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Vitamin D helps respiratory infections

(52 Posts)
Gemini17892 Fri 20-Mar-20 10:35:47

I just thought I would post this because I have read that vitamin d- one tablet a day helps against respiratory infections. You only have to take one little tablet with food and you must take it even in the summer. This doctor was saying that it’s not pseudoscience it’s backed by information from Nice where they’ve done studies to show that it really helps.

growstuff Fri 20-Mar-20 11:00:33

There doesn't seem much evidence that Vitamin D is likely to help with the current virus. It appears that it only helps with coughs and colds.

Neverthless, if people are staying indoors more and aren't being exposed to sunlight, Vitamin D supplements wouldn't bad idea.

blondenana Fri 20-Mar-20 11:07:28

I don't see how people on high doses of Vit D, have more falls

growstuff Fri 20-Mar-20 11:19:28

I'm not sure either, but I think it's something to do with calcium. Vitamin D helps the absorption of calcium, which is generally a good thing. However, too much absorbed calcium can lead to problems, such as the way the brain works, which can cause confusion, lethargy and fatigue, which could contribute to falls.

Elegran Fri 20-Mar-20 11:34:55

If your diet is short on Vit D and you aren't getting out into the sunshine, I suppose your general health would be improved by taking a modest dose of multivitamins - not a bad idea anyway for older people. Don't get carried away and assume that massive doses of anything will work as a magic wand against the virus, though, they would just give you other problems.

Callistemon Fri 20-Mar-20 12:08:01

I do take vitamin D sometimes but then worry that it can cause kidney stones.

Labaik Fri 20-Mar-20 12:15:41

The doctor that does that coronavirus blog recommended Vit D and possibly C. I think he said he was taking it.

growstuff Fri 20-Mar-20 13:02:12

I was prescribed a massive dose of Vitamin D a few months ago because tests showed I was extremely low. As I'm always very suspicious of taking any medications, I did some research. That's how I discovered that having too much can be as bad as having too little. Unlike Vitamin C, Vitamin D is fat soluble, which means that if you overdose on it, the body has no way of getting rid of the excess. It's quite difficult to get enough Vitamin D from diet alone, which is why a low dose is recommended, especially in winter.

Labaik Fri 20-Mar-20 13:21:14

I've been semi hibernating this winter so am concerned about my Vit D levels. Bought some Vit D high strength tablets to take. Also freezing lemons, bananas etc to make into smoothies to top up Vit C. Must say I'm eating more healthily than I have done for ages and not throwing anything away.

growstuff Fri 20-Mar-20 13:28:22

Don't take the high strength ones for too long. I was prescribed high strength ones for three months and then a very low dose to be taken indefinitely. I was due to have my blood tested again soon, but I guess that won't happen now.

GrannyLaine Fri 20-Mar-20 13:30:36

Gemini17892 do you have a link to what you read please? There is so much fake information circulating at the moment and some of it from seemingly credible sources.

growstuff Fri 20-Mar-20 13:38:11

This is the normal NHS advice on taking Vitamin D.

The link I posted above claims that there is some evidence adequate Vitamin D can help with the common cough or cold. However, there seems to be little evidence it helps with a serious virus - and it's certainly not a case of more is good, which could in fact be harmful.

deb1987 Fri 20-Mar-20 13:46:48

IF you take large doses it has to be balanced with vit k2 and magnesium most people are also deficient in magnesium.
Taking vits will not stop virus but will boost your immune system to help fight virus - you can also take high strength turmeric which is naturally anti-viral as is gingseng and vit c plus zinc.

tickingbird Fri 20-Mar-20 13:50:41

I also read before this took off like it has that Vit D is good along with Vit C. I'm eating pilchards, sardines and salmon, where possible and going into my little garden and trying to get what little sunshine there is. I try to eat an orange or drink some orange juice each day. We can only do what we can.

growstuff Fri 20-Mar-20 14:10:31

I didn't read about Vitamin K2 and magnesium when I did my research deb1987. Why do they affect absorption of Vitamin D?

