Low Vitamin D and Post Pandemic Modern Disorders

Vitamin D immunity

Last Updated on 5 July 2023

There was a spike in autoimmune disorders and neurodegenerative diseases after the pandemic. These awful modern diseases mainly affected women, aged people, teens and, even, children. Practically, almost the totality of the global population.

The scientific communities believe that the phenomenon has been caused by diagnoses which were paused or delayed during the pandemic rampage.

Patients, by contrast, think that it is all the fault of covid 19 vaccines, but what is really the truth? And, above all, what is happening in this post pandemic age?

What we are witnessing in our current time, after a pandemic that brought the whole world down, is the dreadful resurgence of multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease in very young people.

The roots of this health disaster are hidden in the early stages of the pandemic, or rather, in the notorious period of lockdowns.

At the time, tons of people remained at home to avoid the covid 19 contagion. Many preferred not to stay outdoors and when going out was possible, everybody wore face masks. The pandemic isolation lasted two years, two endless years in which an essential vitamin reached the lowest ever seen levels. That is Vitamin D.

Now, recent studies confirm that low serum vitamin D could be linked to the onset of autoimmune disorders and neurodegenerative diseases.

This article explores the involvement of the drop of this vitamin due to the pandemic isolation and the related surge of the aforementioned modern diseases.

Low Vitamin D: the Risk

Vitamin D is both a fat-soluble vitamin and a hormone belonging to the group of fat soluble secosteroids. These, in turn, belong to the larger group of steroid hormones that regulate metabolism, immunity, inflammation and formation of sexual features. Vitamin D, called calciferol, is contained in food and also develops on the skin thanks to the sunlight exposure.

Vitamin D foods

We have two types of Vitamin D: D3, also called cholecalciferol, and D2, also named ergocalciferol. The former is contained in animal foods, such as meal, fish or eggs, while the latter is contained in vegetables. Vitamins D3 and D2 have identical effects on humans.

The most severe Vitamin D drop occurred just during the missing sun exposure caused by the pandemic lockdown. For its hormonal effects, in fact, Vitamin D is an immune system regulator.

This vitamin, indeed, protects us from inflammation and has a beneficial impact on immunity, metabolism and brain, besides strengthening muscles and bones.

Very low Vitamin D levels may consequently result in damage to the immune system and brain.

30 minutes of sunlight exposure is enough to get 1000 U.I. of Vitamin D, which, in the human body, must have a normal range of values from 30 to 100 ng/ml of 25 (OH)D.

The latter is the active form of Vitamin D obtained by the hydroxylation (chemical reaction with a molecular replacement of oxygen and hydrogen) which occurs in the liver and kidneys. The active vitamin D is, then, absorbed in the small intestine and streamlined in the blood.

International protocols established that 20 ng/ml of Vitamin D are a normal value for healthy people. However, in women or patients with particular conditions, such as autoimmune disorders, the values must be higher, up to 40 ng/ml, at least.

But if the vitamin D threshold goes down to extremely critical levels, less than 9ng/ml, the most vulnerable persons, such as children, menopausal women or patients with Hashimoto’s disease, or teenagers with genetic conditions, may experience multiple sclerosis or neurological disorders, such as Parkinson’s.

I am also among the many victims of the impact of the pandemic lockdowns on the vitamin D levels.

Low Vitamin D due to the Lockdown in 2020: My Experience

In 2020, during the Covid 19 restrictions, my Vitamin D collapsed to 7ng/ml, namely less than the critical threshold of 9ng/ml.

In the autumn of 2020, I started experiencing an allergy with a dry nose. Seeing that the symptoms did not improve, I decided to take the Vitamin D blood test, which, in March of 2021, provided me with the awful value mentioned above: 7ng/ml. And so, my doctor prescribed me with Vitamin D3 drops.

I took them until August 2021, but afterwards, since the levels of Vitamin D reached 21ng/ml, my doctor suspended the therapy, because the Italian Drug Agency established that 20 ng/ml was a normal value.

Unfortunately, I was a menopausal woman with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, hence a vulnerable subject who should have had a value of 35/40 ng/ml to obtain a protective effect on her clinical condition.

In December of 2021, I started experiencing a dreadful symptom which I have still today: hand tremors. In January of 2022, I got the Covid 19 infection and my tremors worsened.

If during the lockdown, the Italian healthcare system had implemented a protocol of Vitamin D supplementing, as the American National Institutes of Health did, maybe the impact of the pandemic isolation and covid infection could have been less severe.

Over the months, along with my muscular weakness, I have met several neighbors and acquaintances. Some of them walk with a stick, a few of them are already in wheelchairs, the range of age is 18 to 75 years. The main diagnoses are: multiple sclerosis (young girls) and Parkinson’s disorders (midlife women).

I recently had the result of an important medical examination to my brain. The medical report reads that I have a hypofunction of presynaptic terminal nerves involved in the regulation of muscles and movements. But only a neurologist can say if it is Parkinson’s or not.

