Yes, vitamin D will help, but watch your levels.
Exploring the link between Vitamin D and COVID-19 has been excruciatingly complex. At first you think, “If I take more vitamin D, I’ll be protected,” and then you read, “If you take too much vitamin D, you’ll die.”
It was regrettable to see CNN talk about Vitamin D being “an internet sensation” instead of focusing on the benefits of the vitamin on the immune system from a scientific perspective. So I decided to give it a fair chance and see for myself just how beneficial and detrimental the supplement would be for me against COVID-19.
It’s not a difficult concept to digest: vitamin D increases immune system function, COVID-19 decreases immune system function, so… the D you get, the happier your body is… (That’s what she said…)
Vitamin D is produced by the body through a process in the skin induced by UVB light, primarily coming from the Sun. What makes things complicated is the fact that this vitamin D production is directly dependent upon the amount of melanin in the skin. Melanin, which inherently causes skin pigmentation, tends to lower the skin’s ability to produce vitamin D in response to sunlight exposure, which has led to some studies showing that older adults with darker skin may be more at high risk of vitamin D deficiency.
But the scientific voices are clashing on this assertion.
According to the Institute of Medicine of The National Academies’ Food and Nutrition Board, the recommended daily dose of vitamin D for anyone over age 4 is 600 IU/day in the US. For anyone over 70 years of age in the US, the dose goes up to 800 IU/day. In the UK, the recommended daily amount is 400 IU/day.
And this isn’t wrong, per say. If you had a sufficient level of vitamin D in your body, you wouldn’t need more than a few IU to assume you were slightly and safely more than “sufficient” in your daily vitamin D intake. The problem is that not everyone is the same.
So we need to test ourselves. We need to know our own vitamin D levels and immune system functionality. There are surprisingly a lot of home vitamin D tests available online and they range in price starting from around $50. While this may seem a bit expensive for just one test, as a monthly expense it may be affordable for most middle class people.