Loading...
 
Toggle Health Problems and D

How Vitamin D Helps Fight COVID-19 - Grassroots Health Oct 2020

Part 1 Oct 2, 2020


Vitamin D deficiency has now been shown to increase susceptibility to COVID-19 and increase the risk of COVID-19 severity, including ICU admission and death. Conversely, other published studies have also shown those with higher vitamin D levels (over 30 ng/ml or 75 nmol/L) have a reduced risk of severe symptoms and death due to COVID-19. In fact, an analysis of over 190,000 Americans found that having vitamin D levels of at least 50 ng/ml resulted in a 53% lower positivity rate than those whose levels were less than 20 ng/ml! The first-published randomized controlled trial on vitamin D and COVID-19 found that adding vitamin D to the standard treatment nearly eliminated ICU admissions and did eliminate deaths.
 
It sounds almost too good to be true... Yet vitamin D is known to influence the expression of thousands of genes and is involved in regulating over 80 biological pathways in the body. Vitamin D is not a miracle drug, nor does it act alone, but it is an important mediator of immune function, and we can largely control whether or not we get enough vitamin D from our daily habits (sun, diet and supplements). 
 
Today we will explain HOW vitamin D acts to protect you from getting COVID-19, and in an upcoming Part 2, we will discuss how vitamin D helps improve symptoms if you do get COVID-19. 

 


Vitamin D is Known to Help Prevent Upper Respiratory Tract Infections

 


Vitamin D is known to help fight upper respiratory tract infections. As previously discussed, a large meta-analysis including 25 randomized controlled trials with over 11,300 individuals showed that vitamin D supplementation reduced the risk of respiratory tract infections by 70%. GrassrootsHealth participants with vitamin D levels greater than or equal to 40 ng/mL were 41% less likely to have had the flu and 15% less likely to have had a cold in the prior 6 months than participants with levels less than 20 ng/mL.  
 
Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) is a major complication and cause of death among those with serious COVID-19 infections. When comparing vitamin D levels among those with and at risk of ARDS, one study found that 96% of those at risk of ARDS were deficient in vitamin D.

 


Vitamin D Can Protect Lung Cells from SARS-CoV-2 Attack

 


COVID-19 is caused by a coronavirus (a specific type of virus) called SARS-CoV-2. Infection of COVID-19 begins when the SARS-CoV-2 virus enters the cells of the lung by binding the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE-2) receptor and de-activating it, resulting in inflammation. Vitamin D is responsible for increasing ACE-2 expression, which allows it to carry out its anti-inflammatory actions to help protect the lungs and keep inflammation at bay. 
 
During the early incubation stage when the virus is hijacking the cell there are generally no symptoms. Most people who are infected with SARS-CoV-2 experience mild-moderate respiratory symptoms and recover without any need for hospitalization or therapy. In those who do experience more severe symptoms, only a small percentage have severe enough symptoms for the virus to be life threatening. This difference in both susceptibility (whether the virus is able to invade) and recovery (how well the body fights it off if it does invade) is attributed to the individual’s immune response. Vitamin D may help protect against COVID-19 specifically through maintenance of physical barriers (susceptibility) and regulation of innate and adaptive immunity (mounting an effective immune response to the virus). 
 
The graphic below provides a very clear illustration of several ways vitamin D acts to directly protect the lungs, from its effect on the protective barrier of the lungs, to its involvement in the maturation of immune cells, and its role in regulating the inflammatory response and inhibiting the cytokine storm (which will be covered in more detail in Part 2).

 


Image

 


Click to Enlarge & Print

 


Vitamin D Regulates the Immune Response

 


Vitamin D plays a crucial role in regulating immune system activity – both innate and adaptive responses. As previously described, the innate immune system is responsible for the initial defensive front with a central role played by phagocytes. Vitamin D stimulates expansion of these phagocytes (monocytes and macrophages) increasing their ability to fight off the virus by increasing their numbers, as well as increasing their killing capacity through stimulating the production of the anti-viral protein cathelicidin. Vitamin D also acts to regulate the maturation of dendritic cells which are important for activating CD4+ T cells and in turn the rest of the immune response.
 
