How Vitamin Deficiency Can Affect COVID-19 Severity?

By Shreya Gupta +2 more

The second wave of COVID-19 is almost over even though some states of India are witnessing sudden spikes of COVID cases. The second wave devastated the country and affected everyone in some way or the other, either financially or emotionally or both.

But now we have almost finally reached a stage when cases are low. But this does not mean that we are safe yet. The battle is not over yet. The MHA and many scientists have warned that the third wave of COVID is likely to arrive sometime in October. There is no clear idea of what this wave will be like, whether it will be even more dangerous than the second wave and how long it will last. 

It is not yet the time to discard caution and live life the way we used to before COVID-19 struck. In fact, this is the time to prepare ourselves and do everything we can to stop the third wave. 

Is the third wave inevitable?

There is a very distinct possibility that the third surge of COVID cases will arrive. The nature of pandemics is that new waves arrive as new variants of the virus come into existence and also because of human carelessness. There are periods of low rates followed by a rapid surge. This holds true for COVID-19 as well.

Will the third wave be more dangerous?

The level of threat the third wave poses is yet unknown. Usually, a virus is the most dangerous when it first emerges because the human body does not have the right antibodies to deal with it. As it mutates, it can either become more notorious or less powerful and also human beings are assumed to become more resistant through herd immunity.

Another factor that will influence how dangerous the third wave will be is our actions. From the learnings of previous waves, it has been established that keeping ourselves healthy and safe can prevent us from getting severe symptoms due to COVID.

The link between COVID-19 and vitamin deficiency

With the progress of the pandemic, a lot of new things are coming to light. It has been found that there is a direct link between COVID-19 severity and Vitamin D levels. Vitamin D is usually not available in foods and the chief source of this Vitamin is sunlight.

But unfortunately, the pandemic forced us to stay indoors. People could only leave the house to purchase necessities and not always during the day. That means most of us barely got any exposure to sunlight. This resulted in a rapid dwindling of Vitamin D levels in many people. 

It was also discovered that people who are deficient in Vitamin D also develop more severe symptoms of COVID. One reason for this could be the fact that Vitamin D is crucial to your immunity and in the absence of sufficient Vitamin D, the body cannot mount a strong immune response against the coronavirus.

Similarly, a shortage of Vitamin B12 was also found to be linked to more serious COVID-19 infections. Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause anaemia, weakness and nerve-related issues. Some researchers also suggest that vitamin B12 can bind with viral proteins to slow down the replication of the virus. Thus, if there isn’t enough of this Vitamin in your system, you may be likely to fall severely ill. People taking medicines for some seizures, diabetes or heartburn tend to have low levels of Vitamin B12.

The paucity of both Vitamin D and B12 are particularly responsible for increased respiratory distress among COVID-19 patients. 

How to increase your Vitamin D and Vitamin B12 levels?

The good news is that increasing the levels of these two vitamins is really easy.

It is still not safe for you to go out unless you have a good reason to. But you can still get enough sunlight and replenish your Vitamin D reserves. Just head to the terrace of your house or apartment building every morning and bask in the sunlight for about thirty minutes.

Three excellent food sources of Vitamin D are:

  • Eggs
  • Cheese
  • Cereals fortified with vitamin D
  • Fatty fishes

You may also have to take Vitamin D supplements.

Foods containing Vitamin B12 are:

  • Milk
  • Cheese
  • Fish
  • Meat

Most people keep on struggling with the symptoms like fatigue, memory issues, anxiety, depression, bone and joint pains, leg cramps but have no clue about the underlying vitamin deficiency that may be causing it. To check if your Vitamin levels are normal, you can opt for a simple blood test.

What else you can do to keep yourself safe

Other than boosting your Vitamin D and Vitamin B12 levels, you need to do the following to keep yourself safe from the third wave of COVID-19

Just because fewer cases are being reported, we cannot start thinking that the pandemic is over. A third wave may be on its way. How we act now will decide how dangerous it will be. We all need to be cautious for our own sakes as well as for the wellbeing of our loved ones. 

Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.

You may also like

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments