Are you worried about how the second wave of COVID-19 will affect you and your family? A second wave is a real possibility, and preparing yourself before it is too late will be crucial. 

When we talk about “preparedness” we aren’t talking about stocking up on toilet paper and canned beans. Rather, we are asking, “is your body prepared”. Your immune system is your body’s main line of defense. If it is not functioning as it should be or is compromised, there is a greater chance you can fall ill if and when you come into contact with a virus.

Wearing a mask can help stop the spread of COVID-19. Always wear a mask in public.

Looking back at the last six months, we’ve heard a lot of different opinions about how we should protect ourselves from the novel coronavirus. Thankfully, today, we have a much better understanding of this virus and how to defend ourselves from it thanks to clinical studies and proper research.

Although there is still no “cure” or vaccine for COVID-19 yet, there are a few things experts definitely agree on. 

First and foremost. Living a healthy lifestyle is the best way to keep your body functioning at its best. This means eating a healthy diet full of nutritious foods, hydrating, and getting proper regular sleep. Staying active, and exercising regularly are always important to keep a strong immune system. Similarly to most diseases, your immune system requires consistent care and healthy life choices to continue functioning at its best.

Note: We base our recommendations on the latest clinical research studies. Always be sure to consult with your doctor or a medical professional before starting a new vitamin/supplement routine, or taking any new preventative measures, especially in the case of pre-existing conditions or prescription medications.

COVID-19 studies have been focused on researching a number of essential immune support vitamins and minerals, especially… 

  • Zinc
  • Folic Acid
  • Selenium
  • Magnesium
  • Iron
  • Vitamin C, D, B, A, and E

Let’s take a look at five key substances for better immune health: 

Vitamin C

This no nothing news. Since you were a kid your doctor has been telling you about the importance of vitamin C. Vitamin C came out of recent studies as the first effective coronavirus compound supported and used in Intensive Care Unit (ICU) settings. Vitamin C has been widely studied for its important role in immunity, and is essential for ACE2 enzyme support, blood circulation, cardiovascular health, blood pressure, endothelial dysfunction, and more! It’s generally been shown that frequent daily divided doses offer the greatest results when taking vitamin C.

Zinc

Zinc is an important part of your immune health

Zinc is known to knock a cold clean off its feet. It has also been included for hospital treatments for COVID-19 where a patient is suffering from mild symptoms. Since zinc is deficiency is known to lessen the body’s ability to ward off viruses and infections, medical professionals generally recommend taking zinc at the first sign of illness.

B Vitamins

It may surprise you how important B vitamins are to your general health and wellness (revisit our article all about B Vitamins here). B vitamins play a major role in a healthy immune system, and healthy immune function (especially B6 & B12). In one study published in the scientific journal Maturitas, top scientists from top universities, all called for even more research to be done into the potential of B vitamins to help the treatment of COVID-19 patients.

B vitamins show the potential to help reduce inflammation and regulate the immune system. Scientists believe that B vitamins could keep COVID cases from quickly escalating into becoming more severe.

Probiotics

Good health starts in the gut, and probiotics are crucial to maintaining a healthy microbiome

Maintaining a strong immune system is critical to virus prevention, and we all know the importance of a healthy gut. Roughly 70% of your immune cells call your gut home. This means maintaining a healthy microbiome is important to maintaining proper immune function.

Although it is still believed that COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets, research now shows that the gut may also play a role. Traces of the virus have been found in stool samples, sewage systems, and in GI tracts of multiple patients. Probiotics are good gut bacteria that can help maintain a healthy and balanced microbiome. These bacteria strains have been shown to help prevent vital and bacterial infections in some clinical studies.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is critical to maintaining a healthy immune system

Last but not least, is vitamin D. Vitamin D has generated a lot of attention in relation to COVID-19 and for very good reason. 

Specifically vitamin D3, some are calling the “Hero of Immunity”, but unfortunately the average American adult typically overlooks this crucial vitamin. Most people get enough vitamin C and zinc in their diet, but the same cannot be said for vitamin D3. 

Researchers have found that vitamin D and iron are the two most common deficiencies in the U.S. Some even go so far as to call this the “silent epidemic” and a global public health crisis in and of itself. 

Clinical research has found that…

  • Up to 90% of Americans of color are deficient in vitamin D
  • Approximately 50% of the general public, regardless of age, are vitamin D insufficient
  • At least 61% of elderly Americans are deficient in vitamin D”

Why Vitamin D is important for COVID-19 prevention?

The most at-risk group for COVID-19 includes adults over 60 – with risk increasing each year they grow older, and those with pre-existing respiratory, conditions. Older adults are roughly 63% more likely to be lacking vitamin D.

This is very concerning because new studies have found the mortality rates are statistically higher in patients with vitamin D deficiencies and insufficiencies. The first peer-reviewed vitamin D coronavirus study has been released, and the results are in line with other research papers done on observational studies. This means experts and health professionals have more confidence that vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency is a big factor in COVID-19 outcomes. 

