Atrial fibrillation is a rhythm disturbance in the electrical system of the heart. It is also one of the most common heart disorders and can be both harmless and potentially life-threatening. Lack of vitamin D increases the risk of normal atrial fibrillation and postoperative atrial fibrillation, according to a meta-analysis that is published in the scientific journal Nutrition. Vitamin D deficiencies are rather common so it is important to make sure to get enough of the nutrient for preventing and treating this disorder.
- which many people lack
It is not the actual COVID-19 virus that can become lethal. It is the immune system’s overreaction with hyperinflammation and a storm of cytokines that destroys healthy tissue in the lungs, the cardiovascular system, and other places in the body, according to a new article that is published in The Lancet. The capacity of the immune system determines if an infection like COVID-19 is either harmless or life-threatening. For that reason, hygienic measures, masks, isolation, and delayed vaccines are not sufficient. We also need to bolster our immune system against COVID-19 and other pandemics that may occur in the future. Let’s look closer at vitamin C, vitamin D, selenium and zinc, all of which are essential for preventing a well-functioning immune system from going off its rails. What is also worth mentioning is that many people lack these nutrients, especially older people and other exposed groups.
- for pregnant women and others
Folic acid supplements are typically recommended to people with anemia and to expecting mothers. However, folic acid supplements can also be important for the cardiovascular system, the brain and memory, and for preventing stroke. The widespread lack of this nutrient is a result of poor diets, pregnancy, ageing, alcohol abuse, and the consumption of birth control pills and various types of medicine.
- and why is the problem so common?
Lack of vitamin B12 can cause pernicious anemia, which WHO considers a global threat. Vitamin B12 is primarily known for its role in red blood cell formation, whereas its role in the brain and nervous system is often overlooked. A vitamin B12 deficiency can easily lead to disabling damage if it goes unnoticed. Pernicious anemia is an autoimmune disease that prevents people from absorbing vitamin B12 from food. The condition is potentially life-threatening but is difficult to diagnose and many people go untreated, according to Associate Professor Heidi Seage, who is affiliated with the Pernicious Anaemia Society. A worsening factor is the climate debate that has inspired an increasing number of people to turn to vegetarianism and veganism. Plant-based diets are known to cause vitamin B12 deficiency, and the problem is insidious and therefore not easy to detect. The use of diabetes medication (such as metformin) can also deplete the body’s levels of vitamin B12
PMS (premenstrual syndrome) is quite common among women of childbearing age and can easily make their lives miserable for years, causing both physical and mental discomfort several days a month. A possible cause can be lack of vitamin D, and it looks as if high-dosed supplementation with the nutrient can relieve PMS by controlling inflammation markers and influencing the body’s antioxidant capacity. This was shown in an Iranian study that is published in Scientific Reports. It is worth noting that we need magnesium to activate vitamin D in order for the body to be able to use it optimally.
– and could even make them more dangerous
Selenium is of vital importance to a strong immune defense. Still, selenium deficiency is a common problem and it increases the risk of viral infections such as influenza and the coronavirus from China, which is feared to turn into a global pandemic. It is a problem that selenium deficiency in infected animals and humans causes the virus to mutate and become more aggressive. Because of selenium’s important role as a powerful antioxidant, being deficient of this micronutrient may leave the body vulnerable to oxidative stress, which can cause tissue damage and complicate the virus infection. It is therefore important to get enough selenium at all times, as it also increases our resistance towards other viral infections such as herpes, HIV, and hepatitis, according to an article published in Nutrients.