Vitamin D levels too low in many Covid-19 patients

Sun skySadly the number of black men who have died in the UK from Covid-19 is the highest of all.  The link between Vitamin D and BAME people has been made, as darker skins absorb less Vitamin D than whiter skin. This is well suited to hot countries, but not for the British climate where it is possible not to spend time in the sun for six months a year. Vitamin D is made in the body when bare skin is exposed to sunlight.

Research into the link between Vitamin D levels and death from Covid-19 has been carried out by Indonesian scientists, and also jointly by researchers at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, and the University of Liverpool, UK,  but  findings have not yet been finalised or verified.  The  Indonesian research studies suggest that almost all (98.9 per cent) of the Covid-19 patients  who were deficient in Vitamin D died of the disease. The  Indonesian scientists analysed the hospital records of 780 people who tested positive for Covid-19.  Of those people who had enough Vitamin D in their systems only 4.1 per cent of cases led to death.

In climates like that of the UK, it has been shown that many of us are deficient in Vitamin D by the end of the winter. Vitamin D is produced in the body when it is exposed to sunlight. To get enough sun you need to have your skin exposed and be in it frequently. Therefore, it’s not a question of how sunny it is, but whether you are exposed to it.  If you spend your days inside or if your skin is usually covered up when you are outside you won’t benefit.

In theory, you can ask your doctor about having a Vitamin D test. This vital vitamin is responsible for maintaining healthy bones and teeth, effective muscle function, and keeping the heart and nervous system healthy, and enabling the blood to clot properly.  Vitamin D has also been linked to preventing colds and maintaining a healthy digestive system.  If you cannot get a Vitamin D test from the doctor you could pay for one.  Yorktest do an Essential Health Test which includes Vitamin D levels.

Our Vitamin D levels are very low at the end of winter but they are particularly low among Asians living in Britain all the time. In fact there is talk that rickets has returned among some Asian children.

Of course this takes common sense – being out in the sun for hours on end so that your skin is going pink and getting sore is crazy. But having a healthy amount of sunshine as often as possible is good for you.

You can take Vitamin D supplements, and this is certainly a good idea in winter, and you can get it from food – oily fish, fortified cereal, dairy products and fortified margarine. But it is natural to have sunlight on our bodies. It’s good to be cautious but not extreme!

You can either take a daily spray of Vitamin D: Better You DLux 1000iu D3 spray (15ml),

or tablets/capsules:

Better You DLux 1000 oral vitamin D3 spray 15ml.

FSC Vitamin D 2500Iu 60 Tablets.

Health Aid Vitamin D3 10,000iu, 30 vegicaps.

Higher Nature Vitamin D 500iu, 60 capsules.

To purchase these, go to www.superfooduk.com and put in the Healthy Soul promotion code: HSoul1 to get a 5% discount.

 

See Vitamin D deficiency due to lack of sun

Holistic approach to osteoarthritis

The reason IOA Knee Pain logo wrote the book One Step Ahead of Osteoarthritis was because I had OA myself and had taken an overall approach to managing it, which has worked well for me.  While supplements are incredibly valid, it’s about more than taking turmeric or glucosamine and encompasses a range of measures that we can all do.

These include:

  • Exercise in general and exercises specifically to help the knees, the hips, the hands.
  • Making dietary changes.
  • Managing weight and at least getting down to your BMI (body mass index).

Those are the three pillars of managing osteoarthritis, but there is so much more you can do too.

A website devoted to osteoarthritis in the knee ran a blog written by me: entitled How I stay active with osteoarthritis.

Vote for One step ahead of osteoarthritis

One Step Ahead of Osteoarthritis, Frances Ive, published by Hammersmith Health Books, available at Waterstones and Amazon. https://www.waterstones.com/book/one-step-ahead-of-osteoarthritis/frances-ive/9781781611647 www.amazon.co.uk/One-Step-Ahead-Osteoarthritis-Frances/dp/1781611645 One Step Ahead of Osteoarthritis, Frances Ive, published by Hammersmith Health Books, available at Waterstones and Amazon.  PLEASE vote for it in the People’s Book Award where it has become a finalist: https://peoplesbookprize.com/winter-categories-2019/non-fiction.

As many as 8.75 million people have osteoarthritis and I am one of them, but I wasn’t prepared to give in to it. I wanted to carry on playing tennis, do yoga and tai chi. So as any health journalist would do, I researched osteoarthritis and found there were loads of things I could do and now I’ve put them in my book, One Step Ahead of Osteoarthritis.

Professor Sir Sam Everington, GP in Tower Hamlets, Chair of NHS Tower Hamlets Clinical Commissioning Group, board member of NHS Clinical Commissioners,  wrote in his Foreword to the book: ‘This book is not just about length of life, it is about something much more important, a happy and healthy life, whatever is thrown at you. It is about self-motivation and well-being. It should be prescribed on the NHS by all doctors. It can’t be, but if you have osteoarthritis or want to live a happier and healthier life, buying this book is the best investment you could ever make.’

The aim is to stay mobile and active and continue with a good quality of life.

So what can you do?

