The risk factors regarding low Vitamin D levels and fatality with COVID19 are conspicuously lining up. Low Vitamin D levels are associated with African American patients, obesity, elderly nursing home residents and seasonality.
The mechanisms for Vitamin D helping with respiratory viruses are threefold: helping the respiratory mucosa prevent infection of the virus in the lung, inducing production of virus killing cathelicidins, and helping slow down the runaway inflammatory response, ie ”cytokine storm”.
Vitamin D is actually a hormone that has important protective and immune modulation effects. The conversion of Vitamin D to its active form begins with sunlight activation in the skin. In addition, the absorption of Vitamin D requires adequate Vitamin K in the diet.The experts that look at Vitamin D discover important immune functionality, rather than just its widely known effect on calcium levels. Consideration of measurement of Vitamin D levels in all patients positive for COVID 19 seems prudent, and this blood test is widely available. It appears that daily Vitamin D and K supplementation and sunlight in high risk groups would be a low cost, low risk measure of protection for the most vulnerable patients.
So now is the time to get some sun, eat nutritious food, and take Vitamin D3 and K!