Vitamin D is one of the commonly consumed supplements to prevent COVID-19 and speed up recovery. The recommendation for taking vitamin D for COVID-19 is because this supplement can strengthen the immune system and reduce inflammation. Is that true?
Vitamin D is needed by the body to maintain healthy bones and teeth. This vitamin is also anti-inflammatory and antioxidant that can improve the work of the immune system, muscles, and nerves.
Vitamin D deficiency can cause bone deformities in children and bone pain in adults. In addition, low levels of vitamin D in the body are also associated with an increased risk of pneumonia and acute respiratory infections (ARI) due to viruses.
These two conditions greatly affect the severity of symptoms in people with COVID-19. Therefore, giving vitamin D for COVID-19 is believed to be able to fight Corona virus infection by increasing immunity.
Effectiveness of Vitamin D for COVID-19
Until now, there is no drug that can cure COVID-19. However, the provision of supplements, such as vitamin D, is believed to be able to help treat and accelerate the recovery of COVID-19 sufferers, especially patients who are asymptomatic or experience mild symptoms.
Research shows that consumption of vitamin D at levels of 10–25 micrograms per day can protect the body from acute respiratory infections. In addition, vitamin D for COVID-19 has also been shown to reduce the risk of cytokine storms and other complications related to inflammation.
Vitamin D is also known to reduce the risk of hypoxia and decreased consciousness in patients with COVID-19, as well as death in patients aged over 40 years.
Conversely, vitamin D deficiency is known to increase the severity of COVID-19 disease, especially in obese and diabetic patients.
However, unfortunately, some of the results above are only based on research on a small scale. Therefore, further research is needed to ensure the effectiveness of vitamin D for COVID-19, both in prevention and recovery.
Sources of Vitamin D and Recommended Daily Dose
Although the effectiveness of vitamin D for COVID-19 still needs to be studied further, daily vitamin D consumption should still be sufficient. Vitamin D deficiency can cause various health problems, including:
- Heart disease
- Immune system disorders
- Cancer, such as prostate cancer and breast cancer
- Multiple sclerosis
- Blood clotting
- Respiratory diseases, such as tuberculosis, asthma, and COPD
All of these health problems can worsen your condition if you are infected with COVID-19.
You can get vitamin D in several ways, namely:
- Bask in the morning sun for 15-20 minutes, at least 3 times a week
- Eat foods rich in vitamin D, such as salmon, red meat, liver, and egg yolks
- Taking vitamin D supplements
However, the consumption of this vitamin D supplement must be in accordance with the needs. The international recommended daily amount of vitamin D is 400 IU for children up to 1 year of age, 600 IU for ages 1–70 years, and 800 IU for age 70 years and over.
Avoid taking high doses of vitamin D supplements, especially if they exceed 4,000 IU per day. Excessive doses of vitamin D can cause health problems, such as stomach pain, ringing in the ears, weakened muscles, and even kidney failure.
In addition, long-term consumption of vitamin D supplements can cause a buildup of calcium (hypercalcemia) which can actually weaken bones, as well as damage the kidneys and heart.
Therefore, you should first consult with your doctor before taking vitamin D supplements, especially if you have certain diseases or medical conditions.
The effectiveness of vitamin D for COVID-19 still requires further research. However, if you are infected with COVID-19, fulfill your nutritional intake by eating healthy foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals. If necessary, take supplements as recommended by your doctor.
Don't forget to follow the health protocols by always wearing a mask, keeping your distance, avoiding crowds, and washing your hands regularly. If you feel symptoms of COVID-19, you can contact your doctor through the ALODOKTER application to get information about the actions that must be taken.