Earlier studies have shown that in SARS and influenza the adaptive immune cells, T cells and B cells, are vital in defending the body against the virus. Many studies have found this to be the case in COVID-19 as well, with both antibody and cellular defenses being recruited to the fight. Vitamin D is a potent regulator of adaptive immunity, including both cell-mediated (T cell) and humoral (B cell) immunity

 


Image

 


Cox R and Brokstad K, Nature Reviews, 2020.
Click to Download & Print

 


Once SARS-CoV-2 has been successful at replicating itself and spreading to surrounding cells, mild to moderate symptoms progress (e.g. sore throat, cough, fever and muscle aches) that result from localized and appropriate inflammation, associated tissue damage and antiviral activity of B cells and T cells. CD4+ and CD8+ T cells secrete cytokines (chemical signals that instruct other cells what to do) and are central to the successful elimination of COVID-19, as happens in most people. Unfortunately, more serious symptoms and death can result with an over-reactive or ineffective immune response, as can happen when there is not enough vitamin D for use. The role of vitamin D at this stage will be covered in Part 2.
 
Thus, vitamin D is important to help fend off an attack by SARS-CoV-2. Ensuring optimal levels of vitamin D is an easy way to help support your immune system response.

 


Better Results when Taken Together

 


Nutrients work synergistically in order to carry out specific functions within the body. For example, we have recently discussed how different immune cells rely on a variety of nutrients, including vitamins D, C, B6, B12, zinc, and magnesium, in order to carry out their actions in an immune response. Without these necessary nutrients, immune function may be hindered.
 
Could a nutrient deficiency be putting a damper on your immune response? Find out by testing your vitamin D, omega-3s, magnesium and other essential elements (including selenium), as well as your inflammation levels, with the new Immune Boost home test kit offered by GrassrootsHealth. Measuring levels is the only way to know if you are supporting your immune system and whether additional changes should be made, with supplementation, dietary changes, or both.


Part 2 Oct 9, 2020


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Image
Image
Image
Image Image

Vitamin D is used by every cell of the body, influences the expression of thousands of genes, and is involved in regulating over 80 biological pathways – importantly, vitamin D is a potent regulator of immune function. However, it may still be surprising how much one vitamin can influence the body’s response to a COVID-19 infection. Vitamin D deficiency has now been shown to increase susceptibility to COVID-19 and increase the risk that if you do have COVID-19, it will be severe enough to require hospitalization in the ICU and lead to death. Conversely, published studies have also shown reduced risk of severe symptoms and death due to COVID-19 with higher vitamin D levels (over 30 ng/mL). In fact, an analysis of over 190,000 Americans found that having a vitamin D level of at least 50 ng/ml resulted in a 53% lower positivity rate for SARS-CoV-2 infection than those with levels less than 20 ng/ml! The first-published randomized controlled trial on vitamin D and COVID-19 found that adding vitamin D to the standard treatment nearly eliminated ICU admissions and did eliminate deaths

In Part 1 we reviewed how vitamin D acts to protect against COVID-19. Today we will describe how vitamin D influences the immune system in ways that are beneficial, such as preventing the hyper-inflammatory response characteristic of severe COVID-19 infection. 


Vitamin D Regulates the Immune Response

Vitamin D plays a crucial role in regulating immune system activity – both innate and adaptive responses. As described in Part 1, vitamin D increases the innate immune response and may help reduce entry of SARS-CoV-2 into cells in the lung and reinforce the physical barriers, or junctions, between cells, which in turn may help prevent the spread of the virus between cells. Vitamin D also stimulates expansion of phagocytes (monocytes and macrophages) increasing their ability to fight off the virus by numbers. In addition, vitamin D directly stimulates phagocytes and lung cells to produce anti-viral proteins, cathelicidin and defensins, that kill the virus. However, an appropriate adaptive immune response is a vital part of the body’s defense against SARS-CoV-2. Vitamin D is a potent regulator of adaptive immunity, including both cell-mediated (T cell) and humoral (B cell) immunity. Vitamin D is needed by these white blood cells to help them recognize, bind to, and destroy SARS-CoV-2.

Image

Click to Enlarge & Print

What Causes A Severe SARS-CoV-2 Infection?

