The immune boosting ally in the fight against coronavirus
- Weakened immunity increases risk of experiencing more severe infections, which are harder to treat.
- Research suggests that vitamin D supplementation is essential for boosting the immune system and fighting against infection and disease.
As fears grow that the coronavirus (also known as Covid-19) outbreak could reach pandemic scale, many people are searching for natural remedies to support their immunity and overall wellbeing.
While our bodies are able to develop an immunity to certain strains of viruses, such as seasonal strains of cold and flu, the coronavirus is a new illness which can affect your lungs and airways.
Although professionals are yet to establish exactly how coronavirus spreads from person to person, the NHS recommends regularly washing your hands with soap and water, covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing and avoiding close contact with people who are unwell.
However, there are also steps you can take to tackle infection from the inside out.
When it comes to maintaining our health year-round, including at times of increased risk, nutrition plays a crucial role. Vitamin C, garlic and spices such as ginger have long been hailed natural immunity boosters, but an increasing number of clinical studies are proving that vitamin D is the unsung hero we all need to keep infection at bay.
Continuing to pose a worldwide threat, new cases of coronavirus are being confirmed every day and as the natural health industry anticipates an increased global demand for immune-boosting vitamins, pioneering pill-free supplements brand, BetterYou, explains why a daily dose of vitamin D is essential in the fight against infectious disease.
The importance of immune support
Susceptibility to infection and illness, is the primary symptom of a poor immune system and a person with weakened immunity is at an increased risk of experiencing more severe infections, which are harder to treat and can last for a significant amount of time.
Symptoms of coronavirus are similar to other illnesses that are much more common, including cold and flu. This can be respiratory symptoms such as difficulty breathing and coughs and a fever, alongside more severe symptoms which can cause kidney failure and pneumonia.
A healthy immune system increases your chances of staying healthy and avoiding infection, it will also aid long-term protection against diseases and the health impacts of ageing.
Consistency is key and the importance of an active, healthy immune system is imperative to support our overall health at a time when the chance of infection is high.
Why Vitamin D?
The ‘sunshine vitamin’, vitamin D, has long been known to support bone health, but it’s now becoming well-recognised as an essential vitamin for our immune system too.
Crucial in activating the body’s immune defences, vitamin D is stored in the body’s fat cells for approximately two weeks and remains inactive until it’s needed.
An analysis carried out at Queen Mary University London, found that vitamin D helps to reduce the risk of infections – especially amongst people who don’t get enough vitamin D from exposure to sunlight, or from their diets.
Studies have also found that the vitamin is crucial for our immunity to fight off viruses once we are already infected.
A poorly functioning immune system may be exacerbated by low vitamin D levels and can leave people susceptible to disease, so it’s important to maintain optimal levels of the vitamin year-round.
Keeley Berry, nutritional expert and product developer at BetterYou, says: “We now find ourselves in a period of increased risk, with cases of coronavirus rising, and many of us are counting on our immune system to protect us from infection – so it’s important that we provide our body with the tools it needs to fend off disease.
“Vitamin D is crucial for optimal performance of the killer cells within the immune system – the T cells – and without sufficient vitamin D, these cells will not be able to react and fight off serious infections within the body. So, if you find that you succumb to bugs regularly, my advice would be to test your vitamin D levels, either through your GP or using a simple at-home test kit.
"It’s important to understand baseline vitamin D levels to determine how much supplementation may be required, but as a rule of thumb, I suggest intakes of around 1000 IU of vitamin D for every 25kg of body weight to maintain optimal levels. So, for an adult 2000 to 3000 IU daily, would be advised.
“Vitamin D is important for many aspects of our health, so I recommend supplementing year-round, this is especially important for those that fall within the groups of people deemed more ‘at-risk’ of a vitamin D deficiency including; children under five-years-old, mums-to-be, the elderly and people with darker skin, in addition to teenagers, people following a plant-based diet and those with low sun exposure, such as office workers.
“It has been widely reported that older people are more likely to become severely ill with coronavirus. Ageing weakens the immune system due to the shrinkage of some of the organs that produce white blood cells, with this demographic producing fewer white blood cells which can leave them susceptible to infection.
“Older adults are also at-risk of lower levels of vitamin D due to their body’s reduced ability to synthesise the vitamin, so to help to support their immune health, it’s essential that older people consider adding a vitamin D supplement to their daily routine. The Institute of Medicine advises that those over the age of 65 should aim to intake at least 800 IU of vitamin D daily, with doses up to 4000 IU advised as being safe.”
BetterYou’s DLux oral sprays are the UK’s first daily vitamin D oral spray range, providing a fast and convenient way to increase levels of this essential vitamin.
- Tags: BetterYou
- Chris Price