The coronavirus 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.
However, similiar to other viruses such as the cold and flu, the novel coronavirus, about 80% of the infected had mild to moderate symptoms (mild symptoms up to mild pneumonia). What seems to set people apart is how well their immune systems function. Having an optimium immune system is key to not only reventing illnesses but also effects one's ability to recover from illness more quickly.
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 immunocompromised 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 vitamin 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:
The effect of vitamin A on immune function is wide-reaching:
Sources Of Dietary Vitamin A
Ideally, it is best to eat vitamin A-rich animal foods regularly. For people who would like to take vitamin A supplements, the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for adult male is 3,000 I.U. (or 900 mcg) and adult female is 2,300 I.U. (or 700 mcg).
The Upper Tolerable Intake Level (UL) is 10,000 I.U. (or 3,000 mcg) daily.
Always take it with food containing fats for optimal absorption.
Remember that vitamin A is available in two different forms: preformed vitamin A and provitamin A carotenoids. The maximum daily dose of 10,000 I.U. per day relates to only preformed vitamin A.
Some supplements contain vitamin A in both preformed and provitamin A carotenoids forms. For these supplements, the amount of preformed vitamin A should be used to determine if the amount of vitamin A is safe. Check out our Vitamin Shop to see a wide selection of safe Vitamin A supplements and other immune support boosters.
In some cases, a vitamin A supplement with vitamin A in amounts greater than 10,000 I.U. may still be safe if a portion of the vitamin A is in the provitamin A carotenoids. For example, a supplement containing 23,000 I.U. of vitamin A, of which 60% is provitamin A carotenoids, will still be safe. This is because only 40% of the vitamin A content, or 9,200 I.U., is preformed vitamin A.