- 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.
It is no coincidence that sclerosis is more prevalent at the northern latitudes. A major factor is lack of vitamin D, a nutrient that we only synthesize from sunlight during the summer. A new study published in the scientific journal Neurology shows that the risk increases even more if people are overweight, and children are particularly vulnerable. As part of the strategy for preventing sclerosis, we must pay more attention to weight management and make sure to get plenty of vitamin D all year round and throughout life. Furthermore, various campaigns that warn against sun exposure and recommend the use of sunscreen should at the same time advise children and adults how to get enough vitamin D from other sources.
Professor Maret Traber from the Linus Pauling Institute in the United States has studied vitamin E for a number of years. Traber, in a review article, looked at the most recent science concerning this important, lipid-soluble nutrient. Judging from her work, it looks as if we only need the form of vitamin E called alfa-tocopherol.
Vitamin E comes as either tocopherols or tocotrienols, and there are several kinds. Science has identified four different tocopherols (alfa, beta, gamma, and delta) and four different tocotrienols (alfa, beta, gamma, and delta). In total, there are eight kinds of vitamin E. Plants are able to convert one form of vitamin E to another, while animals and humans are not able to do this.
Supplementing with strong antioxidants such as beta-carotene, vitamin E, selenium, and coenzyme Q10 may help patients with cystic fibrosis by reducing a number of the respiratory infections that come with the disease. This was seen in a study by researchers at the Children’s Hospital Colorado and the University of Colorado, United States.
Lack of vitamin D is rather common and taking large quantities of the nutrient can not only protect against virus infections like COVID-19 but even counteract the life-threatening complications in those affected with the disease, according to a new, comprehensive, Irish report (TILDA) from Trinity College Dublin (University of Dublin in Ireland). The TILDA report supports many other published studies showing that the immune system is unable to function without vitamin D. The main focus in the battle against COVID-19 is hygiene, isolation, and delayed immunization with vaccines. However, it is also essential to bolster the immune defense, as this determines the difference between being able to ward off the infection, suffer mild symptoms only, or succumb. The scientists recommend that all adults take a high-dosed vitamin D supplement, especially older people, nursing home residents, chronically ill people, hospital patients, health professionals and other exposed groups. That way, we are better protected against future epidemics.
- an overlooked connection
When it comes to battling COVID-19, the main focus is on hygiene, face masks, lockdown, and delayed vaccines. For several months, scientists have urged people to take vitamin D supplements during the winter period as a way of preventing new waves of COVID-19. This is because vitamin D is of vital importance for a well-functioning immune system and it is known that deficiencies of this nutrient contribute to the spread of seasonal virus infections. We also see that groups of people that are most likely to be vitamin D-deficient – including seniors, nursing home residents, people with dark skin, overweight individuals, diabetics, and those with chronic diseases – are most vulnerable towards COVID-19. The British government is already handing out vitamin D supplements to exposed groups, according to an article in Daily Mail and a review article that is published in British Medical Journal. But why is vitamin D so important for the immune defense, why are some people more likely to become deficient, and how much vitamin D do we actually need? Also, will vaccines cut the mustard if COVID-19 mutates?
- and lacking certain nutrients may play a vital role
New figures from the cancer database, Nordcan, reveal that Danish women hold the record in cancer prevalence, and both sexes still have the lowest cancer survival rate among the Nordic countries. Experts claim that this is linked to our lifestyle. However, cancer even occurs among people with healthy lifestyles, and international studies suggest that modern diets tend to lack optimal amounts of selenium, vitamin D and omega-3, all of which have cancer-preventive properties. Research also points to melatonin, also known as the sleep hormone.
A panel of physicians and professors collaborating with the Swiss Society for Nutrition (SSN) recently reviewed the scientific evidence on the role of micronutrients in supporting a well-functioning immune defense for optimal health with particular focus on viral infections related to COVID-19. They conclude that there is widespread lack of vitamin C, vitamin D, selenium, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids, all of which are crucial nutrients for the immune system. These deficiencies contribute to new waves of COVID-19 and can cause the infections to become life-threatening. The panel calls for immediate action with relevant focus on diet and supplements.
