Long-COVID, or “post-COVID syndrome,” is becoming more prevalent worldwide.
It’s characterized by lingering, COVID-related symptoms—such as fatigue, shortness of breath, cough, joint pain, chest pain, muscle aches, and headaches.
Of course, most people recover from their infection within a few weeks.
But some continue to suffer as long as 12 weeks, or even longer.
In fact, in a recent analysis of nearly 2,115 patients with a confirmed or suspected COVID-19 diagnosis, at least 87 percent reported COVID-related symptoms for 60 days or longer.
Given these symptoms often translate to a decreased quality of life, science is working hard to offer any type of relief.
A ton of research is pointing to one vital nutrient that could SLASH your risk of long-COVID—or your risk of contracting the virus altogether.
D deficiency is dangerous
Vitamin D has proven efficacy against various upper respiratory tract infections.
It can also inhibit inflammation, especially in lung tissues—a clear benefit when fighting against COVID.
So, it only makes sense that research has linked D deficiency to increased severity and death from COVID.
But that’s not all a deficiency in this vital nutrient may bring…
Vitamin D deficiency has been related to a variety of diseases including infectious diseases, preeclampsia, cancers, dental cavities and periodontitis, autoimmune disorders, cardiovascular disease (CVD), chronic inflammation, Type 1 and 2 diabetes, and neurological disorders.
And guess what? Many of these diseases are risk factors for COVID… and may even increase your likelihood of suffering long-term symptoms.
Three ways to increase vitamin D levels
Vitamin D is also referred to as the “sunshine vitamin.” That’s because it’s a secosteroid hormone produced by the skin when exposed to sunlight.
This may help explain why we see an uptick in COVID-19 cases in the winter, when sunlight is scarce. (Maybe the seasonal variation of colds, flus and now COVID is related to vitamin D’s protective role!)
It may even offer insight into why COVID is still circulating… as many people are spending less and less time outside of the house.
So, especially during the summer months, I recommend soaking in some sunlight. Get outside and expose most of your skin to the sun for at least 20 minutes daily to generate the natural production of D. (We’re talking bathing or birthday suits here, folks. And no sunscreen.)
But that’s not all…
Start adding food sources of D to your healthy, balanced diet—like mushrooms, eggs, and some cheeses.
And finally, supplement with vitamin D3 daily.
Start by having your vitamin D 25 OH blood level checked every six months. I consider optimal levels to fall between 80 to 100 ng/mL. Then, I always recommend a daily dose of at least 50 mcg (2,000 IU) to 125 mcg (5,000 IU) for maintenance. But for lower blood levels, I recommend 250 mcg (10,000 IU) daily.
I personally take 250 mcg (10,000 IU) daily myself—year-round. (And I haven’t suffered a full-blown illness in decades!)
To learn more about what vitamin D can do for you in the fight against COVID, check out the July 2020 issue of my monthly Logical Health Alternatives newsletter (“COVID-19 UPDATE: The No. 1 nutrient you need in your coronavirus arsenal this summer (and all year long).
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Until next time,
“COVID-19 Infection Has More Than 50 Long-Term Effects.” Medscape, 05/06/2022. (medscape.com/viewarticle/973598)
“Vitamin D for prevention of respiratory tract infections: A systematic review and meta-analysis.” Journal of pharmacology & pharmacotherapeutics, 3(4), 300–303. (doi.org/10.4103/0976-500X.103685)
“Vitamin D Inhibits Lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-Induced Inflammation in A549 Cells by Downregulating Inflammatory Cytokines.” Medical Science Monitor Basic Research, 06/09/2021. (doi.org/10.12659/MSMBR.931481)
“Pre-infection deficiency of vitamin D is associated with increased disease severity and mortality among hospitalized COVID-19 patients.” ScienceDaily, 02/06/2022. (sciencedaily.com/releases/2022/02/220203161135.htm)
“Vitamin D and Chronic Diseases.” Aging and disease, 05/02/2017. (doi.org/10.14336/AD.2016.1021)