What is sure is that I have a neuromuscular damage that has distant roots. A perverse combination among menopause, autoimmune disorder, low vitamin D and pandemic played a pivotal role in the onset of my new disease. Moreover, recent clinical trials confirmed that Vitamin D deficiency can damage the brain.

Brain Damage and Vitamin D Deficiency: The Study

Vitamin D deficiency

In a clinical trial conducted in Brisbane, Australia, laboratory mice have been undergone to a free Vitamin D diet. After 20 days, the researchers observed that the mice developed cerebral damages. The brain of vitamin D deficient mice, in fact, showed a significant reduction of the perineuronal net (PNN) that controls memory and cognitive processes.

According to the study, Vitamin D deficiency is able to break the perineuronal nets that protect neurons from oxidative stress and progressive degeneration.

This mechanism has a strong impact on the onset of Parkison’s disorders, as well. Indeed, the link between Vitamin D deficiency and Parkinson’s disease was discovered twenty years ago.

Another study curated by the Department of Biomedicine, Neurosciences and Advanced Diagnostics, University of Palermo and the UO Neurologia e Stroke Unit, Azienda di Rilievo Nazionale ad Alta Specializzazione, Ospedali Civico Di Cristina Benfratelli, of Palermo, showed that Vitamin D increases the levels of dopamine in the brain, having, this way, a neuroprotectant role and avoiding the onset of Parkinson’s disease. By contrast, “lower 25(OH)D levels might be responsible for dopaminergic neuronal death contributing to PD development, due to the lack of its protective function”.

High Risk of Autoimmune and Parkinson’s Disorders after the Pandemic

Furthermore, other recent studies confirm the global risk of autoimmune diseases and Parkinson’s after the pandemic. One of them has been published in Nature, where it has been highlighted an entire range of autoimmune conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, vasculitis, inflammatory bowel disease and type 1 diabetes mellitus…

The highest incidence rate ratios were found for vasculitis conditions, which are relatively rare autoimmune diseases”.

As regards Parkinson’s disease and Parkinsonism, a study published in the National Library of Medicine reported that after Covid 19 infection, a certain range of patients developed Parkinsonism.

No mention is made about the link with Vitamin D deficiency during the quarantine, and the onset of autoimmune and Parkinson symptoms, even if the title is impactful and reads: Parkinsonism: An emerging post COVID sequelae.

The last aspect has been examined by Medscape in relation to low vitamin D in kids during the covid lockdowns, and by a Spanish study regarding pregnant women.

But the population affected may be higher.

Moreover, what is happening today, also happened after the pandemic of 1920, when the virus of Spanish flu caused many cases of  lethargic encephalitis  that induced a viral form of Parkinson’s in the affected patients.

There always is a tragic sequela of awful diseases when a global contagion comes to an end. Maybe that is the price survivors pay to keep living.

Conclusion

In a nutshell, we discovered that the link between Vitamin D deficiency and onset of severe modern diseases has been known for twenty years!

Consequently, if during the pandemic confinement, measures had been taken to suggest all people (I mean all, not only pregnant women) that they had to take Vitamin D supplements to protect themselves from the risk of severe deficiency related diseases, this new emerging post covid disaster could have been avoided!

Obviously, we can’t dodge every kind of disease, but prevention helps, most of the time. However, it didn’t happen in this case. Nobody took the responsibility to do that. Now, we can only hope to fully recover. With my trembling hands, I’ll pray for all the affected patients and for myself.

Author: Rosalba Mancuso
Rosalba Mancuso is a medical journalist, an international content writer credited at the University of Washington and a blogger born in Sicily. She is popular for founding four websites in English. On Modernhealthinfo.com, Rosalba writes well researched and detailed health articles backed by her experience as a medical writer for pharma companies and as a PR assistant for a clinical analysis laboratory. She is also a member of the AHCJ, American Association of Health Care Journalists and Center for Excellence in Health Journalism.

4 thoughts on “Low Vitamin D and Post Pandemic Modern Disorders

  1. I’m so sorry this happened to you. I actually thought the medical system in Italy was better until I read this. It seems that incompetence and ignorance are everywhere. Hope you make a full recover

    1. Thank you so much, Thomas, for your kind interest in my health condition.
      Unfortunately, bad and good doctors are everywhere. Just learned that the medical system
      collapsed in Germany, as well, and that even in the United Kingdom, the healthcare system is in a critical condition.
      I don’t know, yet, if it is all the fault of the panicked time of the pandemic or if this system was already vulnerable.
      In Italy, it was surely frail before Covid 19 and I am one among the many victims of this perverse world. I really appreciated your wishes and hope to recover soon. Thank you so much again.

    1. Hi Bryan,
      Thanks for appreciating this article.
      As regards your question, you’ll find the sources of the info in the same article.
      Until a few months ago, I listed the references, but this method makes the article posting more exhausting.
      No changes in the reliability of the pieces, only a different way to place the links of the sources.

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