No one likes to feel helpless. And yet that’s how we ALL feel when it comes to infectious illnesses such as the coronavirus.
It seems like there’s nothing we can do except wait and hope we don’t get sick. And that if we should catch the bug that we turn out to be one of the “lucky ones” which avoid the worst coronavirus complications and survives.
In some ways, that loss of control is even scarier than COVID-19 itself.
Well, my friend, I’ve got good news. You can go ahead and relax a bit. Because you’re NOT helpless.
In fact, the researchers behind two new studies say there may be something you can do RIGHT NOW. Healthy vitamin D levels could help reduce your coronavirus complications risk in the future.
In other words, topping up your vitamin D levels if you are low may be a step you could take that could help assure you ARE one of the lucky ones.
And best of all… you might already be doing it.
Could a simple vitamin offer natural protection?
Avoiding getting sick in the first place is, of course, always the best option. So don’t let your guard down.
The best way to avoid a coronavirus infection is to not come into contact with other folks who are infected. And since we don’t know who’s “shedding” the virus, the safest move is to stay away from people you don’t live with for now.
But if you’re a planner like me, you want to do more. You want to take action to help protect yourself “just in case.” And the new studies give us a clue about how we might be able to do just that.
Researchers found a significant number of coronavirus cases and deaths have something in common. And that is the victims turned out to have low vitamin D levels.
In other words, while more research is needed, scientists believe there’s a connection. And if you’re among the at least 42 percent of Americans who are low on vitamin D, it’s probably a good idea to work on raising your own levels.
That’s especially true if you’re a senior who is at higher risk for…
- low vitamin D levels
- contracting coronavirus
- complications from coronavirus
Let’s take a quick look at those two studies to see why.
Double benefit from vitamin D
In the first study out of Northwestern University, the team found that the lower a person’s vitamin D levels, the higher their risk for the most severe complications of the coronavirus were.
Their research found that folks with healthy vitamin D levels were 15 percent less likely to have the most severe form of the infection. And normal D levels were also linked to an almost 50 percent drop in death risk from the virus.
And the second study, out of Europe, seems to back that up. That team found that the places with the highest levels of vitamin D tended to have the lowest risk of death from the infection.
Researchers believe vitamin D could have double benefits…
- It may help support the immune system so that it is more prepared to do its job of fighting off infections.
- While at the same time also help prevent it from going overboard – a dangerous immune over-reaction called a “cytokine storm” seen in patients with COVID-19.
But remember, vitamin D won’t stop you from getting sick if you’re exposed to the coronavirus. And it’s not a cure if you become ill.
It’s vital to practice social distancing, frequent hand washing, and wearing your mask if you need to go out. But add maintaining healthy vitamin D to your list of important measures for building a stay-healthy shield around yourself.
Be sure to spend some time outside in the sun daily to allow your body to make its own D. And talk with your doctor about starting on a vitamin D supplement to top up your levels if they are low.