- and lack of nutrients is an overlooked problem
According to the statistics, far too many patients contract an infection while being hospitalized in a Danish hospital. This has enormous human and economic costs that need to be addressed. Hospital infections are not only a consequence of poor hygiene, it actually turns out that 40 percent of the patients are malnourished to some degree, which impairs their immune system and makes them an easier target for infections. Lack of vitamin C, vitamin D, selenium, zinc, and iron seem to be the big and overlooked problem.
- but researchers warn against reduced intake levels
Even if you eat a healthy and balanced diet, it can be difficult to get enough selenium because of climate changes and nutrient depletion of the soil, especially in Europe. This was shown in a study conducted by Swiss scientists. Selenium is very important for the immune system, but how much do we need to be optimally protected against infections? There also appears to be a connection between widespread selenium deficiency and the increased rate of cancer.
- 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.
According to a new study from Johns Hopkins University in the United States, vitamin D is able to protect overweight children against asthma caused by urban air pollution. Sunshine during the summer period is the main source of vitamin D, but due to our modern lifestyles, many people, including children, fail to get enough of the nutrient. This may have widespread consequences, as lack of vitamin D also increases the risk of overweight.
Vitamin C is essential for the immune defense for a number of reasons. According to a review of 12 recent studies, vitamin C administered in sufficiently high doses can prevent severe COVID-19 infections and save lives. The problem is that most people fail to follow the official dietary guidelines for fruit and vegetable consumption, which is why so many people lack vitamin C. Another thing is that health authorities in general are unaware of the health benefits of vitamin C in therapeutic doses, even after 80 years of international research.
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.
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.
It is estimated that one billion people worldwide lack selenium. This has fatal consequences for public health because it increases the risk of virus infections, thyroid disorders, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, neurological disorders, and involuntary infertility. Adding to that problem is the fact that mercury, a known environmental toxin, throws a wrench into selenium’s different functions. In the following, we have compiled a long list of studies that look closer at the consequences of selenium deficiency and the advantage of optimizing the body’s selenium status with help from supplements.
- or too much?
Lack of iron is the most widespread nutrient deficiency in the world and the most common cause of anemia. Iron deficiency causes fatigue, dizziness, paleness, impaired immunity, hair loss, and a host of other symptoms. It can cause stunted growth and learning difficulty in children. Some of the things that can cause iron deficiency are heavy menstrual bleeding, pregnancy, vegetarian/vegan diets, lack of vitamin C, antacids, inflammatory bowel diseases, and celiac disease. Excess iron, on the other hand, can also spell trouble by generating harmful free radicals that attack our cells. So, it is important not to get too little or too much iron – but just the right amount. In the following, you can read more about iron and its importance for our health.
We all know the importance of eating a healthy diet, exercising, getting sufficient sleep, and sunbathing with caution. Still, life is not always that simple, and even if we stick with the official guidelines for healthy living, it can often be challenging to get adequate amounts of the essential nutrients. Nonetheless, supplements are useful as compensation for these shortcomings. In fact, the use of such products can be compared with plant fertilizers that make plants look healthy, flourish and thrive.
Melanoma is a type of malignant skin cancer that spreads rapidly. Being vitamin D-deficient doubles the risk of dying of the disease, according to a Spanish study that was presented at the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology congress. It is commonly known that sunburns, which one should generally avoid, increase the risk of contracting skin cancer. But we must not forget that the summer sun is our main source of vitamin Dand at our latitude, it necessary to take a vitamin D supplement in the wintertime. People who avoid the sun or have difficulty with synthesizing vitamin D in their skin should take a supplement all year round.
A new study shows that vitamin B3 has the potential to prevent skin cancer and melanoma, which is the most dangerous type of skin cancer. Apparently, vitamin B3 can boost the body’s repair of DNA damage caused by UV radiation from the sun or sunbeds.
Around 25 percent of adults have had canker sores, also referred to as recurrent aphthous stomatitis (RAS). The condition is characterized by painful, superficial sores, and we don’t know all that much about what causes it or how to treat it. However, according to a meta-analysis that is published in Frontiers in Nutrition, a possible cause may be low blood levels of vitamin D, a nutrient with a key role in oral health and immune defense.
