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Vitamin D: The New Weapon in the Fight Against COVID-19?

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Vitamin D therapy has recently emerged as a new method of boosting the immune system. While vitamin D injections are going viral, it is important to consider whether it is safe for everyone to take them. Instead of blindly following the crowd because it’s said to be good or necessary, it’s crucial to do some research and determine the most suitable method of Vitamin D treatment based on your current health status. In particular, assessing whether injections are more effective is important.

Can It Also Prevent COVID-19?

Recent research from a team in Argentina showed that vitamin D supplementation could enhance the preventive effects of the COVID-19 vaccine. Researchers stated people with low vitamin D levels have a lower serum protection rate after flu vaccination than those with normal levels. They claimed that vitamin D supplementation can maximize the ability of the immune system to respond to the COVID-19 vaccine.

Oral Supplements VS. Injections

Vitamin D injections have the advantage of being efficient and convenient. If you’re diagnosed with a vitamin D deficiency in a test, you can also benefit from insurance. However, opinions are divided on whether injections or oral supplements are better. Injections cannot be administered to young children. In addition, according to some study results, injecting a high dose of 200,000 IU at once can interfere with enzymes, reducing the effect of vitamin D.

High-Dose Injections Can Cause Adverse Events

Vitamin D injections can cause adverse events by introducing a large dose at once. When you get an injection, vitamin D stays in the muscles and is slowly secreted into the blood over two to three months. The problem is that instead of consistent release, a significant amount is initially secreted, which could lead to adverse events from overdosing.

How to Avoid Vitamin D Deficiency?

Unlike other vitamins, vitamin D can be synthesized in the body. However, if the latitude is higher than 35 degrees, the sun’s ultraviolet rays do not reach the earth’s surface well in winter. Consequently, vitamin D is not sufficiently synthesized. It’s important to get a lot of sun in the spring, summer, and fall when the sun’s rays reach the ground well. On sunny days, it’s good to be outside at least three times a week.

Recommended to be Taken Through Food

To reach the daily recommended intake through food, it’s good to eat oily fish, such as mackerel, herring, salmon, and tuna, which are rich in vitamin D. Eggs, mushrooms, and milk also contain small amounts of vitamin D. If it’s hard to get enough from food, you can also take oral vitamin D supplements.

Excess is Better Than Deficiency

Even though vitamin D injections can cause adverse events, some people need to get them. Most oral vitamin D supplements contain calcium, which can upset your stomach when taken. If you have poor digestion or find it difficult to swallow pills due to aging, injections can be a good option. This is because problems caused by deficiency are more likely to occur than adverse events from excess.

How to Increase Natural Synthesis

To increase the natural synthesis of vitamin D, it’s good to expose your arms and legs to the sun for about 20 to 30 minutes a day. If that’s difficult, choosing oral supplements or injections as a secondary option is one method. However, if you’re someone who normally synthesizes enough vitamin D, additional intake can be harmful, so be careful.

How Sunlight Helps You Synthesize Vitamin D

It’s often said that it’s good to sunbathe to produce vitamin D. That’s because the ultraviolet rays from the sun help make vitamin D. Among the ultraviolet rays, UVB is used as the main component for synthesizing vitamin D. When the skin is exposed to UVB, 7D-hydrocholesterol in the skin converts into a vitamin D precursor. This then converts into vitamin D.

Vitamin D and Magnesium: A Dynamic Duo

The health benefits of vitamin D and magnesium are well known. Vitamin D, whether taken in tablet form or produced in the skin from sunlight, is in an inactive form. For vitamin D to perform its important functions, it must be activated through a two-step process. What’s needed for this two-step process is magnesium. Magnesium helps vitamin D bind to transport proteins to move through the blood and activates the receptors necessary for cells to use vitamin D. Conversely, vitamin D helps improve the absorption of magnesium in the intestines of people with low magnesium levels, helping it to be used more efficiently in the body.

Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency and Age-Specific Dosage

If you’re deficient in vitamin D, you may feel depressed and the quality of your sleep may decline. If the deficiency is severe, your bone density may decrease, increasing the risk of fractures. You may also experience symptoms of eye twitching. The daily recommended dosage of vitamin D for adults is 600-800 IU, while for the elderly it’s 800 IU. For children and adolescents, it’s about 400-600 IU. If a child is not regularly exposed to sunlight or doesn’t consume enough vitamin D through food, the recommended amount may increase slightly. Pregnant women with a vitamin D deficiency may have an increased risk of gestational diabetes and preeclampsia.

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