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Diet and Lifestyle

Vitamin D Supplements & Covid19

Vitamin D levels tend to be low in people living in Northern Europe during winter months.

Vitamin D is synthesized in the skin by the action of ultraviolet in sunlight. Although it is also present in the diet – particularly oily fish – synthesis in the skin is the major natural source. As a consequence, many people in Northern Europe tend to have low vitamin D levels in the winter.

Vitamin D levels also tend to be low in people with chronic disorders of the gut, liver, and pancreas.

Vitamin D deficiency has been shown to be common and to correlate with poorer outcomes in patients with inflammatory bowel disease. It is common in patients with undiagnosed coeliac disease, although this usually corrects on a gluten-free diet, and is also common in patients with chronic pancreatitis, and in other conditions, including liver cirrhosis where fat malabsorption occurs (vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin).

Vitamin D is important for the immune system, not just for bones.

Vitamin D is best known for its important effects on calcium metabolism and bone formation. However, it also has important effects on the immune system. It helps macrophages (a type of white blood cell that is important in defense against bacteria and viruses) kill pathogens they have engulfed. It also has anti-inflammatory effects and has been shown to suppress the cytokine (inflammatory) response to viruses. This might be beneficial in Covid-19 where severe lung damage can result from an inflammatory “cytokine storm” in response to the virus.

Vitamin D deficiency increases the risk of infection by respiratory viruses.

It has been shown that people with low vitamin D levels are more susceptible to viral respiratory infections and that regular supplementation reduces the risk.

Vitamin D supplementation might help to reduce the risk of severe Covid19 illness – although there is no direct evidence to support this.

No studies of vitamin D supplementation have yet been performed in relation to Covid-19 but its protective effect against respiratory viruses and its ability in the laboratory to reduce inflammatory cytokine responses to viruses suggests that regular vitamin D supplementation might help to reduce risk of severe Covid19 illness.

If you do take vitamin D supplementation the dose is very important.

Vitamin D overdosing is harmful – it can cause dangerous increases in blood calcium and can also potentially have unwanted impacts on the immune system – does is therefore important. Current evidence suggests that for adults a regular daily dose of 25 micrograms (1000 units) is likely to be optimal. There is good evidence that this is safe (daily doses of up to 4000 units are regarded as safe in adults). In healthy adults, there is some evidence that daily dosing of more than 1000 units actually has less beneficial effect although higher doses eg 2,000 units per day may sometimes be used in patients with proven vitamin D deficiency. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) already recommends that all UK adults should take 400 units daily – evidence in relation to respiratory infections currently suggests that a somewhat higher dose of 1000 units per day (for adults) may be optimal.

In summary:

  • most UK adults are vitamin D deficient in the winter months.
  • Vitamin D deficiency is particularly common in people with chronic disorders of the intestine, pancreas or liver.
  • The regular daily dosing of vitamin D3 1,000 units without calcium (typically one capsule or tablet) is safe and usually sufficient to correct this
  • Low levels of vitamin D are associated with increased risk of respiratory viral infection
  • Vitamin D supplementation has been shown to reduce the risk of respiratory viral infection
  • Laboratory studies show that vitamin D reduces the cytokine response to respiratory viruses – this might be helpful in reducing the risk of serious lung damage in Covid19 infection, although this is unproven.

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Diet and Lifestyle

New Nordic Cran Berry 30 Tablets

Cran Berry is a tablet-based on a special cranberry extract with a concentrated and standardized content of Proanthocyanidin (PAC) in combination with lingonberries, black pepper, and vitamins. A Cran Berry™ tablet provides 36 mg of Pro-Antho-Cyanidines equivalent to a quarter to half a liter of cranberry juice. Vitamin C and B6 contribute to the normal functioning of the immune system and niacin to maintain normal mucous membranes.

