To always maintain good health our immune system must be strong at all times and for this, good nutrition is essential, to nourish our body with the vitamins, minerals, and proteins that we require.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that performs many critical functions in your body.
This nutrient is especially important for immune system health, which is why many people wonder if vitamin D supplementation can help reduce the risk of contracting the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
It is important to note that there is currently no cure for COVID-19 and that no preventive measures other than social distancing and proper hygiene practices can protect you from developing this disease.
Some research shows that having healthy vitamin D levels, as well as taking a vitamin D supplement, can help keep your immune system healthy and may protect against respiratory diseases in general.
Effect of vitamin D on immune health
Vitamin D is necessary for the proper functioning of the immune system, which is the body’s first line of defense against infection and disease.
This vitamin plays a fundamental role in promoting the immune response. It has anti-inflammatory and immunoregulatory properties and is crucial for activating the immune system’s defenses.
Vitamin D is known to improve the function of immune cells, including T cells and macrophages, which protect the body against pathogens.
The vitamin is so important to immune function that low vitamin D levels have been associated with increased susceptibility to infections, diseases, and disorders related to the immune system.
For example, low vitamin D levels are associated with an increased risk of respiratory disease, as well as tuberculosis, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), as well as viral and bacterial respiratory infections.
Also, vitamin D deficiency has been linked to decreased lung function, which can affect the body’s ability to fight respiratory infections.
The action of vitamin D against COVID-19
To date, there is no cure or treatment for COVID-19. No study has investigated the effect of vitamin D supplementation or vitamin D deficiency on the risk of contracting the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
However, multiple studies have shown that vitamin D deficiency can damage the immune function and increase the risk of developing respiratory diseases.
On the other hand, some studies have indicated that vitamin D supplements can improve the immune response and protect against respiratory infections in general.
A recent study involving 11,321 people from 14 countries showed that vitamin D supplementation decreased the risk of acute respiratory infections (ARI) in both people with vitamin D deficiency and those with adequate levels.
Overall, the study showed that vitamin D supplementation reduced the risk of developing at least one ARI by 12%. The protective effect was strongest in those with low vitamin D levels.
Although recommendations for what constitutes an optimal vitamin D level vary, most experts agree that optimal vitamin D levels are between 30-60 ng/ml (75-150 nmol / L).
Scientific research suggests that vitamin D supplementation may protect against respiratory infections, especially among those who are deficient in the vitamin.
We have reviewed the importance of vitamin D in strengthening our immune system, but keep in mind that no evidence taking any supplement, including vitamin D, reduces the risk of developing COVID-19.