The 2nd November was Vitamin D day organized by The Vitamin D Society. While governments use draconian restrictions that curtail and remove the most basic of human rights to ‘fight’ a virus of relatively low virulence and moderately contagious they continue to ignore the pandemic created by vitamin D deficiency around the globe. It’s estimated around 1 billion people in the world are vitamin D deficient, while 50% of the population has insufficient levels. We now know that vitamin D is vital for a multitude of functions in our body including supporting a well-functioning immune system in order to protect us against a range of pathogens including SARS-CoV-2. Governments in the UK are beginning to recognise the role of vitamin D as a low cost, simple and effective intervention to reduce the risk of serious disease and death from the coronavirus. The Scottish government has announced it will be providing free vitamin D supplements to those who have been shielding and Boris Johnson is reported to be considering a similar scheme in England. This is a great start, but the recommended levels of daily supplementation continue to be way too low to bring about clinically significant changes in levels of vitamin D. We will be continuing our campaign to persuade governments to increase recommended daily doses. To find out more about vitamin D, why we need it, how to find out what your levels are and what dosage you need to stay healthy visit our Test & Take: Vitamin D campaign page.
Vitamins A, E and D reduce risk of respiratory infection
Vitamins A and E from both our diet and supplements along with vitamin D from supplements can reduce an individual’s risk of developing respiratory diseases. A new study published in BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health used data from the National Diet and Nutrition Survey Rolling Programme 2008-2016 to assess the impact of vitamin intake on respiratory disease. While they found no association between vitamin C and a reduction in risk, as those involved in the study had not reported taking any vitamin C supplements and respiratory complaints, they found a significant reduction in respiratory disease risk in those supplementing with vitamin D. All three vitamins are known to support the normal functioning of our immune systems. The new study adds to the increasing evidence of the role micronutrients have to play in our wellbeing and the importance for a well-functioning immune system to protect against viral illness such as SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes covid-19.
Low carb diet combats type 2 diabetes
Patients at a GP practice in the UK have experienced significant improvements in their blood markers, weight and blood pressure as a result of adopting a low carb diet. For more than 6 years UK GP Dr David Unwin has recommended the use of a low carb diet to combat obesity and type 2 diabetes with stunning effect. In a new study published in BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health he publishes the results of this approach. Not only has it improved the health of his patients it has also saved his practice (and in turn the NHS) huge sums of money in terms of reduced requirement for drugs and other medical interventions. At ANH we have espoused the benefits of a low carb approach for many years due to its myriad of metabolic and health benefits to the individual. Diet and nutrition forms an integral part of our Blueprint for Health Sustainability aimed at bringing people back to health and reducing the tsunami of chronic disease that poses a far greater risk to citizens health around the world than that of the coronavirus.
Could microbes cause Alzheimer’s disease?
There is a theory that microbes entering the brain could be the underlying cause of Alzheimer’s disease and that the amyloid plaques found in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients are part of a protective mechanism. This is a theory that has been explored and discussed for many years, but one that has been ridiculed and dismissed by mainstream researchers focusing on amyloid plaques. Two years ago, having reviewed the science, immunologist and medical-publishing entrepreneur, Leslie Norins created ALZgerm.org and offered a prize of US$1 million to any scientist able to prove the germ theory. A powerful motivator to explore other avenues in the fight against Alzheimer’s (the number one killer in the UK) that has seen 40 researchers submit their work before the March deadline. Mainstream Alzheimer’s researchers continue to scoff at the notion, but maybe, just maybe there’s more to this particular story that’s still waiting to be uncovered.
Dairy terms banned by EU for plant-based products
The use of the terms ‘milk’, ‘butter’ and ‘yogurt to refer to plant-based dairy alternatives in the EU was banned in 2017. In a bizarre twist the EU Parliament has now voted to ban the use of terms such as ‘yogurt style’ and ‘cheese like’ as they are deemed to cause confusion to consumers, but strangely they’ve approved the use of meat-related descriptions. The decision could also impact the nature of the packaging used for such products. The decision comes despite there being no evidence of confusion amongst consumers. It would seem that once again the financial clout of the big agriculture companies has won despite the huge increase in consumption of plant-based products in recent years.