According to a new study, hormone-disrupting substances like bisphenol-A and phthalates can lower levels of vitamin D in the bloodstream. During the winter period, it is a problem to get enough vitamin D to begin with, as the sun sits low in the sky and we only get a limited amount of the nutrient from our diet. The combination of too little vitamin D and hormone-disrupting substances is rather unfortunate because lack of vitamin D increases the risk of infections, winter depression, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis, and cancer.
Omega-3and omega-6 fatty acids are vital for our brain function, nervous system, and immune defense but small children get too little of these two essential fatty acids. According to a Canadian study, this increases their risk of chronic inflammation and chronic diseases. The intake of omega-3 from oily fish and shellfish is particularly limited. For children who dislike seafood, a fish oil supplement is worth considering for the sake of their health and development.
According to a new study based on a number of systematic reviews and meta-analyses, the widespread lack of vitamin D increases the risk of being infected with COVID-19. It also increases the risk of complications and death as the result of a derailed immune defense. At the same time, supplementation with vitamin D appears to reduce both disease severity and death among COVID-19 patients, provided blood levels of the nutrient are optimal.
The coronavirus has spread from Wuhan in China to a number of continents, where it has caused massive fear and affected daily life and the global economy. Although most people that get the infection experience a mild course of events, the greatest fear is the potentially life-threatening complications in the respiratory system caused by oxidative stress, which have already taken thousands of human lives. Chinese scientists now call for early intravenous therapy with large doses of vitamin C to prevent oxidative stress and the life-threatening complications that follow in the wake of a derailed immune system. Many researchers also claim that higher intake of vitamin C from dietary sources or supplements help prevent by boosting and regulating the immune system in the upper respiratory tract. The same goes for vitamin D and selenium.
- 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?
- so make sure to get enough of the nutrient during the winter period
COVID-19 is highly unpredictable and be either totally harmless or life-threatening. Scientists from Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee recently made a comprehensive genetic analysis that reveals a new hypothesis – the bradykinin hypothesis – which shows why COVID-19 attacks the way it does, why symptoms vary, and why some groups of people are more vulnerable than others. The hypothesis also underpins the importance of getting enough vitamin D to prevent or possibly treat the disease. Vitamin D deficiency in the winter period is quite common and that may pave the road for new rounds of COVID-19 and an increased risk of complications.
It has already been documented that the widespread problems with vitamin D deficiency increase the risk of being infected with COVID-19 and developing life-threatening complications. In a new study, a team of Turkish scientists has demonstrated that swift treatment with vitamin D can shorten the length of hospital stays plus reduce mortality risk by 50 percent. What’s more, it even has a positive effect on comorbidity. Vitamin D deficiencies are especially common during the winter period and among seniors, people of color, overweight individuals, diabetics, and other vulnerable groups. This makes the study results very relevant, especially when you consider the fact that vaccines only have a limited effect.
Magnesium is involved in hundreds of chemical reactions in the body, including the activation of vitamin D that we synthesize from sun exposure or take in supplement form. For that reason, magnesium is essential for the immune defense and its ability to fight COVID-19. Moreover, low magnesium levels in the body can foreshadow complications in connection with a COVID-19 infection, according to a study that is published in Nutrients. The scientists therefore say that it is relevant to measure hospitalized patients’ magnesium levels and correct any deficiencies. Many people, especially older individuals, get too little magnesium from their diets, and several types of medicine can impair the uptake and utilization of the nutrient.
Vitamin Dis important for a swift and effective immune response. Once COVID-19 infections become complicated and life-threatening, it is not the virus that is the threat but the fact that the immune defense reacts too slowly and then causes hyperinflammation that damages healthy tissues in the respiratory system and circulatory system.
French scientists have made a meta-analysis where they looked at the relation between vitamin D levels in the elderly and COVID-19. Their review revealed that lack of vitamin D increases the infection risk and makes it more likely that the infections become complicated and life-threatening. Vitamin D deficiency is common among older people and for that reason, the researchers recommend vitamin D supplements as an inexpensive strategy for prevention and as a supplementary source of treatment.
The summer sun is our most important source of vitamin D but people dark-skinned people living at northern latitudes have difficulty when it comes to producing enough of the nutrient. This makes them much more likely to become vitamin D-deficient and that can have serious health consequences, which may be life-threatening in worst case according to several studies.
Vitamin D is of vital importance to a well-functioning immune defense and it protects against virus infections. This has been confirmed by Denmark’s infection control agency, Statens Serum Institut, and researchers from Harvard University in Boston, USA. In a study, the Danish and American scientists found that having low levels of vitamin D in the blood is associated with a greater risk of severe disease outcome in patients with COVID-19.
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.
Because COVID-19 mutates from time to time, a vaccine can only provide temporary protection. Also, studies suggest that what makes COVID-19 dangerous is when the immune defense overreacts by launching so-called hyperinflammation that can damage the circulatory system and healthy tissues. The omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil turn out to have the potential to prevent COVID-19 infections from becoming life-threatening due to hyperinflammation. That way, fish oil can also help improve survival, according to a review article that is published in International Journal of General Medicine.
Asthma is the leading disease among children and adolescents in the Western world, and the rate has been going up for the past 20 years. A new Danish study that is published in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that pregnant women who take supplements of fish oil are much less likely to give birth to children that develop asthma later on. The question is how much fish oil it takes to obtain the positive effect.
- 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.
Zinc supplements help your immune defense fight colds faster. This was seen in a Finnish meta-analysis where the majority of cold-ridden subjects who took supplements had recovered from their colds after five days, as opposed to those who did not take extra zinc. It is important to choose high-quality zinc supplements, which the body is able to absorb. Moreover, it is vital that the dose is sufficiently high during those days where the immune system actively fights the cold. High-dosed zinc supplementation is not encouraged for therapeutic use in other cases.
HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is potentially life-threatening because it attacks central cells in the immune defense. It has also been documented that HIV patients have an increased risk of lacking vitamin D. This can be because of the disease itself, the combination therapy, lack of sun exposure, or other factors. Vitamin D is important for the immune defense, the bones, our mood, and numerous other functions. According to a new article published in MedicalNews Today, it is important to measure HIV patients’ blood levels of vitamin D and possibly give them high-dosed supplements to optimize levels of the nutrient. Earlier studies point to a link between the course of an HIV infections and the body’s selenium status.
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.
Chronic fatigue commonly follows in the wake of influenza, herpes, COVID-19, and other infections. The immune system does not function optimally, and the tiredness is caused by oxidative stress and inflammation. The condition is often accompanied by poor concentration, depression, and sleep disturbances. Oxidative stress is an imbalance between pro-inflammatory free radicals and protective antioxidants. Vitamin Chappens to be one of the most potent antioxidants, and intravenous vitamin C therapy has been shown to reduce tiredness that follows after different types of virus infections, according to a review article in the scientific journal Nutrients. Here, the scientists also write about intravenous vitamin C therapy in connection with chronic fatigue syndrome following COVID-19 infections.
Minerals are involved in countless functions of vital importance to the immune defense. That is why lack of one or several minerals can increase your risk of infections or perhaps trigger unwanted inflammation that can damage healthy tissue. In a new review article that is published in Nutrients, a group of scientists look at magnesium, selenium, zinc, iron, and copper and their role in the immune system. They also look at the fact that vegans, older people, chronically ill, pregnant women, and elite athletes often have nutrient deficiencies that call for supplementation. The agricultural soil in Europe and many other parts of the world is selenium-depleted, which makes it challenging to get enough selenium from our diets. But it is also important not to overdose on minerals. In this article, you can read more about how to optimize your nutrient intake for your immune health.
Many people take a multivitamin this time of year. However, even if the manufacturers really squeeze together the ingredients it is impossible to put enough vitamins and minerals in one pill to cover our actual needs. In fact, the manufacturing process determines if we are able to absorb the different nutrients in the first place, and that is important for them to work properly in the body. Therefore, it is vital that you choose a supplement that has good quality, and you must make sure to focus on the vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids that we humans typically tend to lack.
- 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.
– 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.
Vitamin C has a vital role in our immune defense, and having low blood levels of the nutrient can affect the severity of infections such as COVID-19 and influenza, according to a review article published in Aging and Disease. The scientists behind the study also refer to other studies that have looked at large doses of intravenous vitamin C given to patients with sepsis and life-threatening COVID-19 infections. Vitamin C deficiency is a widespread problem for various reasons and that only adds to the problem.
- and other inflammatory conditions
It is hardly a coincidence that many patients with arthritis feel worse during the winter period where the sun sits too low in the sky for us humans to be able to synthesize vitamin D. In patients with rheumatoid arthritis, there is a direct link between vitamin D levels and neuropathic pain caused by irritated nerves. This was shown in a study that is published in International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases.
