Health & Living

Sunbathe and Eat Foods Rich in Vitamin D to Reduce Risk of Death from COVID-19

Vitamin D is not only essential for maintaining healthy bones, but also plays a central role in the functioning of your immune system. Various studies have linked vitamin D deficiency at an increased risk of respiratory infections, including the deadly COVID-19. Low vitamin D level have been found in many patients with severe COVID-19, suggesting that a lack of the sunshine vitamin may increase your risk of complications from the disease. Read also – Autoantibodies, genetic mutation behind serious complications of COVID-19

A new study published in the journal PLOS ONE has added to the growing body of evidence that getting enough vitamin D can lower your risk of complications and death from Covid-19. Authors from Boston University in the United States found that hospitalized Covid-19 patients who were sufficient vitamin D, with a blood level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D of at least 30 ng / mL, were 51.5% less likely to die from the infection compared to patients deficient in vitamin D. Read also – Men have a 62% increased risk of death associated with COVID-19

Additionally, patients with Covid-19 who had sufficient vitamin D levels had lower blood levels of an inflammatory marker (C-reactive protein) and higher blood levels of lymphocytes (a type of immune cell to help to fight infection). Read also – Brucellosis has already entered India: are we heading for another pandemic?

This study also provides direct evidence that vitamin D sufficiency can prevent the cytokine storm (too rapid release of too much protein into the blood) and ultimately death from Covid-19, the authors noted.

Studies linking vitamin D deficiency to death from COVID-19

Earlier this month, a study published in the journal JAMA Network Open suggested that a vitamin D deficiency could increase the risk of contracting novel coronavirus.

In May, a study published in the journal Aging Clinical and Experimental Research established a link between low average vitamin D levels and high numbers of COVID-19 cases and death rates in 20 European countries. The researchers explained that the elderly are generally deficient in vitamin D, and are most severely affected by COVID-19. They say vitamin D can prevent white blood cells from releasing too many inflammatory cytokines associated with COVID-19.

Another study by researchers at UChicago Medicine looked at patients with COVID-19 whose vitamin D levels were measured within a year of testing positive for the viral disease. Surprisingly, patients who had vitamin D deficiency were almost twice as likely to test positive for COVID-19 compared to those who had the necessary levels of the vitamin in their bodies.

How you can increase vitamin D intake during the pandemic

Your body produces vitamin D when it is exposed to the sun. It is therefore important to have a little sun every day. If you are not getting enough sun, be sure to eat more foods rich in vitamin D or take supplements. Here are some foods that contain vitamin D.


Mushrooms are the best plant source of vitamin D. Like humans, mushrooms also synthesize vitamin D when exposed to the sun. Therefore, wild mushrooms contain more vitamin D than commercially grown mushrooms, which are often grown in the dark.


Wild salmon is better than farmed salmon when it comes to vitamin D content. While wild salmon contains around 988 IU of vitamin D per serving, farmed salmon contains an average of 250 IU.


This tiny fish available as raw, canned, smoked, or marinated fish is one of the best sources of vitamin D. Eat more sardines during the pandemic to boost your vitamin D levels and prevent respiratory infections, including COVID-19.

Egg yolks

Some people can’t stand the smell of fish. If you are one of them, eat eggs instead. While the white part contains mostly protein, the yellow yolk contains most of the fats, vitamins and minerals. A typical egg yolk can provide 37 IU of vitamin D.

Posted: Sep 27, 2020 10:29 AM | Updated: September 27, 2020 11:15 a.m.

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