Vitamin D-deficient patients are twice as likely to sustain life-threatening complications in the wake of a COVID-19 infection, according to a study from Northwestern University in the United States, where scientists collected data from 10 different countries. It is worth making a note of the fact that vitamin D deficiencies are particularly common among older people of color, nursing home residents, overweight people, and chronically ill individuals, all of which are well-known risk groups. In the future fight against COVID-19 and other epidemics, good hygiene, hand sanitizer, isolation, and delayed vaccines are not enough. We must take the right measures to regulate our immune system with vitamin D, which can determine whether we reject the virus, contract a mild infection, or die of the subsequent, life-threatening cytokine storm and organ failure.
The cells in our body are constantly renewed but they can only divide a limited number of times. It all depends on the length of their telomeres, which one can compare to the protective plastic tips at the ends of shoelaces. Every time a cell divides, its telomeres are reduced in length, bringing the cell closer to its terminal phase. Now, a Chinese study has revealed that higher selenium intake is linked to increased telomere length. Put differently, a higher selenium intake contributes to protecting the cells and allowing them to replicate more times. This may likely postpone the ageing process and extend our lifespan, and there are other studies that suggest the same. It is worth making a note of the fact that selenium deficiency is widespread in Europe and throughout the world.
Zinc supplements have been given to patients with acne for years because of the anti-inflammatory properties of the nutrient. Still, it remains unclear whether zinc also helps treat other inflammatory skin diseases. Therefore, a group of scientists wanted to look closer at this and they discovered that zinc supplementation may be useful in the treatment of atopic dermatitis and diaper rash. Local treatment with zinc salve may also help.
Although the course of disease for most people with COVID-19 is rather mild, the greatest concern is the life-threatening complications in the respiratory tract caused by oxidative stress and cytokine storm where the immune system attacks healthy tissue. Scientists are busy looking for new therapies such as intravenous vitamin C that is about to be tested in a new Chinese placebo-controlled study, according to an article that is published in Critical Care. Several researchers say that vitamin C from dietary sources and supplements has a preventive effect because it strengthens and regulates the immune defense in the respiratory tract. The same is the case with vitamin D and selenium.
– and the amount you consume matters
Fish oil contains the long-chained omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, that have a number of essential functions. Although it has been known for decades that fish oil lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease and early death, study results have been conflicting. Now, a large British population study of over 400,000 people confirms that regular consumption of fish oil supplements has a positive effect on the cardiovascular system and contributes to improved quality of longevity. The scientists also address that the quantity of fish oil may be determining for your health.
The interplay between vitamin D, magnesium, and calcium is vital for bone health and a number of other things, including cancer prevention. According to a new study that is published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, high blood levels of vitamin D and magnesium may lower colon cancer patients’ risk of dying of their disease. However, the current recommendations for vitamin D are not enough to reach optimal blood levels of the nutrient. Moreover, it is of vital importance that magnesium is properly balanced with calcium.
Fish is good source of omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients that are important for normal development of the fetus. Still, there has been a lot of discussion about whether or not pregnant women should eat fish, as this is also a source of mercury and other environmental toxins. A whole new study shows that pregnant women who eat moderate amounts of fish tend to give birth to children with a lower risk of diabetes and overweight later in life compared with women that eat very little fish or none at all. Beware that fish often contains mercury but it also contains selenium, which has a protective effect.
– and lack of vitamin D increases the risk
The minority of people think about the danger of sepsis, which is a serious blood poisoning. However, according to WHO, sepsis is rather common and it is the third leading cause of death, only surpassed by cardiovascular diseases and cancer. According to Ugeskrift for Læger (the journal of the Danish Medical Association), it is a paradox that Denmark has no official registry of the rate and high mortality of sepsis. Also, the risk of getting sepsis and dying of the condition is heavily increased if you lack vitamin D, according to an Iranian study that is published in Archives of Academic Emergency Medicine. We need to focus more on sepsis, including diagnosis, swift treatment, and prevention of this life-threatening disease.
Neurological diseases are on the rise and Alzheimer’s disease is one of the leading causes of dementia. Now, scientists from Boston University have discovered that slow-moving brain waves during our sleep initiate a cleansing process in the brain that protects against Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and other neurological disorders. Also, a study of men conducted by scientists from Uppsala University in Sweden demonstrated that as little as a single night without sleep increases levels of proteins that serve as biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease. It is therefore essential to sleep properly every single night so that we can remain mentally alert and vital. In cases where the normal guidelines for healthy sleep prove to be of little use, supplementing with the “sleep hormone” melatonin may turn out to offer relief.