UPDATE: Vitamin D(3), Melatonin, and Covid-19

UPDATE:

I recently came across a citation indicating that Vitamin D depletes Melatonin, which suggests that if you are taking a daily dose of Vitamin D, you should take that dose in the morning rather than in the evenings. Obviously, people who take large doses of Vitamin D on a weekly or monthly basis are not affected by this advice.

More recently, I came across another article citing research from the Mayo Clinic indicating that MELATONIN ITSELF appears to be effective at preventing or reducing the severity of a COVID-19 infection.

This time, because a specific source was cited, I checked online with the Mayo clinic and discovered that there is absolutely no statistical or anecdotal evidence indicating that Melatonin has any effect upon the course of a COIVD-19 infection. Unfortunately, I did that research after I purchased $45 worth of Melatonin on the theory that, even if the story about Melatonin turned out to be fake news, it would become more difficult and expensive to obtain Melatonin.

So, there’s still a good reason to avoid taking Vitamin D at night, but don’t do what I did and stock up on Melatonin. On the basis of my life expectancy, I now have a lifetime supply of Melatonin.

BUT WHAT ABOUT VITAMIN D?

It also turns out that, according to the Mayo Clinic again,  the early anecdotal evidence suggesting that Vitamin D might be a specific remedy for COVID-19 is now open to question since newer small scale studies have not verified the earlier findings.  That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t supplement with Vitamin D, but you might want to have your serum levels of Vitamin D checked to determine whether you are deficient in Vitamin D, as I am, or if you have sufficient Vitamin D in your system.  The good news is that Vitamin D is non-toxic and there doesn’t appear to be an unsafe dosage amount.

HERE’S THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE ON THIS SUBJECT:

A couple of years ago, I was diagnosed with a Vitamin D deficiency during a quarterly blood test.

DI started taking 10,000 IU of Vitamin D3, taking 5,000 IU in the morning and 5,000 in the evening.

Since then, I started having more difficulty getting to sleep and staying asleep.

Yesterday, quite by accident, I came across a report on Vitamin D3 and learned that Vitamin D neutralizes Melatonin in your bloodstream.

Now, you probably know that Melatonin is the naturally produced enzyme that is responsible for modulating your sleep cycle.

What you might not know is that Vitamin D stops Melatonin from telling your brain to go to sleep.

Today, I came across a YouTube video (like Alice’s Restaurant, you can find anything you want to know on Youtube) which informed me that Vitamin D3, specifically, seems to provide a significant amount of protection from the Covid-19 virus and also appears to reduce the severity of Covid-19 among people who have higher levels of D3 in their blood.

The upshot of this hour-long video is that 5,000 IU of D3 taken on a daily basis might (a) reduce your risk of contracting Covid-19 and (b) greatly reduce your chances of dying from the disease.

The star of this video, Professor Roger Seheult, is a well-known, widely-cited, and highly respected pulmonologist. He is very careful to state that he can not prescribe how much D3 you should take because there are numerous factors involved, including race (the darker your skin, the more likely you are to have a Vitamin D deficiency), sex (men are more likely to contract Covid-19 than women), pregnancy status (pregnant women are more likely to contract Covid-19),  and the prevalence of underlying conditions. (It’s a long video; I may have missed some of the caveats since I was listening to it while looking up recipes for Kofta Kabob.)

He does, however, state that Dr. Fauci himself is taking Vitamin D3 supplements and that he, himself, is taking 5,000 IU of D3 per day.

Do you know your Vitamin D level? If you don’t, you should.

In the meantime, if you don’t take Vitamin D supplementation, you might consider starting off with 5,000 IU of Vitamin D3.  If you are taking a multi-vitamin, you should check to see how much D3 your multi-vitamin delivers and, if it is less than 5,000 IU, you might want to up your game to 5,000 IU. (The One-A-Day Women’s formula, for example, contains only 1,000 IU of D3, one-fifth of the amount you might want to be taking.)

Research also indicates that there is no evidence that large doses of D3 are dangerous for most people. (The Mayo Clinic has a page that lists the types of patients who should be careful with D3.)

You should also note that the Mayo Clinic reports that various, mostly minor side-effects begin appearing when you exceed 4,000….which brings us back to my sleep disorder.

Pursuant to my accidental discovery that D3 is a Melatonin antagonist,  I stopped taking the second dose of 5,000 IU at bedtime. Last night, I had no trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep except for bathroom breaks. (I also take Melatonin supplements at bedtime because of a lifelong problem with insomnia.)

Taking vitamin D3 is no substitute for taking the vaccines when they become available to you, nor is it a substitute for any of the other protective measures that the Covid-19 epidemic requires of us. On the other hand, taking the vaccine is no reason to stop taking D3 or following the other recommended practices to prevent the spread of the disease either.  We don’t really know how effective or long-lasting the vaccines are going to be.

Here endeth the sermon…or at least the sermon would have ended here had certain people not asked certain questions.

No, you cannot easily get 5,000 International Units of B3 from your daily food consumption or from exposure to sunlight.

Most Americans only spend an average of seven percent of their time outdoors, and few Americans north of the 35 parallel spend any time at all outside between November and March, and the further north you go in the Northern Hemisphere, the weaker the sunlight gets.  This makes sunlight an ineffective source of Vitamin D when it is needed most since most disease seasons coincide with the darker months.

Diet is also a questionable source of the larger amount of Vitamin D3 required to combat Covid-19.  If you don’t eat eggs, meat, or fish, it is virtually impossible for you to accumulate 5,000 IU of D3 on a daily basis through diet alone.

This is especially important for dark-skinned people whose bodies are less efficient at converting sunlight into Vitamin D.

Now, we’re done.

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