Vitamins and COVID-19
According to Care Net, a hypothesis has been proposed that vitamin D may help prevent the novel coronavirus infection (COVID-19) and reduce mortality. Two new pieces of evidence supporting the possibility have been reported.
The first data was reported by British researchers in the online version of “Aging Clinical and Experimental Research” on May 6. After studying the relationship between the average vitamin D levels of 20 European countries and the effect on COVID-19, a negative correlation was found, showing that states with higher vitamin D levels had lower morbidity and mortality rates for COVID-19. People from Southern Europe, such as Italy and Spain, are thought to have low levels of vitamin D synthesis due to dark skin pigments. At the same time, Northern Europeans often take liver oil and vitamin D supplements, a study said. The secondary data was posted on the online version of “medRxiv” on April 10 and has not been peer-reviewed. Ali Daneshkhah and colleagues at Northwestern University analyzed data from 10 countries, including the United States. They discovered that low vitamin D levels were linked with excessive immune responses. The findings could explain some pertinent questions, including why child mortality from COVID-19 is low, the study group said.
However, Mark Bolland of the University of Auckland (New Zealand) points out that neither study supports a causal rebut relationship. “There are several studies that have shown a link between low vitamin D levels and disease, but increasing vitamin D levels may not improve the condition,” he said, “in some countries with low average vitamin D levels. Meanwhile, William Grant of Nikko, Nutrition, and HealthResearch Center in the U.S. gives a different view. “This finding supports the results of observational studies showing that vitamin D may be effective in preventing COVID-19 and preventing its severity,” he said. Frank Lau of Louisiana State
University in the U.S. is also one who has confirmed the effect of vitamin D on his research. Lau says that vitamin D may boost the immune response to the new coronavirus, help produce antibodies, and prevent the virus from spreading throughout the body. Under these circumstances, multiple clinical trials to examine the effects of vitamin D are in the initial stage. Lau’s trial will target early-stage COVID-19 patients, while the trial in France will target critically ill patients. He questioned the effectiveness of vitamin D after COVID-19 aggravation; instead of maintaining normal high vitamin D levels could help prevent COVID-19. And to increase vitamin D levels, he advises, “You don’t have to take supplements, and you need 10-15 minutes of sun exposure per day.” Vitamin D is also found in fatty fish, fortified dairy products and cereals, beef liver, cheese, and egg yolk.
What happens if vitamin D is deficient?
A deficiency of vitamin D results in reduced calcium absorption from the intestinal tract and decreased calcium reabsorption in the kidney, leading to calcium deficiency and hypocalcemia. The vitamin D shortage causes softening of the bones, leading to osteomalacia in adults, especially pregnant and lactating women. In children, bone growth disorders can occur, resulting in poor posture, bent leg bones, and rickets. Older people with low bone mass are more likely to develop osteoporosis and have a higher risk of becoming bedridden from fractures.
Problems with an overdose of vitamin D
As a fat-soluble vitamin, vitamin D can cause health problems due to excessive intake. If you happen to take too much vitamin D, hypercalcemia will occur, and a large amount of calcium is deposited on the blood vessel wall, kidneys, myocardium, lungs, etc. Therefore, symptoms such as renal dysfunction, loss of appetite, vomiting, and increased excitability of nerves appear.
Vitamin D in mushrooms
All mushrooms contain some vitamin D, but growers can increase vitamin D levels by exposing mushrooms to ultraviolet light. Similar to humans, mushrooms naturally produce vitamin D following exposure to sunlight or a sunlamp, as the plant sterol – ergosterol – converts to vitamin D when exposed to light.
Simple mushroom cooking to obtain vitamin D
The key to a deep rich flavor and making the best sauteed mushrooms is to allow them to caramelize and add aromatics (garlic/thyme) and salt (soy sauce). I add lots of garlic, but you can also add fry onions for the perfect sauteed mushrooms and onions burger topping!