COVID-19’s preferred habitat is the respiratory tract, where it is most life-threatening in the lungs. Infected lungs can become so congested that breathing becomes impossible without the help of a ventilator, and even using a ventilator hasn’t been enough in some cases to prevent death. So now is a good time to give your lungs some special care and consideration.
If you already have lung problems, such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, you’re more apt to get serious complications like pneumonia from COVID-19. And whether or not you have existing lung problems, air pollution exposure increases your risk.
According to Dr. Meredith McCormack, a spokeswoman for the American Lung Association and associate professor of pulmonary and critical care at Johns Hopkins University, recently quoted in the New York Times , “Increased pollution increases susceptibility to infection. . . . All things being equal, a person exposed to air pollution would likely have a worse outcome if they were exposed to coronavirus.”
Although you can’t control outdoor air pollution, you can control your indoor air with a good air purifier. We recommend and sell Austin air purifiers. Many environmental experts opt for the Austin brand. Austin air purifiers remove 99.7% of dust mites, molds, pollen, pet hair and dander and other airborne contaminants larger than 0.3 microns from the air, along with over 3000 gasses and odors. The models with activated charcoal remove chemicals, and no purifier on the market does it better. There is nothing to replace for 5 years compared with frequent filter replacements in other air purifiers on the market.
Another way to protect your lungs is with vitamin D, which has anti-inflammatory and antifibrotic effects. Having a better vitamin D status has been associated with improved lung function, while vitamin D deficiency is considered a potential risk factor for diseases of the respiratory tract. In a 2015 study, vitamin D supplements were shown to reduce COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) lung disease flare-ups by over 40 percent in patients with a baseline vitamin D deficiency. (COPD includes conditions such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema.)
Everyone should get enough vitamin D through sunlight, food sources and supplementation to achieve a high-normal 25(OH)D level. This would be especially important for those with lung disease, and important for all of us today since vitamin D strengthens the immune system to protect us from contracting COVID-19 while it offers special protection to our lungs should an infection occur.
If you haven’t yet had your vitamin D levels tested with the 25(OH)D blood test, we recommend starting 5,000 IU per day (one capsule of Beyond Health’s Vitamin D3 Formula ) as soon as possible and getting tested when it’s practical.
- Kim SM. Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D concentrations are associated with computed tomography markers of subclinical interstitial lung disease among community-dwelling adults in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). Journal of Nutrition. July 2018;148(7):1126-1134.
Martineau AR. Vitamin D3 supplementation in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (ViDiCO): a multicentre, double-blind, randomised controlled trial. The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, February 2015 Feb;3(2):120-130.