Vitamin A Boost Your Immune System in Covid-19 # 2020

 


 The corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has become a global pandemic and severely affected our everyday life. At this time, there is yet any clinically proven drugs or treatments to prevent or cure COVID-19.

 Patients with severe COVID-19 illness and adverse outcome are mostly older, have diabetes, heart disease, prior stroke, hypertension, chronic respiratory disease, and/or chronic lung disease. In many cases, these patients' immune system, in an attempt to fight the virus, becomes dysfunctional and go into overdrive, resulting in a deadly effect known as a "cytokine storm".

 With the novel corona virus, about 80% of the infected had mild to moderate symptoms (mild symptoms up to mild pneumonia), about 15% developed severe disease (shortness of breath, low blood oxygen, or >50% lung involvement), and 5% became critically ill (respiratory failure, shock, or multi organ dysfunction).


 

 Cytokines are an important part of your immune response. Your body release them as a response to an infection to trigger inflammation for your protection. A cytokine storm happens when the body releases excessive or uncontrolled levels of cytokines, causing hyper inflammation, which may lead to serious complications and even death.

 Why does the immune system go haywire? How come it occurs more in patients who are immune compromised or with preexisting conditions? How can we have a stronger, better functioning immune system?

 By now, most of us are well aware of the important role nutrients like vitamin D, vitamin C, zinc, and probiotics play in regulating the immune system and keeping us healthy. Not enough has been said about vitam A though.

 


For the past several decades, scientists have been studying the impact of dietary vitamin A on human health. It is well established that vitamin A is an essential nutrient and is responsible for many vital functions in the body:

  1. It protects the eyes from night blindness and age-related decline.
  2. It reduces the risk of certain cancers.
  3. It supports a healthy immune system.
  4. It reduces the risk of skin problems like eczema and acne.
  5. It supports bone health.
  6. It promotes healthy growth and reproduction.

In the following, we will look at how vitamin A can help reduce the incidence and severity of infectious diseases, how the immune system works against infectious agents like viruses, and the role vitamin A plays in regulating a healthy immune response. Lastly, we will discuss how you can get enough vitamin A to complement your immune protocol.

Understanding Vitamin A

Vitamin A is a group of compounds found in both animal and plant foods. It comes in two forms: preformed vitamin A and pro vitamin A carotids.

  • Preformed vitamin A is known as the active form of the vitamin, which the body can readily use. It is fat-soluble and found in animal foods, like liver and eggs, and includes retinoid compounds like retinol, retinal, and retinoid acid.
  • Provitamin A carotenoids include carotenes (like alpha-carotene and beta-carotene) and xanthophyll (like astaxanthin, lutein, and zeaxanthin). These are the inactive form or precursors of the vitamin found in plants such as sweet potatoes and carrots. These compounds are water-soluble and have to be converted to the active form before the body can use it. For example, beta-carotene is converted to retinol in the small intestine. However, the ability to convert provitamin A into the active form is impaired in many people. More on this later.

 


Vitamin A Reduces Incidence And Severity Of Infectious Diseases

Research studies over the past several decades have well established the beneficial effect of vitamin A on infectious diseases.

  • It was dated back to the ancient Egyptians that vitamin deficiency and disease were first correlated. They applied liver (which is rich in vitamin A) extracts to the eyes of people affected by nutritional night blindness.
  • In 1892, it was suggested that diet could have an impact on susceptibility to infectious diseases based on the observation that children suffering from measles or whooping cough also developed blindness produced by vitamin A deficiency.
  • Later studies indicated that supplements with carrots (which are rich in beta-carotene) could reduce the number and severity of respiratory infections.
  • More recent studies have shown that deficiency of vitamin A is associated with heightened incidence of infectious diseases, including respiratory diseases, malaria, tuberculosis, HIV and others.
  • Studies showed that high dose vitamin A supplementation in children with measles increased the number of circulating T cells (a type of immune cells), and also that vitamin A supplementation
  • Are You At Risk For Vitamin A Deficiency?

    Vitamin A deficiency may lower your immune function, thereby raising your risk of complications from infectious diseases.