  • Diet: Look at what you eat and drink, perhaps trying a new way of eating and cutting down on acidic foods that may be aggravating osteoarthritis.  Use turmeric in cooking – see The Spice of Life.
  • Exercise: Ensure you do regular exercise or activity that is right for you, and try exercises that are specific for osteoarthritis in the knees, hips and hands. The purpose of exercise is to build up muscles to protect the joints they surround.  Swimming, walking, Pilates, yoga, tai chi, and many more activities are good for osteoarthritis.
  • Weight management: It makes sense that the more you weigh, the more pressure you put on the lower part of your body – particularly feet, knees and hips.  Just losing a few pounds can make a big difference.
  • Supplements: There are choices and people tend to find that one works better than another. We’re all different so try them out – turmeric, rosehip, glucosamine, Boswellia (Indian frankincense), and many more.
  • Therapies: If you can afford to have acupuncture, massage, osteopathy, chiropractic or visit a herbalist, these therapies can relax  your joints and get your circulation moving.
  • Cider vinegar: it may not taste nice but it turns from acid to alkaline in the body and can help to reduce inflammation in arthritic joints when taken daily in water.

One Step Ahead of Osteoarthritis, Frances Ive, Hammersmith Health Books. Forewords by Professor Sir Sam Everington & Barbara Cousins; Good health and osteoarthritis; Looking at weight loss; Finding exercise to suit you; Protect and strengthen your body: pilates, t’ai chi, yoga, Alexander technique; What is ‘healthy eating’? Food and drink – acid or alkaline? Supplements and herbs; Helpful complementary therapies; Practical solutions; The power of sleep and the weather; Lonely, depressed and stressed; Emotional support; Soups, juices and meals with turmeric and ginger; Further information
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Deep breathing could save your life

Deep breathingMany of us shallow breathe not using the full capacity of our lungs, therefore not getting enough oxygen into the body. Now we know that deep breathing could save your life it takes on a much bigger perspective.

A 59 year old man survived Covid-19 due to his deep breathing. NHS staff at the Gloucester Royal Hospital were reported as having named Rob Thomas ‘the king of breathers’ because of his deep breathing techniques. He not only contracted the virus but also initially had sepsis, and when he went into intensive care he was believed to have a 50/50 chance of survival during the first few days. Apparently his sister told him to ‘keep breathing’ and it worked, because he did not have to go on to a ventilator and eventually recovered.

Richard Kravetz, yoga teacher from Yoga For All, who provides chair yoga and mat yoga (currently online) for everyone whatever their ability or disability, explains how to practise deep therapeutic breathing into the diaphragm.

It is preferable to lie down with knees bent and feet on the floor (semi-supine position) but if this is difficult, a sitting position is OK. Try to breathe through the nose. Richard says, ‘Put one hand on your abdomen, one hand on the upper part of your chest and breathe, noticing how the chest, the ribs and the belly expand and rise as you breathe in, and relaxes on exhalation. This will enable the diaphragm to move more freely.’

Alternatively, Richard suggests you put your hands across the lower rib cage with the fingers touching, and during the in breath, the ribs expand and the abdomen rises the hands will move apart. As you breathe out the fingers will move back together.
Practise this as often as you can, and stay safe.

Richard Kravetz: http://www.yogaforall-uk.com/

Boost the immune system

cherries for JuneHealth stores are doing a roaring trade at the moment, due to  Coronavirus and that’s because people who know about vitamins and herbal medicines are stocking up. So what are they buying?

Vitamin C:  has a reputation for fighting all viruses, and so it’s a daily essential. When you are healthy you only require 10mg of Vitamin C, because that’s all the body can absorb at once (it pees the rest out). When you are unwell the body is depleted of Vitamin C so you need much more.

How to take it: Cherry Active is made from Montmorency cherries and is packed with Vitamin C – take as a juice (which you can dilute and drink hot) or tablets.  Or you can buy capsules, tablets or gel Vitamin C.  See:See Vitamin C fights all viruses.

Cherry Active liquid made from Montmorency cherries. Delicious and packed with Vitamin C, Concentrate, 473ml, £17.15;  30 capsules.

Nature C Vitamin C tablets, made by A. Vogel. Chewable, tasty and made from food.

To purchase these with a 5% discount go to www.superfooduk.com and put in the promotion code: HSoul1

Echinacea: is a herbal remedy that has the ability to boost the immune system and make you feel better. It was traditionally used by native Americans for many illnesses and infections, including snake bites.

Echinacea Hot Drink from A. Vogel  combines  fresh Echinacea root with herb extracts and Black Elderberry (Sambucus nigra) which is very warming and is claimed to prevent viruses entering cells of the body.

A. Vogel’s Echinaforce Echinacea Throat Spray moistens your throat and can prevent coughing.

A. Vogel Echinaforce Echinacea tincture, 50ml.

A. Vogel Echinaforce Echinacea tablets, 42.

To purchase these with a 5% discount go to www.superfooduk.com and put in the promotion code: HSoul1

Zinc – 15 mg daily . Zinc is essential for a healthy immune system and may prevent viruses from entering cells which they need to do in order to multiply.

Bee Health, Vitamin C and Propolis, 60 tablets

Garlic – garlic is antiseptic, antifungal, antiviral and antibiotic. You can heavily lace your food with garlic, which will keep everyone away, not just the devil. Or you can take Allicin capsules – allicin is the active property in garlic that boosts the immune system. antiseptic, antifungal, antiviral and antibiotic.

Allicin Max Veg Caps, 30 – 180.

To purchase these with a 5% discount go to www.superfooduk.com and put in the promotion code: HSoul1