It is commonly known that vitamin A is good for your vision, but most people are unaware that we also need specific nutrients in order for our hearing to function optimally. In this connection, age-related hearing loss is not necessarily linked to mechanical dysfunctions of the ear but rather to how the brain processes the sound information.
- which is why we need enough vitamin C, selenium, and other antioxidants
Modern man is exposed to a lot of free radicals because of factors like stress, environmental toxins, etc. Free radicals are like “internal terrorists” that contribute to atherosclerosis, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and a host of other diseases. Our only protection against free radicals are antioxidants from vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds. Antioxidants work in different ways. Being deficient in a single primary antioxidant such as selenium may leave the body vulnerable to oxidative stress and disease. What most people are unaware of is that free radicals are also essential, as they are a part of our energy turnover and immune defense. The question is how do we protect ourselves the best against infections, oxidative stress, and disease? What type of antioxidant do we get from dark chocolate, green tea, coffee and red wine? How does redox therapy with vitamin C in great quantities work on cancer patients? You can read more about these topics in the following.
Irritable bowel is the most common intestinal disorder and affects around 15 percent of the population. The symptoms are typically unstable digestion, flatulence, constipation, diarrhea, stomach pain, and intestinal cramps. Several studies have shown that lack of vitamin D may cause the symptoms, and that taking a vitamin D supplement helps. This is because vitamin D is highly important for the intestinal immune defense and for controlling inflammation.
Blood poisoning, also called sepsis, is a life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical attention. A combination of high-dosed, intravenously administered vitamin C may, however, shorten the hospital stay and lower the risk of dying, according to a study that is published in Journal of the American Medical Association. The study supports earlier research where a combination of intravenous vitamin C and vitamin B1 delivered even better results. These are simple and inexpensive therapies that can save lives by supporting the immune system and limiting damage to the cardiovascular system, the lungs, and other tissues.
- here is a check list with 15 typical signs
All B vitamins work together as a close-knit team, and they are involved in most of the body’s enzymatic processes. For that reason, lacking one or several B vitamins may cause a long list of different symptoms. We humans depend on a regular supply of B vitamins. A wholesome smoothie or a multivitamin in the morning is no guarantee that the body has enough B vitamins for the rest of the day. Add to that the fact that some factors can impair our nutrient absorption and increase our need for B vitamins. But if you keep your body adequately supplied with B vitamins at all times throughout life, it can work wonders.
- and become increasingly dangerous
Around one billion people worldwide are believed to lack selenium, mainly due to nutrient-depleted farmland. Selenium deficiency makes us more vulnerable to infections and increases the risk of a virus mutating and becoming more dangerous. This was shown in previous studies of RNA virus that can cause influenza, hepatitis, HIV, and Keshan disease. Coronavirus that causes the common cold and COVID-19 infections also belongs to the group of RNA virus and has a unique ability to mutate. Three new mutated virus types have been found in mink and stand in the way of a future vaccine. Therefore, we are forced to bolster our immune defense, which is designed to attack virus from different angles. Still, even if we eat a healthy diet it can be challenging to get enough selenium, and that is why an increasing number of international researchers now recommend selenium supplements to help fight coronavirus.
Hashimoto’s disease (Hashimoto’s thyroiditis) is an overlooked scourge that leads to hypothyroidism and is particularly widespread among women. Postpartum thyroiditis that also slows down your metabolism follows in the wake of pregnancy. Graves’ disease where the metabolism speeds up (hyperthyroidism) is less common. These three thyroid disorders belong to the group of autoimmune disorders where the immune defense attacks the body’s tissues, and it appears that lack of vitamin D increases the risk, as it controls the immune defense in a number of ways. According to a new review article that is published in Nutrients, taking larger quantities of vitamin D may have a positive impact on these thyroid disorders.