Once SARS-CoV-2 has been successful at replicating itself and spreading to surrounding cells, mild to moderate symptoms progress (e.g. sore throat, cough, fever and muscle aches) as part of a normal immune response to the virus. CD4+ and CD8+ T cell responses including secreted inflammatory cytokines are central to the successful elimination of COVID-19, as happens in most people.
 
However, in some people the immune response goes awry at this point and generates a hyper-inflammatory state referred to as the “cytokine storm” as depicted in the diagram below. The cytokine storm is the leading theory that explains why some people have a severe reaction to coronaviruses while others only experience mild symptoms. Moderate levels of inflammation are associated with mild-moderate symptoms of COVID-19, whereas the cytokine storm generates a hyper-inflammatory state associated with severe COVID-19 symptoms.

Image

Click to Enlarge & Print

The cytokine storm results from a sudden acute increase in circulating levels of different pro-inflammatory cytokines including IL-6, IL-1, TNF- a, and interferon produced mostly by T cells. These inflammatory cytokines, in addition to the ongoing replication and spread of the virus, trigger more immune cell involvement and tissue damage that leads to acute respiratory distress, multiple organ failure and possibly death. By dampening the cytokine storm, we can reduce the severity of symptoms and the risk of death.

Vitamin D Helps Control the Cytokine Storm and Reduce Symptom Severity

Vitamin D acts in many ways to regulate the adaptive immune response. Vitamin D stimulates CD4+ T cell proliferation and cytokine production, and antibody activity (B cells). Vitamin D acts to regulate T cell response through initiating dendritic cell tolerance. These dendritic cells in turn stimulate the increased production of T regulatory (Treg) cells and their production of anti-inflammatory interleukin (IL)-10, switching the response from being Th1-driven and pro-inflammatory to a Th2-driven anti-inflammatory response.
 
Vitamin D acts to suppress the production of inflammatory cytokines (such as IL-1, IL-6 and IFN which are predominant in the cytokine storm characteristic of severe COVID-19). Vitamin D also has an effect on the actions of B-cells and inhibits the production of antibodies. Overall, the immunomodulatory actions of vitamin D play a very important role in preventing the activation of an inappropriate hyper-inflammatory immune response.
 
Because the virus also binds ACE-2 receptors it interrupts the renin-angiotensin system, responsible for regulating blood volume, a pathway that is also regulated by vitamin D. Ensuring sufficient vitamin D may improve response to the virus in the lungs and lessen the impact of SARS-CoV-2 infection on reduced levels of surfactant (a liquid secretion that allows the lungs to open and fill with air) which may then reduce the impact of SARS-CoV-2 infection on the ability to breathe.
 
Thus, vitamin D is important to help regulate the immune response to a SARS-CoV-2 infection. Ensuring optimal levels of vitamin D is a safe and easy way to help support your immune response.

Do you know your vitamin D level?

Measure your vitamin D level today! When you know what your level is, you can determine next steps to take and how much supplementation may be needed if you are below your target level. A panel of 48 International Vitamin D scientists recommend a level between 40-60 ng/ml (100-150 nmol/L) - where are you?

See also in VitaminDWiki

COVID-19 news
COVID-19 and Dark Skins
COVID-19 treated by Vitamin D - studies, reports, videos
As of July 20, the page had:  34 trials6 trial results,   20 meta-analyses and reviews,   61 observations,   34 recommendations,   53 associations,  88 speculations,  45 videos   see related:   Governments,   HealthProblems,   Hospitals,  Dark Skins,   26 risk factors are ALL associated with low Vit D,   Recent Virus pages   Fight COVID-19 with 50K Vit D weekly   Vaccine problems
and has the following recent updates

