Is there a cure for osteomalacia

Vitamin D and the Corona Virus

«Given the occasion: Can vitamin D reduce the risk of a corona infection? »

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is known for its role in regulating serum calcium and phosphorus levels in the blood, and therefore bone mineralization and formation [1]. Vitamin D is both ingested with food and produced in the body itself through exposure to sunlight. A vitamin D deficiency causes rickets in children and osteomalacia, a painful softening of the bones, in adults. Whether the vitamin D deficiency can also lead to osteoporosis, the decrease in bone density feared above all by the elderly, is currently still being examined in medical-scientific studies [6].

What is certain, however, is that a low vitamin D level in the blood results in a higher risk of contracting an infection of the respiratory tract, such as pneumonia or influenza [4], [10]. It is now also suspected that vitamin D can reduce the severity of symptoms in COVID-19 because it has anti-inflammatory effects [2], [3]. Additional doses of vitamin D would therefore effectively support the treatment of people suffering from COVID-19 [2]. For healthy people, the additional intake of vitamin D through dietary supplements could then also mean better protection against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. But is that true?

Vitamins are essential to life

There are fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins. The fat-soluble vitamins include vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E and vitamin K, the water-soluble vitamins include vitamin C and the group of B vitamins. If the intake of vitamins is too low, symptoms of vitamin deficiency occur, which the doctor calls hypovitaminosis. The opposite, the excess of vitamins in the body, is called hypervitaminosis [7]. But where do we get all of these vital vitamins from? The need for essential vitamins is met almost exclusively through food. A balanced diet is essential for this.

The fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the liver and adipose tissue. Therefore it is not necessary to supply them to the body on a daily basis. Vitamin D is also formed under the skin by the UV-B component of sunlight. That is why staying outdoors is an important factor in ensuring that the body is adequately supplied with vitamin D. [6], [7]. The situation is different with the water-soluble vitamins. They are not stored in the body, with the exception of vitamin B12, which is stored in the liver. The need for water-soluble vitamins must therefore be covered daily through the diet [8].

The corona pandemic

At the end of 2019, the previously unknown respiratory disease known as COVID-19 appeared in several hospitals in the southern Chinese provincial capital of Wuhan, a metropolis of eight million. It manifested itself through extraordinary clinical symptoms, only to be diagnosed as a novel form of pneumonia or pneumonia induced by the corona virus SARS-CoV-2 through blood analyzes and chest X-rays.

The highly infectious corona virus is transmitted from person to person via the moist air we breathe and has developed into a pandemic within less than three months. The global infections now amount to over five million and several hundred thousand people have died from or with the corona disease [12].

There is currently no cure or vaccination against the corona virus. Deliberately keeping your distance from other people, restricting social contacts, in the worst case even quarantine, wearing mouth and nose masks and strict adherence to hygiene measures, such as frequent hand washing, are still the only options to protect yourself and others from corona infection.

How does vitamin D work in the body's defense system?

Vitamin D has not only anti-inflammatory but also immunoregulatory properties [2], [10]. It therefore plays an important role in the correct functioning of the defense system, the body's immune system against infection and disease [11].

 

While vitamin D promotes the innate immune response, on the other hand it inhibits the acquired immune response. In the innate immune response, vitamin D leads to an increased differentiation of the monocytes and an increased phagocytic activity of the macrophages. In the case of the acquired immune response, it inhibits the proliferation of lymphocytes [5].

Vitamin D can thus reduce the severity of symptoms in COVID-19, as it induces the release of cathelicidin and defensin [2], [3]. Both are antimicrobial peptides that are produced in vertebrate immune cells as part of the innate immune response. They can lower virus replication and reduce levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines. The latter are messenger substances that also cause inflammation of the lining of the lungs and can lead to pneumonia.

How does a low vitamin D level in the body affect the susceptibility of the respiratory tract to infections?

The risk of developing infections of the respiratory tract increases significantly if the vitamin D level in the blood is too low. Diseases such as tuberculosis, asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) as well as viral or bacterial infections of the respiratory tract occur more frequently with a vitamin D deficiency than with an adequate supply. As a result, a significant vitamin D deficiency can also be associated with decreased lung function. From this it can be deduced that the body is then less able to fight against infections of the respiratory tract, such as a COVID-19 infection [12].

The body's defense system, its immune system, is undoubtedly influenced by vitamin D. The immuno-regulatory effect of the vitamin contributes to the fact that the innate immune response is strengthened in infections, while the acquired immune response is inhibited. Vitamin D should therefore also be able to reduce the severity of symptoms in COVID-19 disease, as it has anti-inflammatory effects. One conclusion from this would be to ensure the highest possible vitamin D intake, especially now during the corona crisis - the more, the better. But caution is advised here!

Blessings and curse are close together

Under normal living conditions, with a healthy diet and lifestyle, an undersupply of vitamin D is hardly to be feared. Vitamin D is abundant in foods such as eggs, fish, whole milk and milk products, as well as mushrooms such as mushrooms [6].

In exceptional cases, however, additional doses of vitamin D can be useful. However, it is imperative to use common sense and a sense of proportion, because vitamin D has a far-reaching effect on the calcium metabolism. Therefore, additional vitamin D intake is prohibited from the outset for people with kidney damage.

But even for healthy people, overdoses of vitamin D are by no means without side effects, because they stimulate the increased absorption of calcium from food. An inevitable consequence of this is excessive calcium levels in the blood; the doctor calls it hypercalcemia, which not only promotes the formation of kidney stones, but also leads to kidney calcification, nephrocalcinosis, and ultimately can lead to complete kidney failure and death [3].

The conclusion can therefore only be: Hands off all self-medication with over-the-counter vitamin D preparations from the supermarket - and not only during the Corona period, but also afterwards. Treatment with vitamin D belongs in the hands of a doctor; he alone can assess whether additional vitamin D doses are necessary.


Swell: [1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6164750/ [2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32252338 [3] https: // www.bbc.com/news/health-52371688 [4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3543548/ [5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov / pmc / articles / PMC3543548 / [6] https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitamin_D [7] https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitamina [8] https: //de.wikipedia. org / wiki / Vitamin [9] https://www.mdpi.com/1999-4915/12/4/372/htm [10] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/ PMC6305614 / [11] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih. covid-19-sterberate-news-zr-13600954.html [13] https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vitamin-d-coronavirus#effect-on-immune-health Image sources: People stand in line | © Ian-Art.photography - de.wikipedia.org Locked playground | © Alexander Migl / Alexander-93 - de.wikipedia.org