#Covid-19: Trinity College researchers find that Vitamin D can help fight coronavirus
A newly published study says that Vitamin D can play a role in helping to fight off the Covid-19 infection.
A group of researchers from Trinity College released the report entitled 'Vitamin D deficiency in Ireland – implications for COVID 19. Results from the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing'.
They say that Vitamin D can help to prevent respiratory infections and help strengthen the immune system so that it can fight off said infections.
Researchers from The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing shared a number of key findings from this study, including the fact that the majority of older people currently cocooning in Ireland are not getting sufficient Vitamin D.
Here are some of the key points:
- 47 percent of all adults over 85 are deficient in winter
- 27 percent of adults over 70 who are ‘cocooning’ are estimated to be deficient
- 1 in 8 adults over 50 are deficient all year round
- Only 4 percent of men and 15 percent of women take a Vitamin D supplement
Fascinating and timely new research from @tilda_tcd about the role that could be played by Vitamin D in fighting #COVID19 #TrinityResearch Read more at https://t.co/CweZ8XUBVN pic.twitter.com/ybu4Pfo6Qn
— Trinity College Dublin (@tcddublin) April 3, 2020
Commenting on the results, Professor Rose Anne Kenny, Principal Investigator of TILDA, said:
"We have evidence to support a role for Vitamin D in the prevention of chest infections, particularly in older adults who have low levels. In one study Vitamin D reduced the risk of chest infections to half in people who took supplements.
"Though we do not know specifically of the role of Vitamin D in COVID infections, given its wider implications for improving immune responses and clear evidence for bone and muscle health, those cocooning and other at-risk cohorts should ensure they have an adequate intake of Vitamin D. Cocooning is a necessity but will reduce physical activity.
"Muscle deconditioning occurs rapidly in these circumstances and Vitamin D will help to maintain muscle health and strength in the current crisis.".
Current statistics say that one in fifty adults are deficient in Vitamin D which is why TILDA researchers say that people over 50 should take supplements, as should those who are cocooning.
Although Vitamin D can be made in the body from exposure to sunlight for 10-15 minutes per day, this isn't a reliable measure in Ireland due to our climate.
However, in addition to supplements, Vitamin D is readily found in oily fish, eggs and fortified foods including cereals.
You can read the research in full here.