Vitamin K supplements against Covid? A bit of a stretch!
According to Dutch local news and a Guardian article, high blood levels of vitamin K, found abundantly in cheese, has the potential to prevent the worst outcomes in patients who become infected with Covid-19.
But don’t start popping the vitamin K supplements just yet - the science behind the advice sounded unlikely plus the clinical press release has since been deleted after it was pointed out that the research was done in collaboration with two scientists who had previously defrauded their government while running a business selling none other than vit K supplements!
Vitamin K in large doses can cause complications in various conditions. It is best to get your K from a healthy diet, rich in green veg.
What about D?
Nothing wrong with a bit of cheese though. If you need a reason for stocking up on Gruyere, look no further than vitamin D3. Cheese is one of the foods highest in vit D and, according to recent clinical observations, sufficient levels of vit D greatly improves Covid-19 prognoses.
The evidence is not indisputable but this virus came at us so quickly that clinical trials have some catching up to do. What we do have evidence for is that vitamin D deficiency contributes to the seasonal increase of virus infections of the respiratory tract, from the common cold to influenza, and now possibly also Covid-19.
Regular sun exposure is the most natural way to get enough vitamin D. Time in the sun varies according to a number of environmental, physical and personal factors but anecdotal evidence suggests between 10-30 minutes of midday sun exposure 3 -5 times a week is sufficient for most people.
This is based on having at least the forearms exposed, without sunscreen and without burning.That is often easier said than done of course. Fortunately, eggs, oily fish, mushrooms and fortified foods, amongst others, can assist in topping up those vitamin levels.
A useful tip is to leave your uncooked mushrooms on a window sill in the sun - they soak up the rays and their vitamin D levels soar!
NHS England is currently advising daily supplementation of 10 micrograms of vitamin D for adults.
Vitamin C - the age-old remedy
Another vitamin being touted as a Covid preventative cure is vitamin C. It is a pity that the word ‘cure’ is being used as there is absolutely no evidence to support the claim. Vitamin C does, however, support the immune system, protect cells and maintains healthy skin, blood vessels, bones and cartilage. Vitamin C is plentiful in fresh fruit and veg and as long as you consume those on a daily basis, you should be ingesting enough to support your immune system.
It is also likely safe for most people to supplement with dosages up to 1000mg but, as always, check with your health care practitioner before embarking on any supplementation regime.