575: Importance of Vitamin D - Coronavirus
We would like to expand on health in this Special Report– some of the key learnings from the Coronavirus pandemic. In our Special Report of mid May we described the importance of Vitamin D for overall health and to risk mitigate against Coronavirus.
Health = Wealth: After all – our view is that Healthy = Wealth. Without good health, its difficult to become wealthy – and it certainly is not a focus if you health is poor. Being physically and mentally robust is a key trait of a successful property investor. Its worth spending considerable time and effort in staying healthy. We hope these insights will health your health and longevity.
Coronavirus and Ethnic Minorities and Vitamin D: As we mentioned mid May, people from ethnic minorities in the UK – for example from African and Indian backgrounds – have a 2-4 times the mortality rate compared with people from White (Caucasian) background. Typically, one might start to think of or give socio-economic reasons for this – for instance – these groups of people tend to be more in the front line of duties or living in densely populated and deprived inner city areas. But another – and likely more important – explanation is that it appears from a recent study that 98% of people who die of Coronavirus in the UK were deficient in Vitamin D – recall Vitamin D is very important to boost your immune system. We have described the importance for general health of Vitamin D over the years. On closer scrutiny – its highly likely that in March of this year – after a 7 month dark-rainy winter – one of the worst winters for sunlight on record – and working indoors – most of the UK population that don’t take Vitamin D supplements will be deficient in vitamin D since they have not seen any sunlight for 4-6 months – it takes a few months for vitamin D levels to build up and they tend to peak naturally in August-September then go into decline for the following six months. But importantly – races with deep-dark pigment need far more sunlight to gain the same levels of Vitamin D – so people of African origin in March in the UK will be severely vitamin D deficient. They need to take supplements, or even vitamin D injections or have lots of sunny holidays abroad. The correlation of Coronavirus mortality seems to correlate strongly with skin colour-pigment in the UK – the darker the skin the more likely Coronavirus will be a killer in then dim-cloudy UK.
Calcium and Magnesium: Vitamin D helps the body absorb key minerals such as Calcium and Magnesium – important for healthy bones, and the immune system. Magnesium deficiency is another important angle – and you are far less likely to get enough Magnesium if you drink soft water – or water that has been filtered. Soft water in particularly common in the western and northern parts of the UK (Scotland, Wales, SW England). If you drink bottled water that has high pH – say pH 8 – and/or lots of minerals from limestone-chalk within it – or salty sandstones, then you will be drinking water for far more magnesium in it – which will help.
Darker Skinned People Will Struggle to Get Enough Sun in the UK: It’s also worth pointing out that people of Black ethnicity – where the sun strength close to the equator might be 4-5 times that of the UK in the summer, and 50 times in the winter – because of their darker protective skin pigment – will never achieve enough vitamin D in the UK unless they were outside with few cloths on all the time in the summer, for example builders or farmers. The UK sun simply is not strong enough for people with darker skin to get enough Vitamin D. Add to this that - people with dark skin are probably less likely to be outside sun bathing – on the beach or in the parks – and also would tend to more commonly live in cities away from the coast. To get the required levels of vitamin D – they would need to take supplements – and most do not. Their levels of vitamin D living far in the northern hemisphere would likely be a fraction of what is required for healthy living in an indigenous African outdoor environment far closer to the equator.
Holistic View of the Body and Mortality: Without enough Vitamin D, calcium levels can drop weakening bones. Which brings us onto a key health insight we have for our readers. There is a very strong correlation between mortality and mobility – being able to walk (or run). If you can walk or run, you are far less likely to die. If you are no longer able to walk – then chances of mortality goes shooting up. Why might this be? Let’s take a simple look at the body – it contains:
• The brain
Vitamin D helps the bones stay strong, helps the ligaments keep well developed – and Magnesium helps muscles operate. When the muscles, ligaments and bones operate effectively – then you are able to walk or run – you are able to exercise. As we know, exercise is good for you because it helps develop muscles, keep bones strong, exercises the heart – other muscles and circulatory system plus exercises the lungs and makes the body stronger. It also releases endorphins that make you feel mentally far better – more positive – and you are then likely to sleep better at night and be more relaxed at work and play. The muscles are also important in that they are thought to process out toxins that can build up and help stimulate cancer growth. Furthermore, muscles burn fat – and too much fat is toxic – in that cancers find it easier to feed off fat than muscles and other tissues.
