If you are under home quarantine for prolonged periods, you may end up with Vitamin D deficiency which can worsen respiratory symptoms due to COVID - Misty Wind n Memories

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Friday, March 27, 2020

If you are under home quarantine for prolonged periods, you may end up with Vitamin D deficiency which can worsen respiratory symptoms due to COVID

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash


Background


Vitamin D is known as the 'sunshine vitamin'. Though it is obtained from certain dietary sources in small amounts,  Vitamin D is mainly produced by our own body when our skin is exposed to sunlight.

Vitamin D is known to have an immunomodulatory role in the human body.

A systematic review and meta analysis of 25 meticulously selected randomized controlled trials by an international team of researchers regarding the role of vitamin D supplementation in the prevention of acute respiratory tract infections was published in BMJ on February 15,2017.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5310969


This systematic review and meta analysis clearly shows that Vitamin D provides protection against acute respiratory tract infections.


A second study which looks at the possible roles of solar ultraviolet-B radiation and vitamin D in reducing case-fatality rates from the 1918-19 influenza pandemic in the United States is linked below.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20592793


Mechanism



This 2013 article from the journal - Inflammation and Allergy Drug Targets provides an in-depth description of how Vitamin D helps in the modulation of immunity.



Problem

Prolonged periods of self quarantine inside closed buildings without exposure to natural sunlight can reduce Vitamin D levels in your body, which may increase your susceptibility to respiratory infections, including COVID19. Also, if you get an infection eventually, a baseline Vitamin D deficiency may increase the severity of infection and may also increase the chances of a fulminant and life-threatening cytokine storm.


Solution

Without breaking quarantine, if you can expose yourself to natural sunlight, at least for a few minutes every day, that would be the best solution. If you are living in an area where there is not enough sunlight during winter or if you find that you have Vitamin D deficiency after checking your blood levels, consider oral vitamin D supplements. Consult your healthcare provider for advice on oral Vitamin D supplementation.

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