31 January 2021

When Your Health Turns On You: #Hypothyroidism --- 9: Covid-19 and Vitamin D – Jan 2021 Update

Vitamin D3 capsule

When I started this series in February 2020 I never expected still to be adding to it in January 2021. There again, one year on from the first Covid-19 hospitalisations in the UK, no one here expected to be living under Lockdown-3. It could be worse, and it is in some parts of the world; at least we don’t have a curfew.

However, the UK figures, horrendous as they are, speak for themselves:  3.8m people have tested positive for Covid-19; deaths within 28 days of a positive test have topped 100,000.

There is good news: 9.97m people have had the first dose of available vaccine; 491,000 the follow-up dose. In my area those aged 70+ are being called, which means that the vast majority of the most vulnerable (80+) have been vaccinated.

The even better news is that people are beginning to take seriously the role of Vitamin D within the human immune system, except, it seems, the Government and its health advisers.

One of the leaders of the publicity push – apart from Dr John Campbell, much mentioned during this series – is David Davis, MP, who has been writing articles in every newspaper that will print them. Mr Davis is an old-school politician: not only did he work for a living before entering politics, he has a Joint Honours degree in Molecular Science/Computer Science, so he knows what he’s talking about. More important, he’s not afraid to stand up in Parliament and make the case for Vitamin D, as he did on 14th January, now available on YouTube: https://youtu.be/Gog5mgBv0hM

The video is 24 minutes in total, and an eye-opener. Who knew, despite growing evidence from around the world, funding for trials to ascertain the efficacy of Vitamin D had been refused – twice? The response, towards the end of the video, from NICE/Public Health England is, shall I say… beyond belief.

Today I watched a discussion between David Davis and Dr John Campbell which brought to light some fascinating, and quite horrific, points: 

  • As long ago as 1983 (read it and weep) the medical profession was beginning to understand the impact of Vitamin D on the body at cell level, and particularly in the immune system.
  • In 2017 there was an article in the British Medical Journal suggesting that Vitamin D could inhibit respiratory infections by up to 70%. (Note: around 17,000 people die annually in the UK due to seasonal influenza – Public Health England figures.)
  • In March 2020 Mr Davis ramped up his own study, believing there is a correlation between more people dying of Covid-19 with low Vitamin D levels (ie the elderly; darker skin tone; co-morbidities), and if correct low Vitamin D “could” account for around 50% of Covid-19 deaths.

The discussion is well worth watching. It is 1hr 20mins, but the most pertinent information is within the first 30 mins: https://youtu.be/bQyhjQUjHjU

How about me with an autoimmune disorder I strongly suspect – a suspicion boosted by the above discussion – was caused by a long-standing lack of Vitamin D? I shall reiterate the results from my last two Vitamin D blood tests which, let me remind UK readers, I have had to pay for:

mid August 2020: 124 nmol/L             early November 2020: 109 nmol/L
(Optimal is 125-150 nmol/L)

Considering I have stayed on my relatively high level Vitamin D3 supplement and its co-factor protocol throughout, what prompted such a fall in only two and a half months? Lack of sunshine. It was autumn.

I am intending to pay for a further test at the end of March, the end of winter. That should prove interesting. I’ll keep you posted.

Stay safe. 


Update 30 March 2021:
My paid for panel of blood tests are completed. All results look reasonable;
Vitamin D stands at 128 nmol/L (tick!).

Image from PublicDomainPictures via Pixabay

When Your Health Turns On You #Hypothyroidism series:

1: Symptoms
2: Vitamins & Minerals
3: Blood Tests
4: Vitamin Co-Factors & the Microbiome
5: Functional Medicine & YouTube
6: Covid-19 Coronavirus
7: Covid-19 & Vitamin D
8: Vitamin D - The Results!
9: Covid-19 & Vitamin D - Jan 2021 Update

1 January 2021

Let’s Embrace 2021 with a New Hobby - or Two

Let’s lift a glass in a dubious welcome to Covid-19 Mk2. Well, we manoeuvred Mk1 and now better know what to expect. Just as important, we know to balance our expectations while awaiting the full roll-out of various vaccines. For most of us that isn’t going to happen anytime soon so we just have to make the best of it. And, after whinging in true British style, that's exactly what we're doing.

For many this has meant re-acquainting with long-laid-aside hobbies, which shows no sign of slowing. The sales of jigsaw puzzles has soared, but that's understandable. It’s a non-competitive, absorbing, brain-exercising pastime that lowers blood pressure and heart rate, and calms the mind; something akin to active meditation. 

My husband was bought a jigsaw as a joke back in the summer, but he enjoyed it so much Father Christmas has off-loaded another four to keep him occupied until the better weather heralds the call of his garden. I was tempted to roll my eyes, except I discovered that novelist Nick Hornby, like me a non-too-fast writer, has one on the go beside his writing desk. Adding the occasional piece or two frees his thought processes and stops him dipping into social media, the biggest time-suck known to man. Or woman. I just need to find a clear surface big enough to set one out.

Another huge resurgence hobby is Philately. Yes, stamp collecting. I blinked at this one, too, especially when I realised it could be undertaken “virtually”. YouTube is awash with fascinating videos. Honest, they can be fascinating. Dip into Exploring Stamps for snazzy delivery of interesting information, not just on the stamps themselves, but on what they commemorate. The Swearing Parrot, for instance. No, honest. Her name was Millie and she was “deported” from Expo 67 in Montreal for not just swearing but swearing in two languages, only to become immortalised on a set of Guyanan stamps.

And finally, the biggest resurgence of all, the Bókaflóð, or to be precise in Icelandic where it originates, the Jólabókaflóðið – the Christmas Book Flood. For a nation of slightly over 350,000 people there are more bookshops per capita than anywhere else in the world. Everyone is gifted at least one physical book on Christmas Eve, it’s a tradition that dates back to WW2 when just about everything else was on ration. And modern technology has not dented the tradition one bit. In fact it has enhanced it. As one might surmise for such a reading nation, the country has embraced foreign language ebooks in a BIG way, especially English ebooks. Which is good news for writers.

After a bit of a wayward year my own writing is sailing into smoother waters. There'll be more blogposts and an update on my resurrected newsletter. Sections of my e-backlist will be promoted, and there's a change in direction for my fiction. Relationships will still be to the fore, but they always have been, no matter the genre.

All in all, I have decided 2021 will be a year to enjoy rather than worry over. I think that's the best attitude any of us can take. Come join me.