I wasn't deficient in either Vit K2 or magnesium when I was tested. Like Vit D, Vit K is fat-soluble and is harmful in overdose.

Take as much Vitamin C as you want. It's water soluble, so you'll just wee any excess.

Elegran Fri 20-Mar-20 14:19:03

From The Association of UK Dietitians -

" Can I boost my immune system through my diet?

Simply put, you cannot “boost” your immune system through diet, and no specific food or supplement will prevent you catching COVID-19/Coronavirus. Good hygiene practice remains the best means of avoiding infection.

To date, the European Food Safety Authority have not authorised any claim for a food or food component in the UK to be labelled as protecting against infection. More info here (link).

There are many nutrients that are involved with the normal functioning of the immune system, so we would encourage maintaining a health balanced diet in order to support immune function (include copper, folate, iron, selenium, zinc and vitamins A, B6, B12, C and D). We don't recommend any one food over another, but instead encourage eating a variety of foods to maintain a health balanced diet. See our Healthy Eating Food Fact Sheet (link) for more tips and guidance on how to do that."

The links in that excerpt go to -

EllanVannin Fri 20-Mar-20 14:22:54

I have loads of it every morning on my crumpets---Lurpak. A 750g tub only lasts me 2 weeks ! Greedy ? No, I just like a lot.

Whatever anyone thinks is going to do them good ( whether or not is true) take/eat it, psychologically you'll feel better for it and that will help you through this catastrophe. Healthy mind, healthy body.

GrannyLaine Fri 20-Mar-20 14:30:52

I agree up to a point EllanVannin if it applies to whole food. Supplements are a different matter and need to be used with care and can do more harm than good especially if other medication is being taken.
Elegran good post and spot on advice.

Witzend Fri 20-Mar-20 14:36:58

I know someone who, because of the medication she was on, was told to keep right out of the sun, always to wear factor 50 and a big hat, etc.
After a year or so of doing exactly as she was told, she began to feel dreadfully tired and lethargic.
Tests revealed that her vitamin D was so low, it was practically off the scale.
For some reason she had not been told to take oral vitamin D, but once she’d taken it for a while, she felt much better.

From various things I’ve read, and deduced from personal observation, I’m convinced that low vitamin D is a factor in a lot more diseases than just the one we all know about, i.e. rickets.

Callistemon Fri 20-Mar-20 14:40:20

tickingbird I don't think there is much Vitamin D to be obtained from the sun at the moment this far north, although I hope that there may be some sunny days ahead from April onwards.

growstuff Fri 20-Mar-20 14:55:36

Yes, I agree Elegran. Good post! I'm a supplement cynic, which is why I did so much research when I was prescribed Vitamin D.

Callistemon Fri 20-Mar-20 14:58:46

The problem is that many people don't eat a healthy diet and many of our soils, especially in the UK, don't contain some of the minerals we need. UK soil is particularly deficient in selenium

growstuff Fri 20-Mar-20 15:07:45

Vitamin D deficiency is associated with a higher T2 diabetes risk, heart attacks, bone pain and some other conditions. I don't think a causal link has been found (but could be wrong).

I was tested because I had bone pain. I have peripheral neuropathy anyway, as a result of diabetes, and the pain was always explained as diabetes. I wasn't satisfied with that, so the first thing the GP did was change my statin, which didn't help, then a new GP suggested having blood tests, including Vitamin D. Lo and behold! My Vitamin D level was incredibly low and within a few weeks of taking a supplement, the pain in my bones had gone. I can't honestly say I've noticed any other difference to my general well-being.

growstuff Fri 20-Mar-20 15:12:07

I thought the main sources of selenium are seafood, organ meat and brazil nuts. I eat quite a bit of seafood, liver and brazil nuts.

Labaik Fri 20-Mar-20 15:16:33

I don't think it takes a massive amount of sun to get some Vit D. I worry that older people living in flats that are self isolating will become deficient of it if they have to do so for quite a while. Going to look to see if the parsley in my garden has survived the winter because that's a good source of vit C [I think....]