An international science team from the University of Surrey in England has found a link between low selenium levels in the soil and the risk od COVID-19 infections becoming lethal. Professor Margaret Rayman, who headed the study, has spent decades studying the global lack of selenium that is known to impair the ability of the immune system to tackle virus infections and new epidemics. The farmlands in large parts of the world, including Europe and China, are low in selenium, and it is vital to have more focus on this essential nutrient.
Insomnia is common among cancer patients. Sleep medicine is associated with serious side effects, but research shows that the natural hormone, melatonin, may help improve the sleep quality of cancer patients in several different ways. Melatonin even has cancer-inhibiting mechanisms that deserve a closer look in terms of prevention and treatment.
The winter period is the time of year where we typically lack vitamin D, and this contributes to new waves of COVID-19 and other virus infections. Moreover, many older people, dark-skinned individuals, nursing home residents, and diabetics often suffer from chronic vitamin D deficiency which makes them much more vulnerable. Since the springe of 2020, numerous studies have demonstrated that lack of vitamin D increases the risk of COVID-19 infections, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), intensive care admission, and death. This is described in a new meta-analysis that is published in Frontiers in Public Health. Danish threshold levels for vitamin D in the blood are also too low, apparently. The question is: How much vitamin D do we really need?
Australian scientists are about to initiate the first clinical trial of intravenous zinc therapy for COVID-19 patients. Zinc is important for our immune capacity but it also helps counteract organ damage caused by an impaired oxygen supply to the cells and hyperinflammation. Zinc deficiencies are common, especially among older people, chronically ill, and other exposed groups.
New Year’s resolutions are often related to healthier living with better dietary choices, fewer stimulants, and more exercise. We want to stay as young and vital as possible with lots of energy. However, life is not always that simple, and nature often needs a helping hand. The following anti-ageing tips – including the essential beauty sleep – are based on a summary of articles that have all been published previously on this site.
- even in the case of COVID-19
Vitamin D is important for a well-functioning immune defense and a number of other functions. A team of scientists from Purdue University and National Institutes of Health in the United States has recently uncovered mechanisms that enable vitamin D to reduce hyperinflammation in severe COVID-19 cases. The scientists refer to a particularly active vitamin D metabolite that is formed in immune cells, in the lungs, and various other places. It is important to have adequate levels of vitamin D at all times, and it is equally vital for the body to be able to activate vitamin D, a process that requires the presence of magnesium.
Schizophrenia, a brain disease, is an extreme burden to the patient as well as to the patient’s family. However, a large meta-analysis published in Psychological Medicine documents that adjuvant therapy with large doses of vitamin B6, vitamin B12 and biotin (vitamin B8) in combination with standard therapy can reduce the symptoms more effectively than standard therapy alone. It is an advantage to start taking high-dosed B vitamin supplements as early as possible in the disease course. There are several reasons why B vitamins have such a great impact on the brain and our mental health
Our nutritional status is of vital importance to our health and our ability to handle infections. Seleniumhas several functions in the immune system, including its role as an antioxidant and in counteracting unwanted inflammation. Selenium is also able to prevent virus from mutating and becoming more virulent or creating new waves of disease. A team of Chinese scientists have reviewed a number of studies of selenium and its key role in the defense against influenza, HIV, and other types of RNA virus. They have found, among other things, that the risk of contracting a COVID-19 infection is 10 times lower in areas where the soil is rich in selenium. Therefore, it is a huge problem that selenium deficiency due to selenium-depleted farmland is so widespread in Europe, China, Africa, and many other places.
– 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.
Scientists have discovered traces of antibiotic-resistant super bacteria (NDM-1) in the soil of Svalbard. This archipelago is located in the arctic ocean between the North Pole and Norway, several thousand kilometers from India where the bacteria was originally discovered. This is described in a study that is published in the science journal, Environment International. Bacteria with the resistance gene NDM-1 have now spread to a number of other countries and many people have lost their lives to them. Humans are also challenged by other antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and the British health authorities consider this to be a larger threat to humans than climate change. But what causes these bacteria to develop resistance? And what vitamins and minerals are particularly important for bolstering the immune system? After all, our immune defense is our only way of protecting ourselves if antibiotics fail to work.