Vitamin D plays an overlooked role in the immune defense. Being deficient of the nutrient increases your risk of bacterial pneumonia by up to 60 percent, according to a large Danish study of 116,000 participants that was carried out by scientists from Herlev Hospital, Gentofte Hospital, and the University of Copenhagen.
Because many older people, cancer patients, and other chronically ill individuals are at increased risk of respiratory infections and because bacterial pneumonia can be potentially lethal, the scientists see a huge potential in using vitamin D supplements to prevent the disease.
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.
It is hardly a coincidence that sore throats, colds, flus, and related complications such as sinus infections and pneumonia typically circulate during the winter period. They are primarily a result of having low vitamin Dlevels. During the winter, the sun sits too low in the sky to enable vitamin D synthesis in our skin, and we only have a limited amount of the nutrient stored in the liver. Good hand hygiene, warm soup, garlic, echinacea and other immune-boosting herbs alone will not deal with the problem, as they can never compensate for our lack of essential vitamin D, which the white blood cells of our immune system need in order to silently kill of virus. But how much vitamin D do we need, is it possible to get too much, and which mineral is necessary for activating the vitamin?
The most common inflammatory bowel diseases are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Lack of certain nutrients can contribute to the development of these conditions. On the other hand, the diseases and the therapies used to treat them may also impair the body’s ability to absorb or utilize certain nutrients, thereby starting a vicious cycle that can make the disease worse. This was demonstrated in a new Greek study that is published in Nutrients. Chronic inflammatory bowel diseases primarily occur in the Western countries and especially at northern latitudes, which suggests that sun exposure and typically Western diets pay a major role in the development of these diseases.
Lactic acid bacteria are many different types of bacteria that produce lactic acid by fermenting carbohydrate. They are widespread in the kingdom of plants and animals. Lactic acid bacteria are also called probiotics which means "pro life" and constitute a vital part of our enormous intestinal microflora that contains more bacteria than body cells and weighs around two kilos.
Vitamin C is of vital importance to our immune defense, and it serves as a powerful antioxidant to protect cells and tissues. Large quantities of vitamin C are able to improve lung function in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other chronic lung disorders. This was demonstrated in a large meta-analysis published in International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.
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.
Magnesium plays a vital role in the immune defense by regulating inflammation, which is a property that determines the body’s ability to tackle COVID-19 and other infections. People who lack magnesium have an increased risk of being infected with COVID-19 and also that the infection becomes life-threatening. This was shown in a large American population study that also revealed how widespread a problem magnesium deficiency is. The scientists therefore assume that an optimization of people’s magnesium status in the future can contribute to the protection against COVID-19 and similar respiratory infections. It is also important to get enough vitamin D because the two nutrients interact with each other.
Levels of magnesium in the blood are determining for the immune system’s ability to attack pathogens and cancer cells, according to a new study from the University of Basel and the University Hospital Basel. The scientists have discovered that the T cells of the immune system need magnesium in order to carry out proper attacks. According to the scientists, these results are extremely important because magnesium has a potential role in new immunotherapies targeted at cancer patients. It is generally important to get plenty of magnesium because this nutrient is vital for the body’s calcium distribution and for supporting hundreds of enzyme processes.
We need plenty of vitamin D for our bones and immune defense, for preventing cancer and so on, but if we lack magnesium, vitamin D does not work as expected. This is because magnesium is needed for activating vitamin D and enabling it to benefit the body’s cells and tissues. Magnesium also regulates blood levels of vitamin D, more specifically by increasing them if they are too low and lowering them if they are too high. This was demonstrated in a recent study from Vanderbilt University, the United States. The scientists call this highly important information, as there has been conflicting results from studies that compared blood levels of vitamin D in relation to colon cancer and various other diseases. Because magnesium deficiency is a widespread and overlooked problem, there is reason to believe that many people have difficulty with regulating levels of vitamin D in their blood. Also, they risk that their vitamin D does not have the desired effect in terms of preventing a host of different diseases.