Muscles and Fat: As one gets older, your muscles naturally tend to get smaller – they reduce in both size and strength. As your muscles get smaller, your metabolism reduces – you need less calories. If you eat the same amount of food as you get older, you will put on weight in the form of fat deposits. Fat tends to smother the heart area and chest making it more difficult to breath. The weight of fat that the intercostal muscles between your ribs that inflate and deflate the rib cage to allow breathing - will act as a force against easy breathing – which is one reason why obese or overweight people stand far less chance of surviving Coronavirus. They will struggle more than slim people to inflate and deflate their lungs and then get enough oxygen to survive, as intense inflammation ravages the ability to intake oxygen.
Longevity: Which brings us onto the overarching theme – that for a healthy body and increased chances of living long and surviving Coronavirus or any other pandemic – you need
• Strong muscles
• Strong bones
• Strong ligaments
• Not much fat
Exercise and No Accidents: All this can be achieved by regular exercise and avoiding have accidents that prevent you getting exercise (e.g. trips-falls, broken bones from high impact sports).
Also very importantly – you need to get enough Vitamin D – everyone. Hence to make sure you do in countries with low levels of sunshine, particularly in the winter – you need to take vitamin D3 tablets – a does of 12.5 micrograms per day is probably appropriate in the winter and may be slightly less in the summer months.
Veganism and Risks: Finally – a few words on Veganism. This trend towards cutting out all animal meat and fat from diets has significant dietary implications we believe. The objective of helping the world by not eating meat is a large and often controversial subject that we will not expand on here, but we thought we should highlight a few key risks to become Vegan. These are both physical and psychological. We are not commenting on the ethical side – it’s probably best for people to consider this aspect on their own against their own value set.
Firstly, Veganism is in many respects like a sect, or a faith – the mantra can be all consuming. Vegans can become very obsessive about their beliefs – and try and persuade others to join – in a similar way to people of religious faiths. When you start linking everything in the world – climate change, big industrial companies, globalisation, wars etc to meat eating – or Veganism – then every time you eat – you will be thinking about this – the guilt, the wrong-doings, western society etc, wars – we make a point this can become very negative and psychologically harmful. Feeling guilty for the actions of 7 billion people – as if you are responsible.
Animal Fat Important for the Healthy Brain: However, when we consider the Vegan diet, we cannot ignore the fact that it does not contain any animal (or fish) fats-oil. We postulate that the brain needs animal fats to thrive – the brain is almost all fat. So to devoid yourself of animal and dairy fats could have lasting psychological challenges – because it will physically affect how your brain develops and maintains itself. Remember also a young person’s brain does not fully develop until aged 25 – so in being a child Vegan and then a young person Vegan is being devoid of brain nourishing animal fats, minerals and proteins. This could depress the brain – make it more lethargic and make a person less motivated or ambitious, particularly in younger people and/or after many years of being a Vegan as the animal fat and nutrient supplies stop.
Anxiety: Anecdotally we find that the Vegans we have met are often more anxious, depressed and sometimes angry – and they seem less confident than most other young people getting themselves out into the world, showing how good they are – they are less ambitious. Its possible their value set is more caring about the world - which is positive - though if you carry the burden of all the worlds failings this can have a negative impact on one individual - its never good to have the whole world’s burdens on your shoulders – anger and/or guilt and linking Vegan as a solution to every bad problem in the world cant make you feel happy. Also feeling as if a meat eater causes wars, climate change, hurt, slaughter and destruction cant be very positive mentally. Remember it’s quite natural for human beings to hunt animal food whilst gathering vegetables and fruit – human beings are omnivores in their natural environment after all. We have not problem at all with Vegans being Vegans, indeed we can understand why some people might want to be Vegan and care so much about it – but we are far less keen on a Vegan trying to persuade someone that eats diary and meat that they should go Vegan to save the world – or that non Vegan's should feel incredibly guilty about eating meat, cheese and drinking cows milk.
We just thought we would give our view on the risks of being a Vegan – for anyone considering making a switch. We are not sure its healthy both physically and mentally.
We hope this health focussed Special Report has helped give you some insights to help you stay safe and healthy. If you have any queries, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org