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Researchers to find out the effects of vitamin D on coronavirus


In the past few months, there has been growing evidence that vitamin D can lower the odds of developing respiratory infections like cold and flu. It is believed that people with a deficiency have a weak immune system, which makes them more susceptible to developing coronavirus. Now, researchers from Penn State University in the US are trying to find whether vitamin D could help ward off or alleviate the symptoms of coronavirus. Also Read – Masks may never go away even after a vaccine is available: ICMR chief

The Aim Of The Study

A team of researchers including, virologist Troy Sultan and Girish Kirimanjiswara, are all set to find out how vitamin D regulates the immune system in the gastrointestinal tract. Previous reports have suggested that enough levels of  this vitamin in the system can help maintain digestive health. Also Read – COVID-19 Live Updates: Cases in India surge to 94,31,691 while death toll reaches 1,37,139

The research team plans to determine the “effects, dose and timing of possible vitamin D interventions in infected animals,” as reported by IANS. Also Read – Chinese researchers claim coronavirus originated in India in summer 2019

They believe that studies have associated SARS-CoV-2 with gastrointestinal tract, and vitamin D may help regulate gastrointestinal as well as lung immunity.

Vitamin D Previously Linked To An Alleviated Risk Of Coronavirus

A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism found that around 82 per cent of 216 COVID-19 patients had low levels of vitamin D in their system. Another study by Boston University shed light on the same subject, stating that high levels of the nutrient in the system can help Covid-19 patients to get better and reduce their need for oxygen.

Many other studies have claimed that sufficient levels of this vitamin can prevent the onset of the viral disease and prevent it from attacking the body.

Reports have also suggested that people with enough vitamin D showed a faster recovery than those with a deficiency. Even supplementation may help protect people against acute respiratory tract infection, as per the study published in the British Medical Association.

However, researchers note that they need more evidence to link vitamin D deficiency with an increased risk of contracting the coronavirus as too much of the ‘sunshine vitamin’ can also be harmful.

Ensuring Optimum Levels Of Vitamin D

According to the National Institutes of Health, the average daily requirement of vitamin D for children and adults is 15 mcg (600 IU), and 20 mcg (800 IU) for the elderly, pregnant and breastfeeding women. Some of the best sources include salmon, mackerel, cheese, egg yolk, mushrooms, soy milk, almond milk, breakfast cereals and tuna.

Sun exposure is one of the best sources that is easily available and accessible. When our skin is exposed to direct sunlight, our body starts making vitamin D on its own. However, overexposure can also lead to health problems like skin cancer.

When levels of the vitamin become too high in the system, you may experience symptoms like nausea, vomiting, poor appetite, constipation, weakness and weight loss. It can also cause confusion, problems with heart rhythm and even damage the kidneys. Hence, you should be careful.

Published : November 30, 2020 9:31 pm


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