Hi, I’m Elizabeth Hanawalt, a Diabetes Educator and I wanted to touch on this topic of Vitamin D and Covid-19. Now this applies to everybody, but since Covid- 19 is an inflammatory process and diabetes is an inflammatory process, it really hits home for diabetics, I think. Some studies have shown that Vitamin D may have a role in reducing the severity of Covid-19. But the studies that have been done have not been random controlled trials and that's the gold standard. So these were observational studies, but that still lends a clue that that is something that we need to even test further to have a cause and effect.
Rose Kenny MD, professor of Medical Gerontology at Trinity College Dublin recently co-authored an article detailing an inverse association between Vitamin-D levels and mortality of Covid-19 across countries in Europe. They found out that Spain and Northern Italy have the lowest Vitamin D levels and the highest rates of Covid-19.
Conversely, Norway, Sweden, and Finland had higher Vitamin D levels despite less UV light exposure, but this is most likely due to the fact of consumer supplementation and formal fortification of foods.
So we have that here in the US, but not every country does that. I don’t think Spain and Northern Italy do that. So that’s something to consider also. The protected effect may be attributed to the vitamin’s ability to suppress the adaptive immune system reducing the risk of developing severe Covid-19 symptoms.
Joan Monosin MD, Chief of Preventative Medicine at Brigham Williams Hospital in Boston, reports that “we know that Vitamin D has an immune emogulating effect and can lower inflammation and this may be relevant in a respiratory response during Covid-19 and the cytokine storm that’s been demonstrated.” So the cytokine storm that she is talking about happens in a worse situation for diabetics because we’re already walking inflammatory beings so you might as well just get over it. So an inflammation that hits a body that has already been inflamed, then you have that cytokine storm and that's what she is talking about. It has been suggested that especially if you are a frontline worker and you suspect that you Vitamin D isn’t where it should be, you can easily and reasonably take 1000 IU’s daily in pill form to just keep it steady so that it doesn’t drop any further. It’s also been suggested that these workers need to get tested. Just something for y’all to consider if your immune system is not up to par, Vitamin D may be needed. Especially for those of you who know your Vitamin D is low, you definitely need to be on this.
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