There have been some suggestions that if a person with a vitamin D deficiency catches COVID-19, it could be one contributing factor to a more severe case of the virus..

After studying global data, some researchers have noticed that there is a correlation – countries with higher death rates had lower levels of vitamin D than countries that were less severely affected by Coronavirus. Several other studies in different parts of the world have resulted in similar findings. 

Experts say that this could be because healthy levels of vitamin D help to avoid a condition known as cytokine storm, which is where the immune system overreacts, causing the body to attack its own cells and tissues. Cytokine storm can severely damage lungs, and can lead to acute respiratory distress syndrome and death in some patients. 

 

Vitamin D enhances our immune system and prevents it from becoming dangerously overactive. While the studies are still in the early stages, there is definitely no harm in trying to increase your vitamin D levels – even if your levels are normal, a little extra vitamin D is unlikely to be damaging.

 

How can you do that? The best way is through exposure to sunlight. Sources suggest that 10-15 minutes of unprotected (no sunscreen) sun exposure per day is enough for lighter-skinned people, and those with darker skin need a little more time.

Your skin will then be able to produce vitamin D, and this self-produced version of the vitamin can stay in your system for up to twice as long as supplements. 

 

As mentioned, another way to boost your levels of vitamin D is through taking supplements. Europeans are actually recommended to take daily supplements from October to April each year. Look for a high quality supplement, and try to choose one that contains vitamin D3 as this is the most beneficial form. Liposomal supplements are generally accepted to be the most effective type of supplement, as they’re very quickly absorbed.

 

It is also possible to get some vitamin D from foods. Fatty fish and seafood are one of the highest sources – especially salmon, tuna, mackerel, oysters, shrimp, sardines and anchovies. 

Mushrooms are the only plant-based source of vitamin D, and you can also find it in egg yolks.

Some foods have added vitamin D, such as cow’s milk, soy, almond and hemp milk, orange juice, cereal, yogurt and tofu.