Cran Berry

  • High strength 36 PAC
  • Immune system
  • Only one tablet a day
  • Cranberry, lingonberry, vitamin C, B6 & niacin
  • 30 tablets

Take 1 tablet daily with a meal. Food supplements are intended to supplement the diet and should not substitute a varied diet or healthy lifestyle. Do not exceed the stated dose. Warnings: Not suitable for children under 12 years of age. Do not use it if the blister package (inner foil) is broken or tampered with. Keep out of reach of children. Seek professional advice before using if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or suffer from allergies.

The cranberry extract in this tablet is made from cranberry harvested in the fall when the fruit has its characteristic deep red color. The berries are then cleaned and sorted, after which they undergo an optimized extraction process so that the desirable plant substances are preserved. This guarantees high quality.

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Diet and Lifestyle

THE HAPPY PATH TO GUT HEALTH

With our digestive health playing an integral role in maintaining the health of our bodies. Nutritional Therapist Kerry O’Connor explores how we can maximise it.

They say you are what you eat, but we now know we are what we absorb. Unfortunately for some it feels like everything they eat creates a disturbance or sensitivity in their digestive system. Our digestive system, which begins in our mouth has three main functions; to digest, absorb and eliminate. All of these processes must be working properly to maintain good gut health, which plays a huge part in overall health.

Up to 70% of people suffer from gastrointestinal disorders at some point in their lives, symptoms varying from bloating, fatigue, heartburn, IBS and burping to skin issues and for some even pain. Aside from so many symptoms being unpleasant this can occasionally lead to more serious gut health issues.

There are a lot of things we can do to help alleviate symptoms by adopting some lifestyle changes. Regular exercise, stress reduction and taking more probiotic and prebiotic rich foods, such as bone broth and fermented foods or a quality microbiotic supplement like Super 8 can help.

One of the best ways to discover if your issues are caused by food and drink intolerance is to keep a food diary and recording how you feel both physically and mentally for up to three days after eating.

If you discover that a food or drink seems to be creating symptoms then you should eliminate this for up to three months before gradually reintroducing and closely monitoring how you feel. Some people find great relief by adding a digestive enzyme when they eat to help break down foods and to help with absorption of nutrients.

Of course, if you are coeliac, which is an autoimmune condition, you will try to never eat gluten again as it causes such damage to the small intestine. However, there are around 13% of Irish people classified as having non-coeliac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) and are now following a gluten free diet. They report symptoms such as diarrhoea, wind, constipation, brain fog and fatigue and find that these are alleviated when they cut gluten out of their diet. The only EU approved enzyme for breaking down 86% of residual gluten in just 10 minutes, Gluten Shield, has just been launched in Ireland. This is an additional help for those following a gluten free diet who inadvertently eat gluten through possible cross contamination, thereby giving a sense of security to those who suffer from gluten sensitivity especially when eating out.

Figuring out food sensitivities and trying to avoid them, healing our gut and adding in beneficial microbiotics and digestive enzymes can help both physical and mental health. Eating a wholefood low sugar diet will always be better than eating processed foods containing additives regardless if they are gluten free or free from.

Gluten Shield is a food supplement. It is not intended to replace a gluten free diet and is not intended to prevent or treat Coeliac disease. It may be useful if you are following a gluten free diet and are concerned about unintentional or residual gluten in a gluten free diet.

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Diet and Lifestyle

New Nordic Multi Vegan Gummies 120

It is said that a vegans diet does not certain nutrient requirements may be difficult to achieve through diet and fortified foods alone. This is especially true for vitamin B12, vitamin D, and long-chain omega-3s. All vegans who are unable to meet their dietary recommendations through diet alone should consider taking supplements.

With good planning and an understanding of what makes up a healthy, balanced vegetarian and vegan diet, you can get all the nutrients your body needs to be healthy without the need for supplements. However, if your diet isn’t planned properly, you could miss out on essential nutrients. All vegans should take 250 mcg per day of a B12 supplement. All lacto-ovo vegetarians should consider taking 250 mcg per day of a B12 supplement a few times per week.

Multi Vegan™ Gummies are suitable for vegans, vegetarians, and everyone else looking for a clean product. This multivitamin for the entire family is an easy way to get your daily vitamin supplement. Enjoy the health-related advantages and try the new delicious gummies.

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