The ageing process and most chronic diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer involve chronic inflammation that has the potential to damage healthy tissue. If acute hyperinflammation occurs, for example in connection with virus infections like influenza and COVID-19, the condition may become potentially life-threatening. It is therefore vital that the body can control the different inflammatory processes. One of the things that is needed for this is magnesium, according to a meta-analysis that is published in Nutrients. Here, the researchers look closer at how magnesium supplementation is able to reduce different pro-inflammatory markers. Magnesium also helps activate vitamin D, which is also necessary for controlling inflammation.
Magnesium is required for a well-functioning immune defense and for controlling inflammatory processes that are vital to our health. Magnesium also appears to protect against COVID-19 and other infections and the development of cancer, according to a review article published in Journal of Health, Population, and Nutrition. Our modern, refined diet, stress, ageing, stimulant abuse, and different types of medicine also contribute to the widespread problems with magnesium deficiency.
it’s the ultimate and essential “brainwash”
Groundbreaking research reveals that the human brain is detoxified during our sleep. On the other hand, toxins accumulate in the brain if we suffer from sleep disturbances, increasing our risk of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, and numerous other conditions. If you are not helped by the most common guidelines for better sleep, supplementing with the “sleep hormone” melatonin may be an obvious solution that even offers plenty of positive “side effects.”
Nowadays, fruit, potatoes, and vegetables in general contain very little vitamin C, and the majority of people fail to eat the recommended amount of these foods, in the first place. Unhealthy diets and lack of vitamin C increase the risk of colds, influenza, and other infections, simply because the immune system consumes large amounts of vitamin C in connection with the first explosive attacks that prevent virus from causing an infection. Vitamin C also has an important role in battling infections and preventing them from dragging on and leading to complications such as bronchitis or pneumonia.
More than 25 percent of people older than 65 years have low levels of vitamin D in their blood. Deficiencies in vitamin B12, folic acid, and iron are also common. This is the conclusion of a large study that was conducted by scientists from Helmholtz Zentrum in Munich, Germany. The widespread lack of vitamins and minerals among older people is critical, especially because this population group is increasing. The lack of essential nutrients affects the calcium uptake, immune defense, and nervous system among other things, leaving older people increasingly vulnerable to osteoporosis, influenza, dementia, and a host of other diseases that impair quality of life and burden the entire public health sector.
Cancer researchers from the University of Iowa in the United States have finally clarified how extremely high doses of vitamin C given as infusions are able to kill cancer cells. It turns out that the low levels of the enzyme, catalase, in cancer cells make them vulnerable to vitamin C’s ability to generate free radicals. That way, vitamin C works like a type of chemotherapy, while, at the same time, stimulating normal activity in healthy cells. We are dealing with a treatment that is virtually devoid of side effects.
- and that increases the need for selenium
Selenium is necessary for ensuring proper functioning of around 25 different enzymes – also known as selenoproteins – that are essential for energy turnover, metabolism, immune defense, fertility, and for antioxidant protection to help prevent cells and DNA from being damaged by oxidative stress. Selenium is also a so-called mercury antagonist that works by attaching itself to mercury, thereby preventing mercury’s harmful impact on the brain and nervous system. Once selenium has attached to mercury, however, it is no longer available to carry out all of its essential functions in the body. Because we are all exposed to mercury in some degree, this may cause a relative selenium deficiency that leaves our brain and nervous system particularly vulnerable to oxidative damage. In a new review article based on published research, Professor Nicholas V.C. Ralston and Dr. Laura J. Raymond explain why the toxic damage to the brain and nervous system is primarily a result of mercury’s inhibiting impact on the selenium metabolism. Selenium deficiencies are rather common, and mercury poisoning is an insidious problem, so the combination of these two problems deserves a lot more attention.
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?
During World War II, food supplies were scarce. At one point, English researchers wanted to find out how little vitamin C it would take to prevent the potentially lethal disease, scurvy. In order to do that, they carried out a drastic experiment that later served as basis for our current vitamin C recommendations. However, a recent analysis of this old study has revealed that the actual need for vitamin C is a lot greater than previously thought, suggesting that WHO raise the recommended daily intake level. The question is how much vitamin C do we really need and what good does the vitamin do?
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.
Vitamin D is vital for a well-functioning immune defense, yet a stunning 80 percent of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 lack the nutrient, according to a study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. Earlier research has shown that having too little vitamin D in your system increases the risk of life-threatening complications. It is also a well-known fact that vitamin D deficiency is a problem that is more widespread during the winter period, especially among exposed groups like seniors, nursing home residents, chronically ill, and dark-skinned people.