Tuberculosis is one of the most common diseases in the world and costs millions of lives, especially in the underdeveloped countries. Tuberculosis typically goes hand in hand with malnutrition, and now a group of scientists from Dublin in Ireland has found that vitamin A helps the lungs’ immune defense fight the disease. Their research is published in the esteemed Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology.
Vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid and L-ascorbic acid. Most animals are able to synthesise vitamin C by means of a stepwise, enzymatic conversion of glucose (dextrose). However, humans, apes, guinea pigs, and certain other animals have lost this ability during evolution. The largest concentrations of vitamin C are found in the white cells of the immune defence, the pancreas, the testicles, and the ovaries. Vitamin C is water-soluble and as it is not stored in the body, we depend on regular intake of the nutrient. Vitamin C is destroyed by light, heat, boiling, freezing, preservation, and storage (including winter storage of vegetables and fruit).
Air pollution is a serious health threat that affects the entire world. Previous studies show that it increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, among other things. We need new strategies for protection, and a recent Chinese study conveniently reveals that supplementation with vitamin Ccan protect the cardiovascular system against oxidative stress and other harmful impacts from air pollution. What we need to find out is how much vitamin C it takes to obtain a therapeutic effect.
Immunotherapy has a special potential when used to treat cancer, which is because this particular type of therapy inhibits special molecules that block the body’s own defense mechanism against cancer cells. A team of scientists from Texas has discovered that vitamin E inhibits a particular molecule, thereby boosting the immunotherapy’s ability to stimulate important white blood cells. The scientists made this discovery by analyzing clinical data and in-depth laboratory studies. Vitamin E may play a future role in the prevention and treatment of cancer.
According to an article that is published in StatPearls, vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that protects against atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease, and blood clots. Vitamin E is also important for fertility, cell functions, and immune defense. A low-fat diet may result in a vitamin E deficiency. You should also beware that diseases characterized by impaired lipid absorption may increase you need for vitamin E.
Large population studies of adults and their diet habits often tend to overlook certain groups such as younger adults. A British study therefore took a closer look at eating habits of adults in their twenties, thirties, forties, and fifties. It revealed a widespread lack of B vitamins, magnesium, potassium, iodine, zinc, and selenium. Being deficient in these essential nutrients can harm your fertility and increase your risk of different diseases, while speeding up concealed ageing processes such as loss of cognition and bone mass.
The trace element selenium has a vital yet overlooked role in ensuring a well-functioning immune system, and the widespread problems with selenium deficiency increase the risk of dying of COVID-19, according to a large German study that is published in the science journal Nutrients. The scientists therefore conclude that determining the patients’ blood selenium levels may provide vital diagnostic information. Also, the researchers conclude that it may be necessary to include selenium supplements in the treatment of COVID-19, especially with older people, diabetics, and those with chronic diseases that are at particular risk of life-threatening complications. The agricultural soil in Europe and other parts of the world contains relatively little selenium, which is why it is imperative to focus more on getting adequate amounts of this essential nutrient for the sake of preventing COVID-19 and other viral infections. It appears that the official recommendations – the so-called reference intake levels or RI – are not sufficient to meet the body’s actual requirements.
Our ability to absorb zinc is reduced with age, and many older people lack zinc, even though there is plenty of zinc in the diet they eat. The trace element is involved in over 1,000 enzyme processes and is also an important antioxidant that protects our cells. Even minor zinc deficiencies can speed up ageing processes and contribute to skin and hair problems, infections such as bladder infections, chronic inflammation, elevated blood pressure, cancer, and other diseases. People with unhealthy diets, vegetarians, vegans, and older people are at particularly vulnerable. Certain types of medicine that many seniors take can also increase the risk of a zinc deficiency.