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.
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.
Magnesium deficiencies are rather common and can easily occur if you get too little magnesium from your daily diet. It has been known for a long time that lack of magnesium can cause tension headache and migraine. In fact, many randomized, double-blind studies show that high-dose magnesium supplements can relieve both migraine and headaches, provided the supplements have good bioavailability so the magnesium can enter the cells, where it controls a dozen of enzyme processes. A review article written by Italian scientists from Milan and published in the journal Nutrients takes a closer look at this.
- 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.
- and throughout life
Vitamin D is important for a strong immune defense, healthy bones and cardiovascular system, cancer prevention, and for the support of many other essential body functions. However, it is not enough to follow the official guidelines for intake levels or to rely on blood tests. According to Carsten Carlberg, a professor at the University of Eastern Finland (UEF), the explanation lies in the fact that we humans respond widely different to vitamin D, so the optimal vitamin D dose varies from one individual to another. Based on years of research, Carsten Carlberg therefore advises all adults living at northern latitudes to take 100 micrograms of vitamin D daily throughout the winter period, just to be safe. Earlier studies indicate that the official recommendations for vitamin D are based on a miscalculation that has had fatal consequences for public health.
– including diabetic neuropathy
Neuropathic pain is caused by disease or damage in the somatosensory nervous system. According to a new review article that is published in the scientific journal Nutrients, it seems that therapy with vitamin B12 may have a positive effect on this type of pain. It also appears that vitamin B12 deficiency is rather common in people with diabetic neuropathy, which is a serious complication that may result in amputation in worst case. Therefore, it is vital that diabetics make sure to get enough vitamin B12. Patients with pain caused by peripheral neuropathy may also consider taking the other B vitamins and vitamin D.