The Connection Between Vitamin D Intake and Covid-19 Mortality Rates in Brooklyn, NY
These are scary times for many of us. With the spread of COVID-19 around the globe, we are all practicing safety measures that will help mitigate the risk of contracting the virus. Did you know that studies have begun to link the consumption of vitamin D with a lower risk of becoming seriously ill even after contracting the virus? Dr. Alexander Shapsis and his team at Atlantic Gastroenterology in Brooklyn, NY are doing their part in educating patients on the connection between vitamin D levels and COVID-19 mortality rates.
How Does Vitamin D Help Lessen the Severity of COVID-19?
Having a healthy supply of vitamin D in the bloodstream could be the difference that keeps you from the intensive care unit and risking serious complications, including death, from the virus. Research is showing that the patients who are hit hardest by the COVID-19 virus are those who have low levels of vitamin D in their bloodstream. The same goes for countries whose citizens face vitamin D deficiency. Researchers are finding that vitamin D is providing a survival advantage by helping those who contract the virus avoid cytokine storms, where the victim’s immune system overreacts and begins to attack the body’s healthy cells and tissues.
These studies are not yet peer-reviewed and have their detractors, but many who are looking into this connection state that there is no harm in consuming adequate amounts of vitamin D as a precaution.
Increasing Your Vitamin D Intake
There are several ways you can help increase your intake of vitamin D. Here are a few:
- Exposure to Sunlight: Vitamin D is often called the sunshine vitamin due to the sun being one of the best sources of vitamin D available. The reason for this is that your skin contains a form of cholesterol that serves as a precursor to vitamin D which, when becoming exposed to the ultraviolet radiation from the sun, transforms into vitamin D.
- Consumption of Fatty Fish: Did you know that fatty fish and certain kinds of seafoods are rich in vitamin D? It is true! It does not have to be fresh either. Even a can of salmon can provide up to 50% of your daily requirement of vitamin D.
- Mushrooms: The only 100% plant-based source of vitamin D to be found, mushrooms can create their vitamin D when exposed to ultraviolet light. Humans create a form of vitamin D known as cholecalciferol, while mushrooms create a form called ergocalciferol.
While there is still work to be done in researching the links between vitamin D and reduced mortality rates in COVID-19 victims, it’s pretty clear that there is some link. It never hurts to up your vitamin D intake if you feel you are low. For more information on this, please call Atlantic Gastroenterology at 718 521-2840 to speak to Dr. Alexander Shapsis.
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