Could Vitamin D Help In Battle Against Covid-19?

Researchers at Trinity College Dublin highlight significant role played by Vitamin D in preventing respiratory infections and boosting the immune system

A study just published by researchers at Trinity College Dublin highlight the significant and important role played by Vitamin D in preventing respiratory infections and boosting the immune system. Given what scientists know about the benefits of Vitamin D, the researchers go on to highlight that Vitamin D may in turn play an important role in the battle against Covid-19.

Of particular importance to those over 70 years of age is the fact that the researchers are from The Irish LongituDinal Study on Ageing, (TILDA).

In their study they conclude: “…people aged 70 and over are the fabric of our society and we must use all available tools to facilitate the reduction and transmission of COVD-19. Vitamin D is a potent immune modifying micronutrient and if vitamin D status is sufficient, it could benefit vulnerable adults in particular those 70+ years and older who are ‘cocooning’ during the COVID-19 outbreak.” [ See page 22 at the link shown HERE.

What is Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is one of the chemical compounds that we need in small amounts to stay healthy. We can get it from foods such as oily fish (e.g. salmon and mackerel), eggs, liver and cereals and milk fortified with Vitamin D. We also get it from the sun and it is made if we get 10-15 minutes per day of sun exposure.

Vitamin D Deficiency – who is at risk?

Many people in Ireland are at risk of Vitamin D deficiency particularly those whose diet lacks Vitamin D, those who smoke, those who are physically inactive and those who are obese. During winter the lack of sunshine prevents us in Ireland from making vitamin D with the help of the sun.

Rates of Vitamin Deficiency in Ireland.

The TILDA study provides data on the rates of Vitamin D deficiency in Ireland. TILDA estimate that 47% of all adults aged over 85 are deficient in winter; 27% of the over 70s are likely to be deficient, and that 13% of adults over 55 are deficient all year.

How can you prevent and treat Vitamin D Deficiency?

The editor of this article has no medical qualifications whatsoever and so if you are concerned about Vitamin D deficiency you should contact your GP. They can advise on changes to your diet and lifestyle. They may also recommend taking a Vitamin D supplement, with the TILDA report noting that to prevent a deficiency 10 ug is the minimum recommended daily amount during the winter time and between 15 -20 ug is recommended for most at risk groups.

For more information visit HERE.



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