By Clair Whitty, Nutritional Health Coach
VITAMIN D is the potential hero on the block.
We know that many Irish people are deficient in it.
So now is a great time to consider topping up on it based on the research done by Trinity College on how vitamin D could help fight off Covid-19.
Researchers found that Vitamin D plays a critical role in preventing respiratory infections, reducing antibiotic use, and boosting the immune system response to infections.
One in eight Irish adults under 50 are deficient, 47% of all adults over 85 are deficient in winter, 27% of adults over 70 who are currently cocooning are estimated to be deficient.
Vitamin D is produced in the skin when the skin is exposed to sunlight. You only need about 10-15 minutes of exposure.
Not enough sun
The problem is we don’t get enough sunshine, and we can only make it this way between late March and late September. We cannot make it in the winter.
Vitamin D is found in eggs, liver, and oily fish like salmon or mackerel.
Many foods are fortified with vitamin D. Some supplements that you already take may contain Vitamin D. This includes Cod Liver Oil, bone formulations, multi vitamins, and immune supporting supplements. Check the level that you already take, and consider how many foods you eat that contain vitamin D per week. Top up the rest with a supplement.
The recommendation is for between 1,000iu to 2,000iu per day for all people over 50 and anyone who is cocooning.
At most risk
The people who are at the most risk of deficiency are people who get little exposure to sunshine (which is most of the Irish population).
As well as anyone who is normally house-bound, or confined to their homes. This list now includes those of you who are cocooning.
Other people at high risk of deficiency are those who are obese, physically inactive, and those who have asthma or chronic lung disease.
I will continue to take all the immune supporting supplements that I am taking. I won’t rely on one soldier on its own to fight this battle but I will definitely increase the amount of vitamin D that I am taking.