    Testing

    A blood test can determine if you are severely vitamin A deficient. Vitamin A is stored in the liver. Normally, the body will always try to maintain a healthy blood vitamin A concentration (a process called homeostatic regulation). However, when the body's reserves of vitamin A are significantly compromised, vitamin A concentration in the blood can drop below normal range.

    Signs of mild deficiency

  • dry eyes
  • poor night vision
  • hormonal imbalances
  • irregular periods
  • vaginal dryness
  • infertility
  • low energy and fatigue
  • mood disorders
  • frequent throat and chest infections
  • bumpy skin
  • eczema and acne
  • thyroid dysfunction

Strict vegans who avoid all animal-based foods and alcoholics are more prone to vitamin A deficiency.

Since vitamin A is stored in the liver, and alcoholics may have existing liver damage, they may be more susceptible to deficiency.

Vegans who rely entirely on plant sources of the precursor to vitamin A need to have the carotenoids converted to retinol, the active form of Vitamin A. However, in a majority of people, the carotene-to-retinol conversion is severely compromised, and in some it may even be as low as 10%.

  • could reduce the incidence of respiratory infections in children.

    Factors that inhibit the conversion include:

  • genetic variants in the BCO1 gene that impact the conversion of beta carotene
  • diabetes
  • alcohol use
  • certain medications
  • toxic exposures
  • medical conditions that interfere with the digestion of fat (including Crohn's disease, Celiac disease, cystic fibrosis, pancreatic enzyme deficiency, and gallbladder and liver disease)
  • a low-fat diet - as healthy fats are needed for the efficient conversion of carotenoids to retinol
  • VITIMIN -D
  •  

    Vitamin D supplementation has the potential to increase bone density. In one study there was an increase in the density of lumbar spine and the femoral neck bone with vitamin D supplementation of 50,000 international units twice a week for five weeks in those who were vitamin D deficient.

    Vitamin D and calcium together reduce fractures in institutionalized older adults, but vitamin D alone is not effective in reducing the risk of falls or fractures. Those over the age of 65 with low vitamin D levels are at increased risk for hip fractures and reduced muscle mass and strength.

    Vitamin D has the potential to reduce the risk of falls. It potentially does this through the improvement of muscle function. Low levels of vitamin D in the blood are linked to the poorest muscle function and higher levels are linked to better muscle function. Those with a low baseline level of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration (between 10-20 ng/ml) are likely to benefit the most in regards to muscle strength when supplemented with vitamin D.

    When vitamin D supplementation is consumed in doses of 700 to 1000 international units per day the risk of falls are reduced. When 500,000 units of cholecalciferol were given once annually the risk of falls was actually increased.




  1. It promotes healthy growth and reproduction.

In the following, we will look at how vitamin A can help reduce the incidence and severity of infectious diseases, how the immune system works against infectious agents like viruses, and the role vitamin A plays in regulating a healthy immune response. Lastly, we will discuss how you can get enough vitamin A to complement your immune protocol.

Understanding Vitamin A

Vitamin A is a group of compounds found in both animal and plant foods. It comes in two forms: preformed vitamin A and provitamin A carotenoids.

  • Preformed vitamin A is known as the active form of the vitamin, which the body can readily use. It is fat-soluble and found in animal foods, like liver and eggs, and includes retinoid compounds like retinol, retinal, and retinoid acid.
  • Provitamin A carotenoids include carotenes (like alpha-carotene and beta-carotene) and xanthophyll (like astaxanthin, lutein, and zeaxanthin). These are the inactive form or precursors of the vitamin found in plants such as sweet potatoes and carrots. These compounds are water-soluble and have to be converted to the active form before the body can use it. For example, beta-carotene is converted to retinol in the small intestine. However, the ability to convert provitamin A into the active form is impaired in many people. More on this later.


Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/10285165


Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/10285165


Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/10285165

Patients with severe COVID-19 illness and adverse outcome are mostly older, have diabetes, heart disease, prior stroke, hypertension, chronic respiratory disease, and/or chronic lung disease. In many cases, these patients' immune system, in an attempt to fight the virus, becomes dysfunctional and go into overdrive, resulting in a deadly effect known as a "cytokine storm".

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/10285165


Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/10285165

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