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.
Older people can easily become deficient of vitamins and minerals, which can weaken their immune system and make them more prone to infections and prolonged periods with disease. On the other hand, older people who take a multivitamin and mineral supplement with zinc and large quantities of vitamin C experience fewer days with disease and have less severe symptoms, according to a placebo-controlled study from Oregon State University. But many multivitamin supplements do not contain enough vitamin D and it is very important for older people to get enough of this nutrient.
Omega-3 fatty acids belong to a group of polyunsaturated fatty acids. Their "omega-3" name indicates that they have a double bond at the third carbon atom in the middle carbon chain. Omega-3 fatty acids provide energy and constitute an important element in all cell membranes and various biochemical processes. The type known as ALA (alpha-linoleic acid) is essential, as the human body is unable to produce it. We depend on a dietary supply of this fatty acid. By means of enzymes, ALA is converted to EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and finally into some hormone-like substances named prostaglandins (E3).
Omega-3 fatty acids are known to positively support chemotherapy by maintaining body weight and muscle mass. According to a new study that is published in the esteemed science journal, Nutrition, omega-3 supplements can even reduce different side effects of chemotherapy.
- 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.
During spring and summer, many people suffer from allergy symptoms and hay fever because their immune system overreacts to airborne pollen. However, according to a new American study, it is possible that different lactic acid bacteria and bifidobacteria can help alleviate the symptoms. The explanation lies in our intestinal microflora and its importance for a properly functioning immune system.
Psoriasis patients are generally interested in their diet and how it affects their disease. So far, there has not been much data so far to support a connection, but a new American study has mapped out the exact effects of regular diet habits and various supplements.
Q10 is a lipid-soluble coenzyme that is found in all the body's cells, except for the red blood cells. Carbohydrate, fat, and protein get converted into energy by means of Q10 and the oxygen we breathe. This process takes place inside the small, cellular power stations called mitochondria. To begin with, Q10 contributes to storing the energy in a chemical form called ATP (adenosine triphosphate). After that, Q10 makes sure that the energy is released in step with the shifting energy requirement of the cells.
According to WHO, sepsis is the third-most common cause of death, following cardiovascular disease and death. Sepsis is a result of the immune defense overreacting to an infection in the bloodstream. According to a new Slovakian study published in Bratislava Medical Journal, if you start supplementing with Q10 early in the treatment phase, it may reduce the symptoms and improve the chances of survival. Read more about another nutrient that contributes to the prevention of sepsis.
Q10 has a key role in the cellular energy turnover and also serves as an antioxidant that protects the body against oxidative stress. Disruptions in the energy-producing mitochondria in cells and oxidative stress may also be involved in different types of hormone disturbances that affect the thyroid gland, pancreas, sex glands, pituitary gland, and the adrenal glands. In a new review article that is published in Antioxidants, scientists look closer at Q10’s role with particular focus on hyperthyroidism, type 2 diabetes, and poor sperm quality, all of which can be corrected through supplementation.
The immune system needs selenium every single day. Lack of this nutrient increases your risk of virus infections, inflammation, and cancer. It is a huge problem that many of us get too little selenium because of factors such as nutrient-depleted soil and unhealthy eating habits.
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
Selenium is a trace element that is found in all the cells of the body. An adult contains around 10-15 mg of selenium with the largest concentrations being found in the liver, kidneys, thyroid gland, sexual gland (gonads), and semen. Selenium supports over 30 different selenoproteins that have a number of different functions. Among these are five glutathione peroxidases (GSH-Px) that function as antioxidants, and three deiodinases that regulate the metabolism. Of all minerals, selenium is the one that holds the greatest antioxidant potential. It works in close collaboration with vitamin E to prevent oxidative damage to cell membranes, lipids, and DNA. Selenium and sulfur bear great chemical resemblances, but sulfur is not an antioxidant and has other functions in the body.
Lack of selenium, an essential trace element, may cause thyroid disorders, cardiovascular disease, virus infections, AIDS, infertility, neurological disturbances, and cancer. An estimated one billion people worldwide are selenium-deficient. This is mainly a result of nutrient-depleted soil, which is a real problem in places like Europe. For decades, scientists have been warning about this problem, and a lot suggests that we need more than the officially recommended intake to protect ourselves effectively against disease, according to a review article published in StatPearls.
