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Vitamin D and COVID-19

Vitamin D has been hitting the news for a few years now, as more and more research shows that those living in the northern hemisphere are more at risk of deficiencies especially during winter.

Normal levels of vitamin D mean that your body’s ability to regulate essential chemicals for healthy bones, teeth, muscles and organs is properly aided by vitamin D.

Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium. If you don’t get enough vitamin D you might feel tired, get sick often, have weak bones and muscle pain, and feel anxious or depressed.

Your body is able to make all the vitamin D you need when your skin is exposed to sunlight. But when sunlight exposure is low during autumn and winter, it’s really common for your vitamin D levels to drop — putting you at risk of developing a deficiency.

You can get vitamin D from foods like oily fish, liver, egg yolks, and fortified food but it’s hard to get enough this way.

You might also be at an increased risk of developing vitamin D deficiency if you:

  • are vegan or vegetarian
  • have darker skin
  • are elderly
  • always wear sunscreen
  • stay indoors a lot
  • cover up most of your skin outdoors

What are the most common symptoms?

The most common symptoms of vitamin D deficiency include:

  • getting sick often
  • feeling tired
  • aching bones and joints
  • weak bones — increasing your risk of osteoporosis
  • poor wound healing
  • weak muscles
  • depression

There are many companies now offering a private Vitamin D blood tests , and in some instances your GP may be able to provide a test. Even though, there is still debate about how much we actually need, most experts agree that below 25 nmol/L (or 10 ng/ml) is considered deficient.

Some experts argue 25-30 nmol/L in the blood is sufficient, some say over 50 nmol/L is optimal for good bone health for most people, while others again advocate for 75 nmol/L or even higher. Susan looks at levels of 70- 120 for her clients to ensure optimal health.

Recent research by Boston University have shown that individuals with a blood level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D of at least 75 nmol/L, had a significant decreased risk for adverse clinical outcomes including becoming unconscious, hypoxia and death. In addition they had lower blood levels of inflammatory marker ( C- Reactive protein) and higher levels of lymphocytes.

During autumn and winter, Public Health England advises that everyone should consider taking a 10 mcg daily vitamin D supplement from October to March. And if you’re more at-risk, they recommend taking them year round. The recommended doses for at-risk groups include:

  • 8.5-10 mcg daily for breastfed babies from birth to 1 year
  • 10 mcg daily for children aged 1-4 years
  • 10 mcg daily for at-risk adults — for example, if you’re elderly or have darker skin

Suitable products contact Susan if you wish to place an order – Free postage on orders over £25. Prices correct as of 26th Sept 2020 – contact Susan for up to date prices.

These products are chosen at own risk, no advise given without a full assessment.

Lamberts Cod Liver oil Professional range – gives you vitamin D and A and  EPA and DHA. – £14.00 – 180 days supply

Allergy Research Vitamin D3 complete – higher dose suitable for those with a diagnosed vitamin D deficiency, also contains vitamin A and K – £ 27.00 – 60 day supply – Not suitable for those taking blood thinning medications

Biocare – Vitamin D3 –  1000iu – Vegan – £12 – 60 capsules

DLux 4000 Vitamin D Daily Oral Spray 15ml- £9 – Vegetarian

Lamberts Professional Range – Vitamin D3 Drops 20ml – suitable for all the family £8.20

Other vitamins and supplements from Susan’s supplier Natural Dispensary may be added to order, just let her know what you require.

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Zinc Deficiency and Covid-19

Lower levels of plasma Zinc on hospital admission, effected the outcome when admitted with Covid- 19. But before you reach for the Zinc supplements, this is one mineral where less is more. Zinc absorption is higher at lower dosages. Zinc also has many nutrient interactions, Iron, calcium and phosphorus all decreases its absorption levels. Zinc is in many protein rich foods and absorption rates are higher from animal sources than plant sources, those on plant based diets will need to consume a higher amount of zinc to ensure required amount is absorbed. Phytates, which are commonly found in plant foods, reduce zinc absorption, and some researchers have suggested that this increases the zinc needs of vegetarians by up to 50%. Foods high in Zinc include 1/2 a cup of baked beans will provide 26% of daily requirement, Chicken Thigh – 22%, 25g pumpkin seeds – 20%, 1/2 cup chickpeas – 12%. If you wish to look into supplements please contact Susan who can provide some recommendations.