For decades we’ve been told that vitamin C and zinc are key supplements to help protect us from cold and flu, and to reduce the severity of illness should we get sick. In the age of COVID, are these the only supplements we should be considering? What can you do to boost your immune system?
Over the last several months, much research has come to light around the importance of vitamin K and vitamin D. As noted in a recent New York Times article, “people with vitamin D deficiencies have weak or abnormal immune responses that make them more susceptible to developing Covid-19 and experiencing severe symptoms.” So, does that mean you need to run out, get tested, and start on supplements right away? Well, not so fast. Unfortunately, the research isn’t that clear cut.
MORE TO THE STORY
According to Mercy Medical, 42% of Americans are vitamin D deficient. As such, adding a supplement and/or including more vitamin D rich foods in your diet may make sense. However, you also need to understand the connection to vitamin K when looking to reduce your risks as it relates to contracting COVID, and having a better outcome should you fall ill.
As noted in a recent article published by New Hope, “a study concluded that vitamin K status was reduced in patients with COVID-19 and related to poor prognosis. Importantly, vitamin K levels were significantly lower in COVID-19 patients compared to healthy controls, as has been shown in patients with co-morbidities. Also, low vitamin K status seemed to be associated with accelerated elastin degradation. In conclusion, vitamin K status was reduced in COVID-19 patients compared to controls and was associated with disease severity.”
WHAT TO DO NOW
The research on this is still very early. Which leaves us all to wonder, what should we do now? First and foremost, the best course of action is to look at how you can take sensible steps to bring balance into your diet and give you immune system a boost. If you know you are lacking adequate nutritional intake, consider looking at supplements with your physician or a nutritionist. Next, start bringing foods high in vitamin D and K into your diet on a regular basis.
Below are several choices you can consider when you make your next shopping list to help boost your immune system:
Foods High in Vitamin D
- Crimini Mushrooms
- Fortified Milk (Diary or Non-Diary)
- Fortified Orange Juice
- Pork Chops
Foods High in Vitamin K
- Mustard Greens
- Swiss Chard
- Brussel Sprouts
Want to learn more about maintaining your immune system? Check out this post on “Resilience and Immunity in the Time of Covid-19” to read some healthy living tips on how to be resilient during these strange covid times.