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.
During pregnancy, the unborn child is totally dependent on the mother’s vitamin D status. Vitamin D is primarily known for its role in supporting bone development. However, the vitamin is also of vital importance to the child’s brain, cognitive skills, and intelligence. According to a new, American study that is published in The Journal of Nutrition, this is why it is so important for pregnant women to have optimal vitamin D levels in their blood. The researchers point to the fact that vitamin D deficiencies are rather common and mention that they observed significantly lower blood levels of the nutrient in pregnant women of color. They hope their study can contribute to increased focus on the benefits of vitamin D supplementation in pregnancy.
Selenium is an essential trace element that supports a host of different proteins and antioxidants that are important for pregnancy. According to a new Norwegian population study that is published in the science journal Nutrients, lack of selenium during pregnancy may stunt the growth of the fetus and result in low birth weight. This may have consequences for the child’s growth, cognitive skills, and health. Selenium deficiencies are rather common in Norway and the rest of Europe and that is a problem.
- and an alarming need to establish responsibility
Vitamin D deficiency is a widespread problem, which increases the risk of complicated COVID-19 infections, muscle weakness, cancer, and a lot of other problems. The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration now recommends that both children and adults take vitamin D supplements throughout the entire winter period and that particularly vulnerable groups take high-dosed vitamin D supplements all year round. However, the new recommendations have not yet been included in the Danish Health Authority’s awareness campaigns for fighting COVID-19 because vitamin D appears to have ended up in a legal gap between being a foodstuff on one side and medicine on the other. According to a British study that was published earlier, there is currently an alarming need to establish responsibility in order to make sure that nursing home residents and other exposed groups get their vitamin D supplements, just like they receive their prescription medicine.
If you lose your sense of smell all of a sudden, it is most likely a sign that you have been infected with the coronavirus, according two large, international studies published in the science journal Chemical Senses. Many COVID-19 patients also lose their sense of taste and even if there are no other complications, it can affect their quality of life. The big question is if there is a link between zinc deficiency, corona infection, and these symptoms. It is already an established fact that zinc is important for our immune defense, for our sense of taste and smell, and as an antioxidant that protects our cells. Also, it is known that zinc deficiencies are rather common and people with unhealthy eating habits, vegetarians, vegans, older people, and diabetics are at increased risk. Birth control pills and certain types of medicine also increase the risk of lacking zinc.
More and more people in the Western world shift to a plant-based diet but may find themselves challenged when it comes to getting enough of certain essential nutrients. A new German study shows that most vegetarians and vegans get enough vitamin B12, provided they take supplements. However, many lack iodine and iron. Also, plant-based diet fails to deliver enough vitamin D, and many lack selenium due to the nutrient-depleted farmland. A lot of deficiency diseases are insidious, which makes it difficult to link them to the diet. It is therefore a good idea for children and adults who are vegetarians or vegans to take relevant supplements.