According to a study of 78,000 patients, people with low levels of vitamin D are almost twice as likely as those with high levels of vitamin D of developing acute respiratory infections. In addition, people with vitamin D deficiencies were more likely to be sicker for longer. Dr Simran Deo, an online doctor at Zava spoke exclusively to Express.co.uk to give his insight about a possible link between vitamin D and COVID-19.
When asked what happens to the body when a person is vitamin D deficient, Dr Deo replied: “If you have low vitamin D levels, you might notice that you get ill more frequently, wounds on your skin take longer to heal, or you experience low mood, if you’re experiencing these symptoms it may be worth visiting your doctor, or using a home testing kit to ensure your vitamin D levels are sufficient.
“People in the UK are at particular risk of having low vitamin D in the winter months due to limited sunlight.”
“You may find you’re at an even higher risk if you have a darker skin type, are older, or regularly wear clothing that covers your skin.
“Certain health conditions can leave you vulnerable to low vitamin D levels too, such as having a BMI that falls in the obese category, having kidney or liver disease, or if you take anti-epilepsy medications.”
Other than supplements and sunshine, how can we ensure we are getting enough vitamin D? Dr Deo answered: “You can try to make sure your vitamin D levels are high enough by eating foods that are rich in it.
“These include cheese, oily fish like mackerel, salmon and tuna, beef liver and egg yolks.
“However, it’s worth noting that not much vitamin D comes from the food we eat, unless we include food in our diet that has been fortified.
“Sunlight or supplements remain the most effective means of taking on vitamin D.”