Top Vitamin D and COVID-19 recent updates

Image


Many clinical trials are underway which are testing Vitamin D to fight COVID-19

COVID-19 RCTs


50 most-recently changed items in Virus Category in VitaminDWiki

Id Page Hits Last modification Creator Categories
12767 Chronic Hepatitis D viral infection 3.6 X more likely if low vitamin D – July 2021 11
24 Jul, 2021 11:46
admin Liver
Virus
12740 5,000 U daily raised Vitamin D a bit and helped COVID-19 a bit – RCT June 2021 150
24 Jul, 2021 02:21
admin Intervention
Virus
12765 0 of 22 asymptomatic COVID-19 positives were vitamin D deficient – June 2021 30
24 Jul, 2021 01:20
admin Virus
12764 J and J vaccination 67 percent efficacy against COVID-Delta (perhaps need Vitamin D) – July 23, 2021 38
23 Jul, 2021 20:45
admin Virus
12616 COVID-19 doctors not allowed to use treatments that work - Dr McCullough Video and transcript May 2021 7847
23 Jul, 2021 17:55
admin Books, videos on Vitamin D
Top news
Virus
12762 Vitamin D while in COVID-19 ICU does not help (no surprise) – July 2021 35
23 Jul, 2021 17:48
admin Virus
12761 Vitamin D-hammer option to flatten the curve - July 22, 2021 39
23 Jul, 2021 17:29
admin Virus
12760 FTC does not allow any advertising claims of Vitamin D for COVID (but more than 100 studies have found it helps) – Ju... 39
23 Jul, 2021 16:52
admin Virus
12744 Children getting severe COVID-19 were 5.5 X more likely to have low vitamin D -July 2021 120
23 Jul, 2021 01:25
admin Infant-Child
Virus
12277 COVID-19 long haul - meta-analysis, Vitamin D, etc. 1265
21 Jul, 2021 17:59
admin Infant-Child
Virus
12752 Long-haul COVID-19 blood tests at Mayo include vitamin D (but no results published) – July 2021 77
20 Jul, 2021 23:08
admin Virus
11728 COVID-19 treated by Vitamin D - studies, reports, videos 49043
20 Jul, 2021 18:49
admin Top news
Virus
12751 Vitamin D, C, A, and E, as well as Iron, Se, and Zinc each augment vaccine response – July 2021 135
20 Jul, 2021 18:46
admin Vitamin D and Vitamin A
Vitamin D and Iron
Virus
Zinc
Vitamin C
12750 Vitamin D is one of 14 ways proven to treat COVID-19 – July 2021 171
20 Jul, 2021 14:58
admin Virus
12673 COVID-19 5X worse if poor Vitamin D gene (CYP2R1) – June 2021 142
20 Jul, 2021 14:39
admin Genetics
Virus
12664 After 57 years FDA is declaring NAC to be a drug (note: 16 trials are investigating NAC ability to fight COVID-19) – ... 427
20 Jul, 2021 13:54
admin Virus
12710 Severe COVID-19 3.5 more likely if low vitamin D (30 studies) – meta-analysis July 2021 673
20 Jul, 2021 13:50
admin Meta-analysis of Vitamin D
Virus
12746 COVID-19 death 40 percent less likely if supplemented with Vitamin D and got above 30 ng (Spain 108,000 people) – Jul... 176
19 Jul, 2021 03:28
admin Virus
Calcidiol
12511 COVID-19 risks reduced by Vitamin D, Magnesium, Zinc, Resveratrol, Omega-3, etc. (auto-updated) 706
19 Jul, 2021 01:23
admin Virus
12745 How mass vaccination may lead to increased COVID-Delta 189
18 Jul, 2021 23:32
admin Virus
12542 COVID-19 cases increased in 26 countries soon after vaccinations - April, May 2021 438
17 Jul, 2021 16:09
admin Virus
12742 Most people with Long-Haul COVID-19 have low Vitamin D – July 2021 111
15 Jul, 2021 16:19
admin Deficiency of Vitamin D
Virus
12723 7X less likely to go to ICU if COVID-19 ward gave calcifediol (semi-activated Vitamin D) – July 2021 139
13 Jul, 2021 20:53
admin Virus
Calcidiol
12733 If low vitamin D, 2.5X more likely enter hospital with COVID-19 (UK, 10 months) – June 17, 2021 181
13 Jul, 2021 15:52
admin Virus
12735 ‘Long haul’ COVID rehab worse than cancer rehab, CDC – July 2021 77
13 Jul, 2021 01:53
admin Virus
12622 COVID-19 variants are assigned Greek letters by WHO - May 2021 220
