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Vitamin D deficiency and COVID-19 pandemic

By Paul Joseph Nanna
04 June 2020   |   4:14 am
An urgent call for Africans, African Americans and Latinos to pay attention to their Vitamin D status. There is a lot of talk, stories, news and so on about coronavirus...

PHOTO: Noodshop

An urgent call for Africans, African Americans and Latinos to pay attention to their Vitamin D status. There is a lot of talk, stories, news and so on about coronavirus in all media at this time. Newspapers, social media, television and various other media full of one story or the other daily about coronavirus pandemic. As an individual, I have decided never to be shaken by these stories and more so as a minister of the gospel, it is what GOD says about this scourge that is of more importance to me. The word of GOD says in the book of Psalms, Chapter 91 and verses 9 and 10: Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the Most High, thy habitation; There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague (including coronavirus) come nigh thy dwelling. GOD is in control, there is nothing to afraid of or be worried about. Remain prayerful and read the Bible always.

Having said the above, the issue of Vitamin D deficiency and its impact on those who are deficient in it needs to be looked into. From daily records, being kept all over the world, it has been confirmed that dark skinned individuals like African Americans and Latinos in Europe and in the United States are infected the most and the number of deaths is highest in the same population. Blood samples taken and tested among patients in these countries have shown that almost all the patients who have tested positive for coronavirus are also deficient in Vitamin D. In Africa the home of the dark skin people in the world, the story is not exactly the same. The death rate in this continent may not be in agreement to the Vitamin D deficiency theory. However, there has been some correlation between death rate and Vitamin D deficiency.

Sources of Vitamin D: it is the only vitamin that can be produced by exposure of the skin to direct sunlight. Vitamin D is produced from cholesterol when sunlight shines directly on the skin. This is the commonest source of vitamin D. other sources of Vitamin D are cold water fish such as tuna, salmon and cod. Vitamin D can also be gotten from fish oils like cod liver oil and omega 3 fatty acids from fish oils and flaxseed oil. Other sources of vitamin D are egg yolk, seafoods and fortified grain and dairy products.
Health Benefits of Vitamin D

Vitamin D helps the body to utilize calcium and by so doing can strengthen the bones and make them stronger.
Vitamin D plays a significant role in the treatment and prevention of diseases such as types 1 and 2 diabetes, hypertension, multiple sclerosis and glucose intolerance.

Symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency
Vitamin D deficiency is very common. About 1.5 million Nigerians are reported to deficient in Vitamin D every year and this figure rises to 1billion globally. In a study carried out in 2011 in the US, it was discovered that over 80% of African Americans had Vitamin D deficiency, among the Latinos this figure was just below 70% and about 42% in the Caucasian population.

Symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency are muscle pain and weakness, pain in the joints, bone pain and low back pain. Also, there is fatigue and tiredness together with asthma in children and increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease.
It is important to understand that in Vitamin D deficiency getting sick and infected is usually common. Viral respiratory tract infections like the common cold, flu; sinusitis, cough etc. arise frequently as a result of Vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is found in every cell of the body where it functions as a hormone and there are receptors for Vitamin D in all the cells of the body.

Having optimal amounts of Vitamin D must be our pre-occupation at this time of COVID19. It has been discovered that people who may not be deficient of Vitamin D or slightly lower than normal may only have a not too serious attack of coronavirus, while those that are deficient will have a more serious disease. Every one of us should pay attention to the sources of Vitamin D and partake of what is needful so that we can all meet up with the Recommended Daily Intake of vitamin D, which is between 400IU to 800IU. Expose yourself more to the sun daily and for longer periods of time. It has been discovered that the pigment that causes the darkness of the skin also hinders production of Vitamin D from sunlight.

Eat more of foods that have been indicated as good sources of Vitamin D. These are foods such as tuna, salmon, cod, fish oils like cod liver oil and omega 3 fatty acid from flaxseed oil. Also, don’t miss such things as egg yolk, seafoods and grains and dairy products that have been fortified with Vitamin D Finally, there are Vitamin D supplements that you can buy from health food shops that you can buy and consume daily.