000IU to 100,000IU daily for 3 days to treat any admitted Covid-19 patient. Dr. Osborne in a recent report by a Major News Channel discussed the benefits of this large dose vitamin D3 therapies.
"With vitamin D, there is a therapy that can be done that I recommend, and its 1,000 international units (IU) of vitamin D per pound. So, if you are 100 pounds, you would take 100,000 international units of vitamin D for three days. After that, you do not have to keep taking those higher doses, but three days of high dose vitamin D will elevate your serum vitamin D levels to adequate levels,"
Dr. Osborne explained. Dr. Osborne also
“stressed everyone should think of boosting their immune systems using four different supplements – Vitamin D, Vitamin C, and Zinc”.
There appears to be no old fears of high dose therapy in the short term with the above vitamins, and it shows improved health benefits for the recipients of the viral illness in the preliminary studies.
Could Melatonin Help?
A recent article in National Center for Biotechnology Information and reprinted by Awaken touched upon what is known as cytokine storm in the medical field. “The pathogenesis of a COVID-19 respiratory infection, in a major way, is related to what is referred to as the cytokine storm” or in lay terms a hyper-inflammatory response that can do more damage to tissue than fighting an infection. During this cytokine storm,
“an explosive production of proinflammatory cytokines … occurs, greatly exaggerating the generation of molecule-damaging reactive oxygen species (free radicals). In severe cases, the cytokine storm is responsible for the most obvious signs of a COVID-19 infection including fever, lung injury which causes cough and shortness of breath (and the long-term complication, lung fibrosis) and in death.”
It was believed in the past that melatonin was only produced in the pineal gland of the brain and only involved in promotion of sleep. However, recent studies have shown that it is produced in the mitochondria which is the energy center of every cell in your body, and it controls different functions in the cell proliferation and activation.
Recent article by the National Institute of Health (NIH) touch upon
“melatonins potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities, it would normally reduce the highly proinflammatory cytokine storm and neutralize the generated free radicals thereby preserving cellular integrity and preventing lung damage… the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant actions of melatonin in protecting the lungs from damage in many experimental models that involve inflammation or oxidative stress (or both) is well documented. Moreover, melatonin has antiviral actions against viruses other than COVID-19.”
Hence there may be a possible advantage in taking melatonin not just for improved sleep but to protect against Covid-19 infection and its harmful effects. More research in this area is needed.
Other ways we can help improve our health is through sleeping. We realize that a good nights sleep is usually easier said than done, so supplementing with melatonin is a great way to ease your body to sleep and avoid restless nights. A healthy immune system needs a healthy sleep schedule. In adults the safe range of melatonin is around 1 to 10mg and anything near 30 mg can cause overdose. Overdose is rare but can have health risks so stick to the standard dosing in 24 hours.
This information is only for educational purposes and is not medical advice or intended as a recommendation of any specific products. Consult your health care provider for more information. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Pressler, Ann. “Melatonin: How Much Should I Take for a Good Night’s Rest?” Cleveland Clinic - Medical, health and wellness news, information and insights from Cleveland Clinic’s experts, designed to help people make quality decisions about their healthcare., 5 March 2019. Accessed 28 July 2021.
“Vitamin D, other everyday vitamins could counter coronavirus effects: report.” Fox 35 Orlando, 26 Dacember 2020. Accessed 28 July 2021.
Morris, Amanda. “Vitamin D appears to play role in COVID-19 mortality rates.” Medical Press, 8 May 2020. Accessed 28 July 2021
Harrison-Dunn, Annie. “Sweden to expand mandatory vitamin D fortification.” Nutra, 27 May 2015. Accessed 28 July 2021.
“Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).” Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed 28 July 2021.
“Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).” Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed 28 July 2021.
“Coronavirus.” World Health Organization. Accessed 28 July 2021.
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