Medical Expo E-Mag:
Many nutrients and elements influence the resilience of the human immune system. Among these, vitamin C, vitamin D and zinc stand out as some of the most important, with immunomodulatory functions as well as a role in maintaining epithelial and endothelial barriers, including lung tissue. With the Covid-19 pandemic currently showing no signs of abating, there has been much speculation about whether they could play a role in both the prevention and treatment of the virus.
Around the world, multiple studies are now ongoing to determine whether supplements of common nutrients and vitamins could help ward off infections of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes Covid-19 or even treat the disease by limiting its inflammatory effect on the lungs and other organs. What is clear is that the greatest benefit of supplements is likely for people who suffer from specific nutrient deficiencies.
Despite its name, vitamin D is actually a hormone produced within the body which regulates over 200 genes in different cell types. Vitamin D is known to help keep bones strong and enhances the functionality of immune cells. Vitamin D may also help control inflammatory responses generated by Covid-19 by downregulating pro-inflammatory cytokines. The high mortality rate and long-term symptoms of Covid-19 are associated with so-called “cytokine storms”, which are caused by an overreaction of the body’s immune system.
Preliminary data from patients with Covid-19 suggests a relationship between vitamin D deficiency and the severity of cytokine storms, indicated by high serum levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), which rises when there is inflammation in the body. A study published in May 2020 found a link between low levels of vitamin D and higher percentages of Covid-19 cases and mortality in Europe, while a study published in September 2020 reported that hospitalized Covid-19 patients who had sufficient levels of vitamin D showed less severe symptoms and lower mortality. Boston University School of Medicine’s Dr. Michael Holick, senior author of the second study, explained in a press release:
“Our study provides direct evidence that vitamin D sufficiency can reduce Covid-19 complications, including cytokine storms and ultimately death.”