Breathe Easier with Vitamin D
If you are waking up feeling fatigued and exhausted during these winter months even though you are getting enough sleep, you may be deficient in vitamin D. A vitamin D deficiency can affect you by causing fatigue, lower back pain, a lowered immune system response, and seasonal affective disorder (Spitzler). If you recognize any of these symptoms within your own life, have no fear, you’re not alone. Most Midwesterners are vitamin D deficient, especially during the winter months, because of our distance from the equator and our cold winters. Even if you are out walking every day in the winter, you are most likely bundled up with very little skin showing which decreases your vitamin D production. I am not suggesting we all start sunbathing in the snow every day, but it might be worth looking into vitamin D3 supplements.
Now, more than ever, it is important to be monitoring our vitamin D levels as Covid-19 continues to be prevalent. A vitamin D deficiency is detrimental to the immune system and specifically puts people at a greater risk for contracting respiratory tract infections such as colds, bronchitis, and pneumonia (Bergman, et al). Hmmmm, if only I could think of another virus attacking the respiratory system... By taking vitamin D3, we improve our immune systems’ responses and are actively helping combat respiratory tract infections. Covid affects people in many different ways, but vitamin D helps boost our immune system overall, not just when it comes to things that affect our respiratory tract.
If you are taking vitamin D3, it is recommended to take vitamin K2 at the same time. K2 helps your body absorb the D3 you are putting into it and controls where the calcium being absorbed by D3 goes in your body. In addition to this synergistic relationship, vitamin K2 is important on its own. There is early research looking at the relationship between K2 deficiency and Covid-19 which has shown “a connection between low levels of vitamin K and the accelerated breakdown of tissue fibers, including elastin, which is involved with pulmonary disease.” (Green). Taking vitamins will not cure you of Covid, but it may help lessen your symptoms and allow you to walk away from the disease a much healthier person if you contract it.
Every year in the winter, people’s vitamin D levels drop. This year, more than ever, it is important for us to focus on what our body needs and try to maintain healthy levels of D3 and K2. When buying supplements, do your research to make sure you are getting a well tested and approved product. As always, check in with your doctor if you are on other medication in order to ensure it is safe for you to take additional supplements. Here’s to a healthier, safer year ahead. Let’s start it off by looking into more preventative medicine to set our bodies up for success.
Spritzler, F. (2018, July 23). 8 Signs and Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency. Retrieved from
Bergman, P., Lindh, A., Björkhem-Bergman, L., & Lindh, J. (2013, June 19). Vitamin D and
Respiratory Tract Infections: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized
Controlled Trials. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3686844/
Green, M. (2020, April 28). Study links better vitamin K status with improved COVID-19 outcomes.