According to recent data released by the Michigan department of Human and Health services, Poor African Americans are dying at a disproportionate rate in comparison to other races and demographics. In Michigan African Americans only make up 12% of the population but have accounted for 40% of the Coronavirus deaths.

Poor communities of color have been hit the hardest by the virus. 1/4 of the deaths have been in Detroit where 80% of the population is African American.

I think what we have to consider here is that in poor communities many people are nutrient deficient, leading to poor immune health. When I first put together my hypothesis linking some COVID19 deaths to nutritional deficiencies one of the first places that came to mind was Detroit. My first thought was of poor communities and food deserts.  Community gardens have greatly improved the disparity, but the gardens don’t produce in the winter, and many will be deficient in vital nutrients at this time.

When we don’t have our basic nutrients our cells cannot function at their full potential to protect us from disease or viruses. Many studies have been conducted on the malnutrition immune connection. Those who have malnutrition may not have strong enough immune systems to prevent a cytokine storm. It requires a healthy functioning immune system to prevent a cytokine cascade. Our cells must be functioning optimally in order to put the brakes on the immune system when it becomes over reactive.

Not only that but our nation is also facing a vitamin D deficiency epidemic and it has been found that African Americans are affected by this deficiency even more than other races of people. This is due to having higher melanin in their skin that reduces their body’s ability to produce Vitamin D. It has been found that those who are vitamin D deficient have a greater risk of illness.

It is imperative that the at risk population be advised to supplement during this time of emergency.

In just the same way the PPE is vital for the front line medical workers, so is getting vitamins and nutrition to rural areas, and poor communities that lack nutrient rich foods.

For more information on how to safely take Vitamin D, see this article under the section on Vitamin D.

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