Blog, Dietary Info

Why the Vitamin D advice for COVID needs to include gut health

Let’s get some vitamin D perspective

I believe that vitamin D advice for COVID-19 needs to include gut health. Over the past few months, we have been hearing a lot about vitamin D, and recent studies have shown that patients with COVID-19 recover better from the virus if they supplement with vitamin D. Whilst vitamin D is an important part of maintaining good health, we need to get perspective here.

Studies around vitamin D and its relationship with the common cold and flu have been going on for a very long time. A study back in 2018, confirmed: “Vitamin D supplementation decreases the events related to respiratory tract infections.” In the UK, it is believed that 27% of the UK population have a severe vitamin D deficiency and as many as 74% of the UK population have below the optimum level for healthy wellbeing. Being deficient in vitamin D means you are at higher risk of developing any virus or bacterial infection, and this is because of vitamin D’s direct relationship with the immune system.

Take vitamin D during the winter months

It is right to encourage people to take vitamin D, but it’s not just as simple as that. Prevention is always better than cure, so to encourage optimum health we need to take a long-term approach to wellness, and not simply try to fix it with a plaster hoping that you’ll get better soon. Many viruses can also hang around in the human body causing ongoing symptoms and making you feel unwell. However, if your immune system is strong, then you have a much better chance of fighting off the early stages of infection.

Your nutrition is important

Nutrition is paramount for long-term health and wellness, but so many of the guidelines around nutrition are confusing with new science often ignored and the integration of holistic medicine never taken into consideration. This is because of the heavy influence of big pharmaceutical companies that believe in treating symptoms rather than addressing the cause.

For optimum health, everybody should be considering the health of their gut. The gut could be the underlying secret to all long-term wellness because when the gut doesn’t function properly important nutrients, minerals and vitamins are not absorbed into the body effectively therefore causing malnutrition. Obesity is a classic condition of malnutrition, yet when malnutrition is thought about, the mind sees underweight bodies, so malnutrition is never discussed when treating these people.

Gut health is one of the biggest revolutions in medicine today. Having a great diet and taking an approach to good gut health starts by choosing natural local foods over heavily processed manufactured foods that might be calorific-dense, but nutrient-poor. Including a broad range of natural local foods, with a particular focus on vegetables, grains and high-quality meat products can be the difference between needing to take a vitamin D supplement, or being able to obtain additional vitamin D from foods.

Cholesterol is important when it comes to Vitamin D

It’s important to also remember that it’s not just as simple as taking a vitamin D supplement and that’s the end of it, there is a whole process for vitamin D absorption, and it involves cholesterol. Cholesterol is made by the liver, but the body requires cholesterol from food to complete the synthesis of vitamin D. Therefore, having a diet that includes some cholesterol is important. Cholesterol comes from meat and meat-based products, so it’s best to source quality meat from local farmers and butchers, rather than from supermarket meat. This is because supermarket meat is higher in saturated fats, and too much saturated fats can cause heart problems later in life.

Have a balance of good diet and natural Vitamin D

Balance is the key. According to recommendations, the daily amount of cholesterol from food is approx. 300mg. (88mg in 100g chicken, 169mg 1 large egg, tbsp of butter 30.5mg). However, these are guidelines and it depends on the amount of exercise you are doing, the level of activity at work/home, as well as what other foods you are eating in your diet.

Getting plenty of sunshine and time outdoors is also important, but challenging during the winter months, which is why a high-strength vitamin D supplement can help, especially for people who are likely to spend too much time indoors such as the elderly. However, there is no excuse for anyone else not to get outside and walk at least for 30-60 minutes per day as well as taking a better approach to diet. This is your health, and you have a choice about how you want your health to play out. Making better health decisions for you and your family will mean fewer infections, less time at the doctor and less medication.

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