Selenium is crucial for your thyroid function, immune system, cardiovascular system, and even for preventing cancer. Fish and shellfish are among the best selenium sources, but even 200 grams of fish and shellfish five days a week won’t do the trick, according to a Danish selenium study. What makes it even more difficult to obtain optimal amounts of this nutrient is that the agricultural soil in large parts of Europe is stripped of vital nutrients like selenium. Margaret P. Rayman, one of Europe’s leading experts on selenium, says that there is a direct link between the decreasing selenium intake and the increasing rate of cancers, rheumatism, infertility, and numerous other health problems. The question is, how do we humans get enough selenium?
Low selenium status increases a man's risk of prostate cancer and Danish men are particularly susceptible, according to a study published in British Journal of Nutrition. Earlier studies have shown that supplementation with selenium prevents prostate cancer, and selenium yeast has been shown to have the best effect.
- and routine screening is not enough
Cancer in the colon and rectum is rather common. One in 20 Danes gets colon cancer at some point in life. Since 2014, the Danish Health Authority has recommended a screening program, offering middle-aged and older people a screening for colon cancer every other year. If the disease is discovered in its early stage, the chances of successful treatment increase. Supplementation with organic selenium yeast has been shown to lower the risk of colorectal cancer in the first place, and selenium even has a protective effect against other cancer forms, so the nutrient is an essential part of the prevention. The problem is that selenium deficiencies are so common as a result of our nutrient-depleted soil.
– and why it is vital to get the exact right amount!
All our cells contain different selenium compounds that support a number of vital functions, and which have several cancer-fighting mechanisms. As an antioxidant, selenium prevents iron from developing some of the most harmful free radicals that can damage cellular DNA and lead to uncontrolled cell division. This is why a selenium deficiency combined with excess iron is a lethal cocktail. Although iron is essential, it is vital that we do not get too much. It is also important to get plenty of selenium from food and/or supplements and in a form that the body can absorb and utilize in each and every cell in order to be properly protected against cancerous substances.
The corona crisis has shed new light on the importance of having a strong immune defense, one that protects us against virus infections in the long run. Selenium plays a vital role for a number of different reasons but, unfortunately, there is widespread deficiency which increases the risk of infections and related complications. In a new review article that is published in International Journal of Molecular Sciences, the authors look closer at selenium’s role in connection with different types of virus infections such as influenza, HIV, and hepatitis with particular focus on COVID-19. The purpose of their article is to inform about new nutritional strategies that may contribute to a strong and well-functioning immune defense – mainly when it comes to COVID-19 and virus types that tend to mutate all the time.
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.
Many women experience sleep deprivation as one of the biggest problems of menopause. Not only does this condition cause fatigue, it also increases the risk of overweight, depression, impaired immune resistance, weak bones, atherosclerosis, and dementia. It is therefore a very good idea to solve any sleeping problem with the natural substance melatonin and a few other simple adjustments.
Melatonin is primarily for its role as a sleep hormone. However, it also increases the effect of tamoxifen and reduces side effects in the aftercare of breast cancer. Science has known about melatonin's cancer preventative properties for quite some time, and by embedding the hormone in small "lipid bubbles", tamoxifen is able to destroy even more breast cancer cells, according to Iranian research.
During the winter period, many of us have runny noses and some may end up in bed with a bout of flu. Now is the time to prime your immune system by getting all those vitamins and minerals that your diet is not always able to provide you. That way you can ward off germs and avoid unnecessary sick days. But what effect does vitamin C, vitamin D, selenium, and zinc have on the immune system’s different “troops”, and how much do we need?
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.
There is worldwide focus on finding better ways to prevent and treat COVID-19 because of the limited effect of vaccines. It is important to understand why the infections are harmless in most cases and why only a small number of people are affected by ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome), which is complicated and involves hyperinflammation. What represents the real problem here and what makes these infections life-threatening is a derailed and overactive immune defense. Multiple studies have already demonstrated that lack of vitamin D increases the risk of being infected with COVID-19 ending up in intensive care, and the studies also show that vitamin D supplements have a therapeutic potential. In a new review article that is published in Clinical and Molecular Allergy, researchers look closer at the synergy between vitamin D, magnesium, and zinc in relation to their ability to regulate the immune system and as potential therapeutic agents. It is also vital to have enough selenium, a nutrient that many people lack.
