As COVID-19 infections continue to climb, as well as the flu season looming, health experts are urging the public to take extra precautions and measures to stay healthy.
While mask-wearing and quarantines have helped to slow the spread of COVID-19, personal care and attention to your body’s vitamin and nutrient levels are important for reducing the risk of infection and death from viruses.
Some researchers are focusing on increased Vitamin D intake based off of its success with similar symptoms from other infections.
There is still no concrete evidence that establishes a baseline for the true effectiveness of Vitamin D related to COVID-19 and the coronavirus. However, there have been several clinical trials that reported that extra vitamin D supplementation in a person’s diet reduced the risk of influenza.
Consequently, there also have been studies which found no effectiveness.
Physicians often measure Calcifediol levels in a person’s bloodstream to determine a patient’s vitamin D status. Calcifediol is a pre-hormone that is produced in the liver by hydroxylation of vitamin D₃.
These factors are leading some in the medical community to encourage anyone who is at risk of complications from influenza and/or COVID-19 to consider taking increased doses of Vitamin D3 supplements for a few weeks to rapidly raise Calcifediol concentrations in their body (Grant et al.).
It is important to note that, like with almost anything in life, there can be too much of a good thing.
Since Vitamin D aids with calcium absorption, too much of it will also lead to abnormally high calcium levels in your blood. High calcium levels, also known as hypercalcemia, can cause:
It is hard to set a universal standard concerning Vitamin D intake, as everyone’s body absorbs and processes vitamins and supplements differently. While the FDA has set a recommended daily intake for Vitamin D, anyone considering taking more should simply speak with their doctor first. There have been studies where people took excessive amounts of Vitamin D3 and it did not affect the incidence rate of kidney stone events or hypercalcemia (Malihi et al.).
Various federal agencies in the United States, including the FDA, U.S. Institute of Medicine, and others each have their own baseline for how much Vitamin D a person should consume on a daily basis which varies based on a person’s age, gender, and health status.
While supplements to boost your Vitamin D levels above the recommended daily intake are necessary to achieve the health benefits that could reduce the risk of infections or severity of symptoms, you may also obtain Vitamin D through your diet.
Foods high in Vitamin D include:
If you are vegetarian or don’t like fish, it may be hard to find a natural source of Vitamin D. Fortunately, some food products that don’t naturally contain Vitamin D are fortified with it:
In addition to Vitamin D supplements, health experts recommend taking Magnesium supplements, as research has shown all of the enzymes that metabolize vitamin D in the bloodstream require magnesium (Uwitonze & Razzaque).
The hypothesis that vitamin D supplementation can reduce the risk of the flu, COVID-19 infections, and the severity of COVID-19 symptoms which could potentially be fatal still needs further investigation. At this point in time, researchers have not established guidelines on concentration and dosage levels along with safety concerns (Han et al.).
Gombart and colleagues wrote in their article published in the journal Nutrients in January of 2020:
“Although contradictory data exist, available evidence indicates that supplementation with multiple micronutrients with immune-supporting roles may modulate immune function and reduce the risk of infection. Micronutrients with the strongest evidence for immune support are vitamins C and D and zinc. Better design of human clinical studies addressing dosage and combinations of micronutrients in different populations are required to substantiate the benefits of micronutrient supplementation against infection.”.
Nova Vita Wellness Centers offers a variety of intravenous (IV) vitamin infusions, intramuscular vitamin booster shots to improve health and wellness, as well personal micronutrient profile tests to help people understand their individual needs. Our micronutrient test requires a small blood sample that can be used to examine 31 vitamins, amino acids, minerals, antioxidants and metabolites that are required by the body to produce hormones, enzymes and other substances needed for good health. By analyzing the results of your nutrient profile test, we can customize an IV vitamin infusion that is tailored to your specific needs and create a wellness journey to help you live a healthy life.
In addition to a wide variety of drip formulations, we also offer a selection of targeted “boosters” to supplement and personalize your Vitamin IV Drip Therapy to meet your personal needs. Some of the booster shots we offer specifically for improving your immune system include:
As always, it is important to consult your physician before implementing any new diet, exercise and dietary supplement programs, especially if you have preexisting medical conditions or are taking prescribed medications.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, give us a call at 956-335-0250 or you can schedule an appointment online.
Gombart A.F., Pierre A., Maggini S. A Review of Micronutrients and the Immune System-Working in Harmony to Reduce the Risk of Infection. Nutrients. 2020;12:236. doi: 10.3390/nu12010236.
Grant, W. B., Lahore, H., McDonnell, S. L., Baggerly, C. A., French, C. B., Aliano, J. L., & Bhattoa, H. P. (2020). Evidence that Vitamin D Supplementation Could Reduce Risk of Influenza and COVID-19 Infections and Deaths. Nutrients, 12(4), 988. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12040988.
Han J.E., Jones J.L., Tangpricha V., Brown M.A., Brown L.A.S., Hao L., Hebbar G., Lee M.J., Liu S., Ziegler T.R., et al. High Dose Vitamin D Administration in Ventilated Intensive Care Unit Patients: A Pilot Double Blind Randomized Controlled Trial. J. Clin. Transl. Endocrinol. 2016;4:59–65. doi: 10.1016/j.jcte.2016.04.004.
Kaufman HW, Niles JK, Kroll MH, Bi C, Holick MF (2020) SARS-CoV-2 positivity rates associated with circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels. PLoS ONE 15(9): e0239252. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0239252.
Maghbooli Z, Sahraian MA, Ebrahimi M, Pazoki M, Kafan S, et al. (2020) Vitamin D sufficiency, a serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D at least 30 ng/mL reduced risk for adverse clinical outcomes in patients with COVID-19 infection. PLOS ONE 15(9): e0239799. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0239799.
Malihi Z., Lawes C.M.M., Wu Z., Huang Y., Waayer D., Toop L., Khaw K.T., Camargo C.A., Scragg R. Monthly high-dose vitamin D supplementation does not increase kidney stone risk or serum calcium: Results from a randomized controlled trial. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 2019;109:1578–1587. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/nqy378.
McCullough P.J., Lehrer D.S., Amend J. Daily oral dosing of vitamin D3 using 5000 TO 50,000 international units a day in long-term hospitalized patients: Insights from a seven year experience. J. Steroid Biochem. Mol. Biol. 2019;189:228–239. doi: 10.1016/j.jsbmb.2018.12.010.
Uwitonze A.M., Razzaque M.S. Role of Magnesium in Vitamin D Activation and Function. J. Am. Osteopath Assoc. 2018;118:181–189. doi: 10.7556/jaoa.2018.037.
Youssef, D. A., Miller, C. W., El-Abbassi, A. M., Cutchins, D. C., Cutchins, C., Grant, W. B., & Peiris, A. N. (2011). Antimicrobial implications of vitamin D. Dermato-endocrinology, 3(4), 220–229. https://doi.org/10.4161/derm.3.4.15027.