Vitamin D: Deficiency can have serious consequences

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  • Vitamin D deficiency increased at one Corona-Infection that Risk of death
  • The mortality is supposed to be about that 10 times elevated
  • This is the result of a recent study by scientists.
  • But beware: Too much vitamin D can also be harmful be – experts warn

Vitamin D belongs to the group of fat-soluble vitamins. The most important are vitamin D2 and vitamin D3. As the Robert Koch Institute explains, vitamin D is important for our bone metabolism, the metabolic processes in the body, the control of genes and the formation of proteins. Vitamin D deficiency is often found in people who spend most of their time indoors and rarely go outside. Because vitamin D is mainly formed through the skin through sunlight.

Update from November 21, 2020, 9 a.m.: Experts warn against too much vitamin D.

The vitamin is important for health and studies show that it can help reduce mortality from Covid-19 disease. Older people in particular who live in nursing homes often suffer from a vitamin D deficiency as they are less exposed to sunlight. In addition, the production of the vitamin in the body decreases with age.

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It is therefore often recommended to take vitamin D in addition, for example through dietary supplements. That is probably really helpful, but experts warn: As always, according to Paracelsus, the dose makes the poison. It is the same with vitamin D. The Robert Koch Institute therefore warns against excessive doses. The problem with vitamin D in particular is that it is a fat-soluble vitamin.

So it may be stored in muscles and adipose tissue. This can lead to an overdose if it is taken frequently and heavily. Specifically, a vitamin D level that is too high results in “hypercalcemia”, ie an increased calcium level. This can acutely lead to abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting or, in particularly severe cases, even kidney damage, cardiac arrhythmias, unconsciousness and death, according to the RKI in its statement.

An overdose can occur if a wide variety of measures to increase the vitamin D level are combined, i.e. food, tablets and lots of sunlight. If you want to find out whether you have a vitamin D deficiency, it is best to have a doctor do a blood test.

Cause of vitamin D deficiency: Too little sunlight

A deficiency often affects older people in nursing homes or old people’s homes. Due to their age, they have to struggle with a deficiency of vitamin D anyway, as the body’s own production of vitamin D decreases with increasing age.

Counteracting a vitamin D deficiency is not that easy. If you want to counteract this with food, there are only a few that can supply the necessary amount of the vitamin. Different fish species in particular are known to have plenty of vitamin D. Eel, herring or salmon are often recommended. Somewhat less vitamin D can be obtained by eating liver or eggs. Another way to counteract a deficiency are dietary supplements in the form of preparations.

A lack of vitamin D should definitely be counteracted. The consequences can be serious. This is also shown by a new study on vitamin D and corona. If there is an additional vitamin D deficiency in the case of an infection with the coronavirus, the course of the disease can have a bad end.

Vitamin D deficiency and corona: mortality is increased

However, this is not a symptom, but a decisive influencing factor that can strongly influence the course of the disease. That is what a new study suggests.

In a large study from Indonesia, the course of the disease and the vitamin D status of 780 corona infected people were examined, reports the German press agency. There was a dramatically increased risk of death in the presence of a vitamin D deficiency.

The risk of a fatal outcome was 19-fold increased in a vitamin D deficiency compared to normal vitamin D levels. Confounders such as age, previous illnesses and gender were also taken into account in the study. After adjusting for these confounding factors, there was still one 10 times higher risk of death for coronavirus infected people with vitamin D deficiency. Health expert Karl Lauterbach is not surprised by the statistics. On twitter he explains that a vitamin D deficiency weakens the immune system and it is therefore entirely plausible that the risk of infection and the course of the disease are negatively influenced by Covid-19.

However, it is still unclear exactly what the connection is: According to a meta study by the University of Hohenheim, many patients also have low vitamin D levels. This could also be related to the fact that the patients in the intensive care unit with Covid-19 are people with previous illnesses and mainly older people. A comparative study on the actual effects of vitamin D during the course of the disease is still pending.

Vitamin D deficiency increases the risk of life-threatening disease

Also interesting: Another study shows that a vitamin D deficiency has serious consequences for the human body.

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As the German press agency In another study, 212 COVID-19 patients were divided into groups based on the severity of their illness (mild, average, severe, critical) and the vitamin D values ​​of the patients were determined. The result: The lower the vitamin D value, the more severe the progression.

A life-threatening course was in low serum vitamin D 23 times more often than compared to normal values.

Vitamin D against Covid-19

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends vitamin D for the prevention of respiratory diseases. Large meta-analyzes show that supplementing with vitamin D reduces the risk of acute respiratory diseases by up to 70 percent in people with a low baseline vitamin D status. COVID-19 is also an acute respiratory disease.

Vitamin D is mainly absorbed from the sun. If necessary, you can also use preparations. But not all vitamin D supplements are helpful: 15 out of 20 products tested failed the Öko-Test.

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