Friday, October 23, 2020

Can Vitamin D Help Fight COVID-19?


                                    Vitamin D tablets and pills (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan) 


During President Trump’s bout with coronavirus, along with the treatment he was given – notably the antiviral drug Remdesivir and the experimental Regeneron antibody cocktail – he also took a handful of over the counter supplements, including Vitamin D.

There has been growing interest in the sunshine vitamin and mounting evidence that it could potentially play a role in protecting against COVID-19. 

University of Pennsylvania Nutrition Researcher (and UL graduate) Ronan Lordan recently helped pen a COVID-19 review, on the link between inflammation and how good nutrition may help to reduce it. He says the nutrients we do or don’t get, could play a role in how the immune system responds to COVID-19. But Lordan cautions that more research is still needed. Confirming that link, he says, is not the priority at the moment.

“The main scientists that are out there, like Dr. [Anthony] Fauci, they're not giving a whole lot of credence to this right now. And the reason is because we need to focus on vaccines and the preventatives that we know work, like washing your hands, social distancing and so on,” said Lordan. “For scientists of course, this is a really interesting rabbit hole to go down because it's cheap and could be effective.”

There is burgeoning research out of the University of Chicago on a potential link between Vitamin D deficiency and worse COVID-19 outcomes.

Dr. David Meltzer, chief of hospital medicine for the the University of Chicago who authored the study, said he and his colleagues looked at the records of patients coming into the hospital for COVID-19 tests to see if there was a correlation.

“What I discovered is that, controlling for race and body weight and comorbidities,” Meltzer said. “That patients who were Vitamin D deficient had a 77% increase in the likelihood of testing positive for COVID if they were Vitamin D deficient.”

Meltzer believes his work supports previous research done showing that Vitamin D can be protective against respiratory illnesses. He says Vitamin D can control genes that influence the immune system, strengthening its ability to fight against pathogens it has never seen before.  

“It also has been shown to play a role in adaptive immunity, which is your ability to mount an enhanced immune response when you're exposed again to something you have seen before then or in response to a pathogen. And then finally, Vitamin D has been shown to play a role in immunomodulation, which is preventing the immune system from becoming hyperactive,” said Meltzer.

Meltzer is referring to a hallmark of COVID-19 illnesses, the “cytokine storm,” or a similar type of overreaction of the immune system known to cause extensive inflammation, which can damage the lungs and other organs.


Source: Spectrum news

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

we are recruiting : Associate Professor in Food Science


The University of Limerick (UL) with over 16,300 students and 1, 700 staff is an energetic and enterprising institution with a proud record of innovation and excellence in education, research and scholarship. The dynamic, entrepreneurial and pioneering values which drive UL’s mission and strategy ensures that we capitalise on local, national and international engagement and connectivity. We are renowned for providing an outstanding student experience and employability and conducting leading edge research. Our commitment is to make a difference by shaping the future through educating and empowering our undergraduate and postgraduate students. UL is situated on a superb riverside campus of over 130 hectares with the River Shannon as a unifying focal point. Outstanding recreational, cultural and sporting facilities further enhance this exceptional learning and research environment.




Applications are invited for the following position:


Faculty of Science + Engineering


Department of Biological Sciences


Associate Professor in Food Science - Multiannual


Salary Scale: €87,842 - €116,519 p.a.


Further information for applicants and application material is available online from this link.


The closing date for receipt of applications is Wednesday, 25th November 2020.

Applications must be completed online before 12 noon, Irish Standard Time on the closing date.


Please email if you experience any difficulties


Applications are welcome from suitably qualified candidates.

The University of Limerick holds a Bronze Athena SWAN award in recognition of our commitment to advancing equality in higher education. The University is an equal opportunities employer and is committed to selection on merit welcoming applicants from all sections of the community. The University has a range of initiatives to support a family friendly working environment, including flexible working.


“The University of Limerick has implemented a “Smoke and Vape Free Campus Policy”.  Smoking and vaping in all forms is prohibited.”