When it comes to diet and exercise plans we hear a lot of buzz words and talk about “calculating your macros” but do we really know what we are putting in to our bodies and why? Particularly when it comes to the micro-nutrients, aka vitamins and minerals! Obviously, these are essential for the functionality and health of ALL our tissues.

So, the big question here is; should you supplement? 

The short answer for most of us is; probably. 

You may have heard the hypothesis getting a lot of traction recently about the effect of Vitamin D deficiency on Covid-19 and the outcomes for those infected. I found this interesting information via a BMJ article here. I found the following quote really fascinating, in the sense that we never seem to learn!

Dr Hugh Sinclair said over 100 years ago: “The deficiency of any nutrient which is essential for every tissue will eventually lead to abnormal function in every tissue. That is so incontrovertibly obvious that I am continually astonished it must be repeatedly forcefully restated.”

Getting back to Vitamin D, it is still  more commonly associated with bone health but also increases production of antiviral and antibacterial proteins. ‘Vitamin’ D is actually a secosteroid hormone with various skeletal and non-skeletal effects including regulation of innate and adaptive immune responses. This may explain why members of the BAME community, older and institutionalised people are far more susceptible to serious illness.

Obesity is also a huge risk factor, and given that fat cells accrete vitamin D, the obese consistently have proportionately lower vitamin D status.

Given the difficulty of getting our 15 minutes of full skin exposure to the sun every day, it is recommended in the UK that anyone with darker skin tone should regularly supplement, and those with lighter skin to do so October to March.

A further example would be B12 which should really be supplemented if you follow a vegan diet.

However, it’s not the case that more is always better! If you do not need to supplement then extra will not help you! So be sure to get a blood test before deciding what to take and make sure you properly understand how to take it, it’s really just wasting money unless you know what you need!

I am taking my first bookings for Sports Nutrition consultations this week as well as the online injury-fix sessions, so do get in touch if you need help with your diet or exercise regimen. Simple changes can make huge differences to your overall health & function and it does not need to be as confusing as it might seem. My aim, as with all my work, is to take a straight-forward, straight-talking approach enabling us to cut through the jargon and help make you feel generally better with solutions that are realistic and easy to achieve.

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