Vitamin D, Diabetes, & COVID-19 | Tech Thursday

Interesting findings that explore the relationship between Vitamin D levels and COVID-19 outcomes are being released.

In an article by WedMD, there have been several international studies that evaluate Vitamin D levels in people infected with COVID-19.

None of these studies indicate definitively if higher levels of Vitamin D reduce the risk of contracting or becoming severely ill with COVID-19. Though, they’ve noticed that the “sickest” people with COVID-19 had low levels of Vitamin D.

Several studies conducted across different countries indicate that a healthy level of Vitamin D might strengthen our immune system and reduce our vulnerability to disease.

Vitamin D is so important for our bones, muscles, and a nutrient our immune systems need for optimal health. An adequate blood level of Vitamin D is between 20 nanograms/milliliter to 50 mg/ml. A simple but slightly costly blood test can measure one’s level of this vitamin.

People living with diabetes (type 1 & type 2) often have lower levels of Vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency can manifest as fatigue, depression, muscle and bone pain, and decreased overall health.

Boosting Vitamin D Levels

Lifestyle changes can be used to treat low Vitamin D levels; eating healthy foods like eggs, mushrooms, fresh fish, and getting outside in sunlight, can increase our Vitamin D levels. As a supplement, Vitamin D3 or cholecalciferol is recommended at a dose of 400-1000 IU /day.

Vitamin D is made by the body when the skin is exposed to sunlight. Often people in the Northern Hemisphere with less sun exposure have lower levels of Vitamin D. Regular sun exposure can help increase Vitamin D levels, although supplementation seems to be more effective.

In addition, improving access to healthy foods needs to be a priority for all people, but especially vulnerable populations and those with diabetes.

For more information, read the WebMD article here. We also recommend you read Vitamin D and Type 1 Diabetes: What the Research Says & Higher vitamin D levels linked to lower risk for diabetes. Click here for NIH Vita D Info page.

Update

Healio has released more information on this topic that you can find on their recent article, “Researchers caution against ‘misinformation’ on vitamin D during COVID-19 pandemic.”

Written by Catherine Cullinane RN, CDCES, our resident Tech Thursday Content Writer


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