An abundance of international science links widespread vitamin D deficiency to impaired immune defense, a problem that has contributed to new COVID-19 waves and tends to make the infections life-threatening. The British government has therefore decided to give free vitamin D supplements to 2.2 million seniors, nursing home residents, chronically ill, and other vulnerable people to help combat COVID-19. The whole purpose of this is to slow down the epidemic and put an end to the numerous shutdowns of society, according to an article in the Daily Mail.
During the winter period, many people catch a cold or are bed-ridden with a bout of the flu. They may consider this to be perfectly natural, but it is actually a sign of a weakened immune defense, and that makes them susceptible to contamination. What matters is to make sure to get plenty of vitamin D, vitamin C, selenium, and zinc, all of which are nutrients that have different functions in the immune system. Some nutrients are also needed in larger quantities to tackle a beginning infection, and it is important to act quickly in order to nip the infection in the bud.
In fact, it is vital for us to be nutritionally bolstered during the winter period, where otherwise harmless virus infections can lead to complications such as herpes, bronchitis, and pneumonia, if the immune system is unable to work full throttle.
Clostridium difficile is a bacterium that causes diarrhea and intestinal infection. The infection may even be life-threatening. A new American study that is published in PLoS Pathogens shows that this bacterium can only thrive with an overload of calcium in the intestinal system. Such a calcium excess can be caused by overconsumption of calcium, lack of vitamin D, and regular use of antacids.
It came as good news for vegetarians, vegans and sclerosis sufferers when Danish health authorities allowed strong vitamin B12 preparations on the market some years ago. It was also positive that the active methylated form of vitamin B12 was added to the list of approved ingredients.
Pure vitamin A (retinol) is a lipid-soluble vitamin. It is primarily found in animal sources that contain fat. Vegetable sources contain a lipid-soluble precursor of vitamin A called beta-carotene. Pure vitamin A is primarily stored in the liver and in fatty tissue, for which reason we do not need a daily supply of the nutrient. Vitamin A and zinc work together. A deficiency in one nutrient will therefore affect the other. On a global scale, vitamin A deficiencies are widespread. In Western countries vitamin A deficiency is normally seen in connection with chronic disease. Vitamin A is destroyed when exposed to oxygen or heat, for instance during cooking.
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.
Intensive care units in hospitals offer treatment for critically ill patients, who are monitored and receive specialist care around the clock. It goes without saying that this type of medical attention is associated with both suffering and comes with a huge price tag. A whole new meta-analysis has shown that vitamin C supplementation is an inexpensive way to shorten the duration of intensive care hospitalization by eight percent. The reason is that vitamin C has a host of important functions in the body, including an ability to speed up the healing process.
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.
- and why are certain exposed groups at risk of deficiency: new report
Vitamin C plays a key role in our energy turnover, immune defense, connective tissue, wound healing, antioxidant protection, cardiovascular health, brain, and a host of different enzyme processes. An English population study has shown that having low blood levels of vitamin C is associated with poor physical condition and that may spawn a number of different symptoms. The researchers behind the study also found that people from lower social classes, smokers, men, and older people in general are more likely to be deficient. Alcohol abuse, sugar abuse, stress, and poisoning may also increase the need for the nutrient, which means that many people may benefit from taking a supplement or improving their diet. The big question is how much vitamin C do we actually need for optimal health?
Babies and small children are less likely to develop croup if their mothers have taken high-dosed vitamin D and fish oil during their pregnancy, according to a Danish study, where scientists have studied this relation for the very first time. Vitamin D and fish oil also benefit the child’s immune defense and counteract the inflammation in the respiratory system that triggers croup. The two supplements even have a positive impact on the child’s bone health and nervous system, and they also help prevent asthma.
Vitamin D is essential for the immune defense but many of us are deficient of the nutrient during the dark winter period. The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration therefore recommends for everyone to take a vitamin D supplement in the winter months and that vulnerable population groups supplement all year round. Many people are unaware that being vitamin D-deficient contributes to new waves of COVID-19 and other types of viruses while increasing the risk of infections becoming complicated and life-threatening. This was demonstrated in multiple studies that have been published over the past 18 months. Leading scientists call for immediate action in terms of optimizing vitamin D levels in the population to help fight COVID-19 and other virus infections, simply because vaccines only have limited effect.