People are understandably worried about Covid-19 and hand washing and other general advice is important.
However, there is also something we can do to bring our immune system up to scratch, apart from a healthy life style. We can make sure we are not vitamin D deficient.
Unfortunately living in Scotland puts us all at risk of deficiency, mainly because we don’t get enough exposure to outdoor sun, we live and work indoors, have long winters, and a northern latitude. Our diet contains little vitamin D.
A large meticulous study from 2017, published in the British Medical Journal, showed a significant reduction in respiratory tract infections when people were given vitamin D. In fact one reviewer called it a “magic bullet”. The biggest benefit was in those with the lowest blood levels of vitamin D. (1)
Could this be our opportunity? One third of people in Scotland are severely deficient, in some areas nearly 50 per cent, particularly at this time of year. (2)
Getting sufficient vitamin D might therefore help our immune system to fight off the new respiratory coronavirus. That way maybe more people could be in the mild category, rather than the severe.
The UK NHS recommended some while ago that all of us take vitamin D supplements, for bone health. We should remind ourselves of this advice but it might be wise to take a slightly larger dose than the NHS recommended 10 mcg (good for babies, but not for a much larger adult).
It is safe, cheap, up to 100 mcg daily is acceptable. Others, in Finland, have implemented population wide food fortification in recent years.
Helga Rhein, retired GP, firstname.lastname@example.org
Anne Thomas, speech and language therapist, Inverness
Elizabeth Roddick, community pharmacist, Glasgow
Caroline McManus, staff nurse, Edinburgh
Robert Reid, retired nuclear safety engineer, Glasgow.
Become a supporter of Shetland News
Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.
Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.
Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has over 380 supporters who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.
Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -
- Bring you the headlines as they happen;
- Stay editorially independent;
- Give a voice to the community;
- Grow site traffic further;
- Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.
If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.
Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.Support Shetland News