Magnesium and vitamin D each have the possibility of affecting the immune system and consequently the cytokine storm and coagulation cascade in COVID-19 infections. Vitamin D is important for reducing the risk of upper respiratory tract infections and plays a role in pulmonary epithelial health. While the importance of vitamin D for a healthy immune system has been known for decades, the benefits of magnesium has only recently been elucidated. Indeed, magnesium is important for activating vitamin D and has a protective role against oxidative stress. Magnesium deficiency increases endothelial cell susceptibility to oxidative stress, promotes endothelial dysfunction, reduces fibrinolysis and increases coagulation. Furthermore, magnesium deficient animals and humans have depressed immune responses, which, when supplemented with magnesium, a partial or near full reversal of the immunodeficiency occurs. Moreover, intracellular free magnesium levels in natural killer cells and CD8 killer T cells regulates their cytotoxicity. Considering that magnesium and vitamin D are important for immune function and cellular resilience, a deficiency in either may contribute to cytokine storm in the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) infection.
Copyright 2021 by the Missouri State Medical Association.