Vitamin D is believed to help turn off unregulated cytokine storm activation, which is associated with poor coronavirus outcomes. 

There are very few foods that naturally contain high levels of vitamin D. Some options include cod liver oil, fatty fish, and egg yolks.

Worried You May Be Lacking Vitamin D?

Here are some common risk factors for lack of vitamin D…

  • Lack of sun exposure
  • Insufficient vitamin D intake in your diet 
  • Low production in the skin
  • Pre-existing conditions that may affect levels (certain liver diseases and other ailments)

Vitamin D Dosage Tips

  • Consider a vitamin D supplement. 
  • Take vitamin D earlier in the day with a meal – pair with healthy fats and black pepper for maximum absorption.
  • It can take roughly two weeks to restore vitamin D levels, so consistent use is key. 
  • Consider vitamin K2, this is important for vitamin D absorption. Most adults have adequate vitamin K2 levels, but it is best to check with your doctor on the best type of vitamin D for your individual needs.
Vitamin K2 can benefit vitamin D absorption

How to Prepare Your Body’s Natural Defenses

Vitamin D has been shown to be safe, effective, and affordable. This micronutrient is something most of us can desperately use more of as we move into these uncertain times.

When we eventually have a COVID-19 vaccine, it will still not eliminate the risks brought on by insufficient vitamin D levels. If you are interested in finding a supplement with vitamin D, and everything else we mentioned within this article, we recommend you check out our Best Immune Boosting Supplements of 2020 article right here.

Citations
Boretti A, Banik BK. Intravenous vitamin C for reduction of cytokines storm in acute respiratory distress syndrome. PharmaNutrition. 2020;12:100190. doi:10.1016/j.phanu.2020.100190

Chowdhury MA, Hossain N, Kashem MA, Shahid MA, Alam A. Immune response in COVID-19: A review [published online ahead of print, 2020 Jul 14]. J Infect Public Health. 2020;S1876-0341(20)30567-0. doi:10.1016/j.jiph.2020.07.001

Liu F, Zhu Y, Zhang J, Li Y, Peng Z. Intravenous high-dose vitamin C for the treatment of severe COVID-19: study protocol for a multicentre randomised controlled trial. BMJ Open. 2020 Jul 8;10(7):e039519. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2020-039519. PMID: 32641343; PMCID: PMC7348463.

Wessels I, Rolles B, Rink L. The Potential Impact of Zinc Supplementation on COVID-19 Pathogenesis. Front Immunol. 2020;11:1712. Published 2020 Jul 10. doi:10.3389/fimmu.2020.01712

Shakoor H, Feehan J, Mikkelsen K, et al. Be well: A potential role for vitamin B in COVID-19 [published online ahead of print, 2020 Aug 15]. Maturitas. 2020;S0378-5122(20)30348-0. doi:10.1016/j.maturitas.2020.08.007

Baud D, Dimopoulou Agri V, Gibson GR, Reid G, Giannoni E. Using Probiotics to Flatten the Curve of Coronavirus Disease COVID-2019 Pandemic. Front Public Health. 2020;8:186. Published 2020 May 8. doi:10.3389/fpubh.2020.00186

Bendik I, Friedel A, Roos FF, Weber P, Eggersdorfer M. Vitamin D: a critical and essential micronutrient for human health. Front Physiol. 2014;5:248. Published 2014 Jul 11. doi:10.3389/fphys.2014.00248

Catherine Ulbricht.Alternative and Complementary Therapies.Jun, 2013.119-122.http://doi.org/10.1089/act.2013.19309

Holick MF, Chen TC. Vitamin D deficiency: a worldwide problem with health consequences. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Apr;87(4):1080S-6S. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/87.4.1080S. PMID: 18400738.

Biesalski HK. Vitamin D deficiency and co-morbidities in COVID-19 patients – A fatal relationship?. Nfs Journal. 2020;20:10-21. doi:10.1016/j.nfs.2020.06.001

Elizabeth Garrett-Mayer, Carol L Wagner, Bruce W Hollis, Mark S Kindy, Sebastiano Gattoni-Celli, Vitamin D3 supplementation (4000 IU/d for 1 y) eliminates differences in circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D between African American and white men, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 96, Issue 2, August 2012, Pages 332–336, https://doi.org/10.3945/ajcn.112.034256

Sizar O, Khare S, Goyal A, et al. Vitamin D Deficiency. [Updated 2020 Jul 21]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2020 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK532266/

Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Volume 52, Issue 24, 9 December 2008, Pages 1949-1956, John H. James, H.O’Keefe MD, DavidBell MD, Donald D.Hensrud MD, MPH, Michael F.Holick MD, PhD,, Vitamin D Deficiency: An Important, Common, and Easily Treatable Cardiovascular Risk Factor?, Received 4 June 2008, Revised 6 August 2008, Accepted 13 August 2008, Available online 2 December 2008.

Holick MF, Chen TC. Vitamin D deficiency: a worldwide problem with health consequences. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Apr;87(4):1080S-6S. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/87.4.1080S. PMID: 18400738.

Write A Comment