In recent weeks there have been some reports suggesting that by taking vitamin D you can reduce your risk of coronavirus, according to\u00a0<a href="https:\/\/see.news\/?s=Dr.+Magdy+Badran" target="_blank">Dr. Magdy Badran.<\/a>\r\n\r\nStaying indoors for much of lockdown means some people have been deprived of vitamin D. Normally, many of us get it by spending time outside. Our skin makes it when exposed to the sun.\r\n\r\n<span style="color: #ff0000">Vitamin D Linked to Low COVID-19 Death Rate<\/span>\r\n\r\nA new study has found an association between low average levels of vitamin D and high numbers of COVID-19 cases and mortality rates across 20 European countries. The research is published in the journal Aging Clinical and Experimental Research.\r\n\r\nPrevious observational studies have reported an association between low levels of vitamin D and susceptibility to acute respiratory tract infections.\r\n\r\nItaly and Spain have both experienced high COVID-19 mortality rates, and the new study shows that both countries have lower average vitamin D levels than most northern European countries. This is partly because people in southern Europe, particularly the elderly, avoid the strong sun, while skin pigmentation also reduces natural vitamin D synthesis.\r\n\r\nThe highest average levels of vitamin D are found in northern Europe, due to the consumption of cod liver oil and vitamin D supplements, and possibly less sun avoidance. Scandinavian nations are among the countries with the lowest number of COVID-19 cases and mortality rates per head of population in Europe.\r\n\r\nThe research found a significant relationship between average vitamin D levels and the number of COVID-19 cases, and particularly COVID-19 mortality rates, per head of population across the 20 European countries.\r\n<h4><span style="color: #ff0000">Low Vitamin D levels Linked to The Cytokine Storm Response<\/span><\/h4>\r\nA study from Northwestern University in the US found that patients with severe deficiency are twice as likely to experience major complications from COVID-19. The researchers also found a strong correlation between low vitamin D levels and the cytokine storm response, a hyper-inflammatory condition caused by an overactive immune system, seen among some coronavirus patients.\r\n\r\nWhenever a healthy body is fighting an infection, there\u2019s a natural immune system response that occurs, part of this response involves releasing cytokines, biological chemicals that stimulate cell pathways and allow for communication between cells. These cytokines, essentially signal the immune system to start doing its job. That\u2019s normal\u2014unless this outpouring of cytokines suddenly becomes accelerated.\r\n\r\nNormally, cytokines are meant to be helpful to us in moderation, but when a certain pathway is engaged the immune system starts causing damage to the patient.\r\n\r\nMost of the COVID-19 patients experiencing cytokine storms are presenting with fevers and shortness of breath, then having so much difficulty breathing they eventually require ventilation. This typically occurs about six or seven days after the onset of illness.\r\n\r\nCytokine storms can severely damage the lungs and lead to acute respiratory distress syndrome and death in patients. This is what seems to kill a majority of COVID-19 patients, not the destruction of the lungs by the virus itself. It is the complications from the misdirected fire from the <a href="https:\/\/www.medicalnewstoday.com\/articles\/320101" target="_blank">immune system.<\/a>\r\n<h4><span style="color: #ff0000">Vitamin D Functions<\/span><\/h4>\r\nVitamin D is produced in the skin from UVB sunlight exposure and is transported to the liver and then the kidney where it is changed into an active hormone that increases calcium transport from food in the gut and ensures calcium is adequate to keep the skeleton strong.\r\n\r\nVitamin D is important for healthy bones, teeth, and muscles. A lack of it can lead to a bone deformity illness called rickets in children, and a similar bone weakness condition called osteomalacia in adults. Some studies suggest avoiding deficiency helps our resilience to common colds and flu.\r\n\r\nVitamin D functions as a modulator of as many as 2,000 genes involved in cellular growth, immune function, and protein synthesis and in calcium absorption.\r\n\r\nVitamin D has been shown to protect against acute respiratory infections, and older adults, the group most deficient in vitamin D, are also the ones most seriously affected by COVID-19. A previous study found that 75% of people in institutions, such as hospitals and care homes, were severely deficient in vitamin D.\r\n\r\nRecent studies showed that it helps in regulating energy metabolism, lowering high blood pressure, prevention of diabetes, and stop growing colon, breast, and prostate cancers. Getting 1000 IU (international units) of vitamin D every day would cut colon cancer risk by about 50%.\r\n\r\nRecent studies have also suggested a role for vitamin D in lung health. Teens who had a low dietary intake of vitamin D had significantly lower lung function compared with teens who consumed the recommended amount.\r\n\r\nVitamin D appears to help reduce serious complications among coronavirus patients. Vitamin D can help support the immune system through a number of pathways involved in fighting SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes <a href="https:\/\/see.news\/us-sees-drop-in-daily-coronavirus-deaths\/" target="_blank">COVID-19.<\/a>\r\n\r\nVitamin D plays a major role in the function of the nervous system. Low levels of vitamin D may play a role in psychiatric disorders, as depression. Optimal vitamin D levels can help improve your mood, boost your overall brain function, and improve your well-being.\r\n<h4><span style="color: #ff0000">Vitamin D deficiency<\/span><\/h4>\r\nMore than one-third of populations worldwide may have low levels of vitamin D. Since, the majority of the population spends time indoors away from sun exposure, leading to vitamin D deficiency.\r\n\r\nDeficiency of vitamin D is most prevalent with age, obesity, in men, in ethnic minorities, in people with diabetes, hypertension, and in nursing homes.\r\n\r\nModernization and westernization have led to vitamin D deficiency among the world population, especially among children, the elderly, and women .Studies have also suggested that vitamin D deficiency might heavily impact the elderly by making them prone to developing bone-thinning diseases such as osteoporosis and fractures. Low levels of vitamin D can be attributed to a number of behaviors and conditions. Insufficient exposure to sunlight is among the top reasons vitamin D levels are low.\r\nSeveral studies have supported the view that vitamin D deficiency is the cause of the global asthma epidemic. Serum vitamin D levels were found to be lowest among children with steroid-resistant asthma, with reduced lung function, increased steroid use, and asthma exacerbations.\r\n<h4><span style="color: #ff0000">Do I Need to Start Taking Vitamin D During Lockdown?<\/span><\/h4>\r\nFor adults, the recommended amount of vitamin D per day should be between 200 to 600 IU.\r\nSources of vitamin D include fortified dairy products, egg yolks, saltwater fish, mushrooms, and cod liver oil. It is often added to milk, cereals, and orange juice.\r\n\r\nIn summer the human body can generate up to 12,000 IU of vitamin D from only half an hour of sun exposure. However, during winter months, the daily intake from food and sun exposure falls below the recommended amount. Sunlight is the main source for most people; skin has the natural ability to produce vitamin D when struck by ultraviolet rays in sunlight.\r\n\r\nGo outside, we may be on lockdown, but we can make the most of our permitted time outdoors. Spend 30 minutes every day with your face, neck, legs, and arms exposed to the sun without sunscreen on, because it blocks the UV rays needed in the production of vitamin D. Avoid doing this in the midday sun to make sure you don\u2019t burn.\r\n\r\nOpen a window that\u2019s in direct sunlight and soak in the sun that way \u2013 make sure you open the window though because the rays can\u2019t penetrate the skin through the glass.\r\n\r\nOften the easiest and safest way to get enough vitamin D is via a supplement. When selecting a vitamin D supplement, choose one where the form of vitamin D is D3 (cholecalciferol), not D2 (ergocalciferol), because D3 is 87 percent more effective at raising and maintaining vitamin D levels.