By Pastor Dr Paul Nanna
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 are 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 Psalm, 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 be afraid of or be worried about. Remain prayerful and read the Bible always.
Having said that, the issue of Vitamin D deficiency and its impact on those who are deficient in it, need to be looked into. Daily records are kept all over the world about the number of people infected, those who are dying and those who recover. From these records, 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 among these same group of people. 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 skinned people in the world, the story is not exactly the same. The death rate in this continent may not be in agreement with the Vitamin D deficiency theory. The reason may be that most of those who have been infected by this virus are those in the low income group who spend a lot of time commuting or working in the sun. Their level of vitamin D may be high. Those in the middle class who have air conditioners installed everywhere in their houses, drive air conditioned cars and work in air conditioned offices, who may be deficient in vitamin D are definitely fewer. However, there has been some correlation between the death rate and Vitamin D deficiency.
Let us note that in Vitamin D deficiency getting sick and infected are usually common.
The correlation between vitamin D deficiency and high rates of infection and death as a result of coronavirus has been proven by researchers in the UK. Vitamin D has been known to protect against acute respiratory tract infection. It regulates the response of white blood cells to pathogens and prevents them from releasing too many inflammatory cytokines
These researchers have found that coronavirus causes an excess of pro-inflammatory cytokines to be released. Therefore, if vitamin D is deficient, these cytokines will be released unabated and cause what is known as a cytokine storm – an inflammatory condition caused by an overactive immune system. In south European countries such as Italy and Spain, COVID-19 infection and mortality rates are high. Low average vitamin D has also been found in these two countries. Curiously, people in the south of Europe avoid sun more than those in the north and this is especially among the elderly. Also, because skin pigmentation has been known to reduce natural production of vitamin D, death amongst the dark skinned is high in this region. In northern European countries, consumption of cod liver oil and vitamin D supplements are said to be high with less sun avoidance. In these countries you have the lowest number of COVID-19 infections and death.
Sources of Vitamin D: vitamin D is produced naturally in the skin when the sun shines directly on it. Types of food that are natural sources of vitamin D include cold water fish such as tuna, mackerel, salmon, and cod. Vitamin D can also be found in fish oils like cod liver oil and omega 3 fatty acids from flaxseed oil. Other sources of vitamin D are egg yolk, sea foods and fortified grain and dairy products.
Having optimal levels of Vitamin D is a must in this COVID-19 pandemic. I have shown in this article that deficiency of vitamin D easily leads to infection and death by coronavirus. Let us note that in Vitamin D deficiency getting sick and infected are usually common. Viral respiratory tract infections like the common cold, flu, sinusitis, cough etc. arise frequently as a result of Vitamin D deficiency. There is a correlation between vitamin D deficiency and increased rate of COVID-19 infection and death.
The Recommended Daily Intake of vitamin D is between 400IU to 800IU. Expose yourself more to the sun daily and for longer periods of time. Eat foods that have high content of Vitamin D more frequently. Such foods have been listed in this article. There are also grains, dairy products and some fruit juices which have been fortified with Vitamin D and finally, there are Vitamin D supplements that you can buy from health food shops.