More research confirms that maintaining optimal vitamin D levels is extremely important for reducing the risk of infection with SARS Cov-2.
A six-week observational study of 154 people published in Nature found that 97 percent of individuals with severe COVID-19 had vitamin D deficiency (mean concentration was 14 ng/mL) compared to 33 percent of people with asymptomatic COVID-19 (mean concentration was 28 ng/mL). The study also found that the fatality rate of the group with lower vitamin D3 levels was 21 percent compared to 3 percent in the group with higher vitamin D levels. In addition, the vitamin D deficient-group had higher inflammatory biomarkers, including interleukin-6, ferritin, tumor necrosis factor-alpha. Vitamin D plays an essential role in the immune system by inhibiting inflammation and enhancing the production of anti-inflammatory signaling proteins.
We’ve previously written about the latest research on vitamin D and COVID – with additional information on who may be at greater risk of deficiency and suggestions on how to naturally increase vitamin D intake. We recommend maintaining vitamin D3 levels between 40-60 ng/mL for optimal immune health, leaning on the higher side for those with existing immune complications.
Kara Fitzgerald, ND, received her doctor of naturopathic medicine degree from the National University of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon. She completed the first Counsel on Naturopathic Medicine-accredited post-doctorate position in nutritional biochemistry and laboratory science at Metametrix Clinical Laboratory under the direction of Richard Lord, PhD. Her residency was completed at Progressive Medical Center, a large, integrative medical practice in Atlanta, Georgia.
Dr. Fitzgerald is the lead author and editor of Case Studies in Integrative and Functional Medicine and is a contributing author to Laboratory Evaluations for Integrative and Functional Medicine and the Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM)’s Textbook for Functional Medicine. With the Helfgott Research Institute, Dr. Fitzgerald is actively engaged in clinical research on the DNA methylome using a diet and lifestyle intervention developed in her practice. The first publication from the study focuses on reversal of biological aging and was published 04-12-2021 in the journal Aging. She has published a consumer book titled Younger You as well as a companion cookbook, Better Broths and Healing Tonics and has an application-based Younger You Program, based on the study.
Dr. Fitzgerald is on the faculty at IFM, is an IFM Certified Practitioner and lectures globally on functional medicine. She runs a Functional Nutrition Residency program, and maintains a podcast series, New Frontiers in Functional Medicine and an active blog on her website, www.drkarafitzgerald.com. Her clinical practice is in Sandy Hook, Connecticut.
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