Here is some more positive news about the Covid-19 pandemic! A new meta analysis from independent researchers in Germany concluded that there is a zero percent mortality rate amongst those with Covid-19 who had vitamin D level of at least 50 ng/mL prior to being infected.
The meta analysis looked at seven clinical studies and one population study, totaling 448,787,147 individuals infected with and hospitalized with Covid-19. The average Vitamin D level was found to be 23.2 ng/mL. For reference, the functional range for vitamin D is 32-100 ng/mL.
Vitamin D is a misnomer because it is actually a hormone. The difference is that your body makes hormones but cannot make vitamins. The main source of Vitamin D is the sun. Your body uses the UV rays from the sun and cholesterol from your diet to produce the active form of Vitamin D that is used by every cell in your body. Vitamin D can also be obtained dietarily from meat and fish, most abundantly. Persons with digestive issues, liver or kidney disease, or magnesium deficiency may be predisposed to low Vitamin D levels. The average person, as evidenced by this study, is deficient in Vitamin D because of a lack on sun exposure. Almost all Americans need supplemental Vitamin D. We simply do not get enough Vitamin D during the summer to last us through the year.
Current data clearly show that vaccination alone cannot prevent all SARS-CoV-2 infections and dissemination of the virus. This scenario possibly will become much worse in the case of new virus mutations that are not very susceptible to the current vaccines or even not sensitive to any vaccine. Therefore, based on our data, the authors strongly recommend combining vaccination with routine strengthening of the immune system of the whole population by vitamin D3 supplementation to consistently guarantee blood levels above 50 ng/mL (125 nmol/L). From a medical point of view, this will not only save many lives but also increase the success of vaccination. From a social and political point of view, it will lower the need for further contact restrictions and lockdowns. From an economical point of view, it will save billions of dollars worldwide, as vitamin D3 is inexpensive and—together with vaccines—provides a good opportunity to get the spread of SARS-CoV-2 under control. Although there exists very broad data-based support for the protective effect of vitamin D against severe SARS-CoV-2 infections, we strongly recommend initiating well-designed observational studies as mentioned and/or double-blind randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to convince the medical community and the health authorities that vitamin D testing and supplementation are needed to avoid fatal breakthrough infections and to be prepared for new dangerous mutations. -Borsche et al.
I encourage you to read the full study (because knowledge is power) which you can find here, but here are some snippets from the study on the powers of Vitamin D. It is a little detailed but details are important when understanding why you are doing something.
Vitamin D turned out to be a powerful epigenetic regulator, influencing more than 2500 genes and impacting dozens of our most serious health challenges, including cancer, diabetes mellitus, acute respiratory tract infections, chronic inflammatory diseases, and autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis.
In the field of human immunology, the extrarenal synthesis of the active metabolite calcitriol-1,25(OH)2D3 (active form of Vitamin D)-by immune cells and lung epithelial cells has been shown to have immunomodulatory properties.
Today, a compelling body of experimental evidence indicates that activated vitamin D3 plays a fundamental role in regulating both innate and adaptive immune systems.
Intracellular vitamin D3 receptors (VDRs) are present in nearly all cell types involved in the human immune response, such as monocytes/macrophages, T cells, B cells, natural killer (NK) cells, and dendritic cells (DCs). Receptor binding engages the formation of the “vitamin D3 response element” (VDRE), regulating a large number of target genes involved in the immune response.
Thus, daily vitamin D3 supplementation in the range of 4000 to 10,000 units (100 to 250 µg) needed to generate an optimal vitamin D3 blood level in the range of 40–60 ng/mL has been shown to be completely safe when combined with approximately 200 µg/mL vitamin K2. However, this knowledge is still not widespread in the medical community, and obsolete warnings about the risks of vitamin D3 overdoses unfortunately are still commonly circulating.
How Vitamin D directly affects Covid-19
Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), a part of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS), serves as the major entry point for SARS-CoV-2 into cells. When SARS-CoV-2 is attached to ACE2 its expression is reduced, thus causing lung injury and pneumonia . Vitamin D3 is a negative RAS modulator by inhibition of renin expression and stimulation of ACE2 expression. It therefore has a protective role against ARDS caused by SARS-CoV-2. Sufficient vitamin D3 levels prevent the development of ARDS by reducing the levels of angiotensin II and increasing the level of angiotensin-(1,7).
There are several additional important functions of vitamin D3 supporting immune defense
Vitamin D decreases the production of Th1 cells. Thus, it can suppress the progression of inflammation by reducing the generation of inflammatory cytokines.
Vitamin D3 reduces the severity of cytokine release syndrome (CRS). This “cytokine storm” causes multiple organ damage and is therefore the main cause of death in the late stage of SARS-CoV-2 infection. The systemic inflammatory response due to viral infection is attenuated by promoting the differentiation of regulatory T cells.
Vitamin D3 induces the production of the endogenous antimicrobial peptide cathelicidin (LL-37) in macrophages and lung epithelial cells, which acts against invading respiratory viruses by disrupting viral envelopes and altering the viability of host target cells.
Experimental studies have shown that vitamin D and its metabolites modulate endothelial function and vascular permeability via multiple genomic and extragenomic pathways.
Vitamin D reduces coagulation abnormalities in critically ill COVID-19 patients.
That was a doozy, but thanks for staying with me because now you can clearly see how vital Vitamin D is to the immune system. And we didn't even touch on all the other amazing things it does such as cancer suppression, fighting autoimmune disease, combating mood and mental health disorders, treating skin conditions, and oh so much more.
So now what?! Every American should be getting their Vitamin D levels checked at least once a year as part of your yearly Wellness Health Screen, but absolutely should be getting it checked now. It is safe to say that most Americans are deficient, but testing allows your doctor to prescribe an appropriate dose so safely get you to 50+ ng/mL. When it comes to supplementing there are a few things you should know. Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin, so for best results it should always be in liquid form (fat suspension), not a tablet or chewable. Secondly it should always be accompanied by Vitamin K. If your levels are not raising it may be because of the form of Vitamin D you are taking, a gut, liver, or kidney issue, or simply a magnesium deficiency. Magnesium is used by almost every enzyme involved in the Vitamin D absorption and synthesis pathway.
For access to my favorite physician quality supplements you can click here and save 10%! Look for these two of my favorites: Thorne Vitamin D/K2 and Pure Encapsulations Magnesium Glycinate.
There is so much that can be done to prevent and treat Covid-19 whether you are vaccinated or not. Your Naturopathic Doctor can help you no matter your goals or health condition.