We’ve come a long way from the frightening early days of the pandemic in March and April. Back then, it seemed like just THINKING about the coronavirus could cause an infection.
Now, we know a lot more about WHY it strikes. WHO it hits hardest. And the absolute BEST ways to avoid it, including common-sense steps such as physical distancing and wearing a mask.
But the latest research goes even further.
It reveals one more action that ANYONE can take that some experts believe may help prevent this infection from taking hold.
Now keep in mind this solution is NOT a cure, of course. And we still have a lot to learn about the coronavirus, so we aren’t 100 percent positive how it works. But researchers say there are plenty of signs that it could help make the virus less likely to strike you. And it can’t hurt.
That means this simple action doesn’t JUST have the potential to spare YOU the misery of the COVID-19 infection. But also could help ensure you don’t accidentally spread it to those around you.
Vitamin D deficiency linked to COVID-19
Most people know how vital vitamin D is to healthy bone. But it’s also critical for proper immune function.
In fact, as I shared with you earlier this year, doctors caring for coronavirus patients began to notice something peculiar about their cases. Many of the virus victims had something in common… especially those folks fighting the most severe infections.
They were often low in vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin. (You can click here to catch up.)
Now, the latest research of nearly 500 people confirms the connection. But the new study goes even further, showing the critical difference D could potentially make.
Folks with low vitamin D levels were 77 percent more likely to develop the infection than people who got the right amount. But the study didn’t stop there.
It also gives us a clearer picture of what the goal levels should be in terms of this infection risk. According to the researchers, if you’re below 20 ng/mL, you’re likely in the danger zone.
That’s a classic D deficiency level. And other studies show that far too many Americans are well below that number. A few years back, one analysis out of Boston found that 57 percent of folks tested were under 15 ng/ml.
In other words, a whole lot of us could be right in the middle of the danger zone.
Boost your D levels for overall immune health
The Institute of Medicine estimates that it takes 800 IU of vitamin D per day to get to 20 ng/mL. But keep in mind that’s a bare minimum. Other studies show that D’s optimal levels don’t begin until you reach 30 ng/mL or higher.
None of this means that vitamin D supplements will stop the infection or help you recover faster. And more research is needed to determine how vitamin D status affects COVID-19 risk. But this nutrient is essential, and regardless of coronavirus risk, you do need it for proper immune function and more.
So if your levels are low, it makes sense to consider a supplement. If you’re unsure about your vitamin D status, you can ask your doctor about testing or order a testing kit online.
And while you’re at it, don’t forget the other steps that can help cut your odds of infection.
- Wearing a mask can cut coronavirus risk by 65 percent.
- Distancing of 3 feet could cut the risk by 80 percent.
- Distancing of 6 feet will likely reduce your risk even more.
But don’t rely on just one of these steps. Use ALL of them. Wear a mask. Keep your distance. And get your vitamin D.