11 Jul, 2021 03:22
admin Virus
12259 Ivermectin and COVID-19 3079
10 Jul, 2021 15:13
admin Virus
12727 68 infants died in Italy 2009-2011 soon after vaccination, drop in US SIDS when vaccinations slowed due to COVID-19 –... 94
08 Jul, 2021 15:35
admin Infant-Child
Virus
11941 COVID-19 defeated by calcifediol form of Vitamin D in Spain - pilot RCT Aug 29, 2020 2990
08 Jul, 2021 01:49
admin Virus
Calcidiol
12720 Poor food, little intense exercise again associated with low Vitamin D (and more COVID-19 in this case) – July 2021 71
07 Jul, 2021 15:58
admin Virus
11132 Adenovirus-36 is strongly associated with Obesity (possibly prevented and treated by Vitamin D) 2479
05 Jul, 2021 21:18
admin Obesity
Top news
Virus
11935 WHO – Severe COVID-19 mortality reduced by hormones (should consider hormone D too) - Sept 2020 1075
05 Jul, 2021 16:59
admin Virus
12698 Similar death rates for Vaccination and COVID-19 in Denmark (retracted) – June 2021 208
03 Jul, 2021 12:48
admin Virus
12707 COVID-19 patients who had supplemented with Vitamin D were 3X less likely to enter ICU – June 2021 166
30 Jun, 2021 13:43
admin Meta-analysis of Vitamin D
Virus
12697 Similar death rate for Vaccination and COVID-19 study and video – June 24, 2021 237
29 Jun, 2021 15:15
admin Mortality and D
Virus
12700 Vitamin D and COVID-19 both affect immune cells – June 2021 78
29 Jun, 2021 15:01
admin Immunity
Virus
12672 600,000 IU of Vitamin D helped 26 out of 28 COVID-19 patients in ICU (Brazil and Bolivia) June 2021 1253
29 Jun, 2021 13:21
admin Loading dose for Vitamin D
Virus
12463 How healthy immune systems adapt to viral mutations - Feb 2021 452
27 Jun, 2021 19:22
admin Immunity
Virus
11978 Sleep Apnea patients are 5X more likely to have a COVID-19 infection requiring hospitalization - Sept 28, 2020 579
27 Jun, 2021 14:32
admin Sleep
Virus
12325 Obstructive sleep apnea, CPAP, and COVID-19 (Vitamin D can probably help) – Review Feb 2021 361
27 Jun, 2021 14:30
admin Sleep
Virus
12686 Pandemics are now every few years, next might be in 2025 (Vitamin D levels have crashed) – June 2021 352
25 Jun, 2021 18:04
admin Deficiency of Vitamin D
Virus
12687 Higher rate of serious Vaccination problems than COVID-19 deaths – June 24, 2021 384
25 Jun, 2021 17:59
admin Virus
12457 COVID-19 vaccine adverse reactions reported 6X more often in Europe than in the US – March 29, 2021 512
25 Jun, 2021 16:24
admin Virus
12548 Problems with vaccine use during a pandemic - Dr. Bossche interview with transcript - April 22, 2021 1032
25 Jun, 2021 16:22
admin Virus
11730 Poop could save cities from too-early lockdown release 1443
25 Jun, 2021 15:17
admin Virus
12273 Worse COVID-19 if very low vitamin D – Jan 29, 2021 303
25 Jun, 2021 14:54
admin Deficiency of Vitamin D
Virus
12331 All COVID-19 patients had low vitamin D, the lowest were more likely to die – Feb 18, 2021 465
25 Jun, 2021 14:54
admin Deficiency of Vitamin D
Mortality and D
Virus
12334 26 health factors increase the risk of COVID-19 – all are associated with low vitamin D 1630
25 Jun, 2021 14:53
admin Skin - Dark
Deficiency of Vitamin D
Cardiovascular
Kidney
Diabetes
Obesity
Cancer
Cystic Fibrosis
Hypertension
Virus
12381 Vitamin D Deficiency and Covid-19: Book by Drs Anderson and Grimes - July 2020 789
25 Jun, 2021 14:52
admin Deficiency of Vitamin D
Books, videos on Vitamin D
Virus
12418 The lower the Vitamin D, the worse the COVID-19 (600 in Turkey)– March 2021 646
25 Jun, 2021 14:51
admin Deficiency of Vitamin D
Virus

Created by admin. Last Modification: Wednesday October 14, 2020 15:59:41 GMT-0000 by admin. (Version 7)
See any problem with this page? Report it (FINALLY WORKS)