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COVID-19 & cytokine storms

COVID-19 can exploit deficiencies in the immune system’s antiviral defenses. However, restoring key nutrients, such as vitamin D, can help strengthen the body’s ability to fight infection. 

Covid can cause massive inflammation

Covid can cause what is called a cytokine storm, which leaves us vulnerable to reactivation of dormant viruses, such as herpes and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV).

Essentially what happens is that COVID-19 enters our cells and makes new virus particles. These particles activate our immune system, often causing the massive inflammation of a cytokine storm. This blocks vitamin D receptors and leaves us vulnerable.

This virus can also reactivate dormant herpes, cytomegalovirus, parvovirus B19, and Epstein-Barr viruses (EBV). EBV produces proteins that further block vitamin D pathways, impairing our anti-viral defenses.

The importance of vitamin D

Normally vitamin D from food or sun exposure becomes 25-hydroxyvitamin D in our liver. Our kidneys convert this to active 125-dihydroxyvitamin D. This vitamin D binds to receptors on our cells, triggering production of antimicrobial peptides, autophagy to destroy invaders, controlled inflammation, and stronger mucosal barriers. However, EBV blocks vitamin D conversion, receptors, and pathways – shutting down these crucial antiviral defenses.

Long Covid itself can cause pain, breathing difficulty, fatigue, migraine, gastro issues, and sleep problems.  Many of these conditions also occur with vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D supplementation can raise levels to help fight viruses.

We can test for reactivated viruses

At Breakspear Medical, we can test for Epstein-Barr, herpes, cytomegalovirus and parvovirus reactivation and treat accordingly. With vitamin D and vigilance, we can aid our body’s antiviral defenses.

Visit our website to find out more about how we treat post-viral fatigue and post-viral syndrome, including Long Covid.

Find out how to book your appointment.

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