Have you had your recommended dose of sunshine today? 

No? You could be missing out on one of your most important tools in fighting off the corona virus… Vitamin D!

Vitamin D is sometimes called the “sunshine vitamin” because it’s produced in your skin in response to sunlight.

Now vitamin D, the anti-inflammatory sunshine vitamin once investigated as a treatment for tuberculosis, is thought to possibly help you fight off COVID-19.

When vitamin D is made in the skin, it gets converted in the liver to a form that circulates around the body. This creates a natural antibiotic-like substance in the lining of the airway that can bash viruses and bacteria, killing them.

Previous research has shown that the vitamin, which mainly comes from exposure to the sun and is essential for a healthy immune system, can help protect against respiratory infections.

A study, published in the BMJ in 2017, which reviewed data from 25 trials, showed the vitamin can also help prevent acute respiratory infections, particularly in those with a vitamin D deficiency.

Research suggests that vitamin D may also play a role in helping to reduce your likelihood of developing the flu, according to 2010 research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Research also indicates that Vitamin D may reduce the severity and improve the outcome of the disease even if you still catch it.

‘Vitamin D has an anti-inflammatory action, particularly when given at higher doses,’ says Professor Adrian Martineau, a clinical professor of respiratory infection and immunity at Queen Mary University of London.

‘It is the overactive inflammatory response in patients with Covid-19 that seems to be implicated with poor prognosis. The idea is to see if it can reduce this response.’

If you are not yet convinced to catch a few rays right now, here is a summary of some of the  benefits of vitamin D:

  • Facilitating normal immune system function and improved resistance against certain diseases. (likely Covid-19 as well)
  • Bone and Teeth health… regulating the absorption of calcium and phosphorus,

In addition to its primary benefits, research suggests that vitamin D may also play a role in

  • decreasing your chance of developing heart disease.
  • regulating mood and warding off depression.
  • boosting weight loss

How do I get my D’s? 

Your body produces vitamin D naturally when it’s directly exposed to sunlight. You can also get it through certain foods and supplements to ensure adequate levels of the vitamin in your blood.

Sunlight
Regular sun exposure is the most natural way to get enough vitamin D. To maintain healthy blood levels, aim to get 10–30 minutes of midday sunlight, several times per week. People with darker skin may need a little more than this. Unprotected exposure will get you the most vitamin D but be sure to add Sunscreen after 15 minutes, depending on the sensitivity of your skin. Your overall exposure time should depend on how sensitive your skin is to sunlight.

Food sources
Few foods contain vitamin D naturally. Because of this, some foods are fortified. This means that vitamin D has been added. Foods that contain vitamin D include:

  • salmon
  • sardines
  • egg yolk
  • shrimp
  • yogurt (fortified)

Supplements
It can be hard to get enough vitamin D each day through sun exposure and food alone, so taking vitamin D supplements can help. A good multi-vitamin should contain Vitamin D.
You could try the TLC- Multivitamin : https://tlcforwellbeing.com/product/tlc-multivitamin-60s/
Additional Vitamin D supplements can also be taken if required – try these:  https://tlcforwellbeing.com/product/holistix-vitamin-d3-500iu-caps-60s/

Schedule your daily exposure to ensure you get at least 15 minutes of sun exposure per day. For those of you confined to apartments during quarantine, try to catch those rays on your balcony or at the window.