To Vit D or Not To Vit D – There is No Question

Vit D or not Vit D, there is no question

There has only been one thing on everyone’s mind this year, Coronavirus! The first major pandemic in many years.  I’m sure you are all fed up hearing about it on the news, in daily life and want normality to return.  Boris keeps telling us the government is “following the science.” Well, there is actually a lot of ongoing research into the effects of vitamin D on Covid infections and this blog highlights some of the science and why we should all be supplementing vitamin D. 

Vitamin D is well known to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy, but did you know it also helps with the immune system? Several large scale reviews have shown that it can protect against acute respiratory infections, and individuals with sufficient levels of vitamin D were most protected (1,2). This therefore became an area of study interest in the fight against Covid 19.

 

As of 08.10.2020 there were over 20,000 publications on Google scholar looking at Vitamin D in both the prevention and treatment of Covid infections. There are also several trials in the UK currently under way looking at this (3).

Many studies have already shown that having a vitamin D deficiency increases the chances of having more severe Covid infections and therefore a higher chance of dying from Covid (4). One study reporting people were 32 times more likely to have critical Covid if vitamin D deficient (5). Some have even shown that having sufficient levels of vitamin D in the body actually reduces the chances of testing positive for the virus, indicating this may prevent people getting it in the first place (6).

One study quoting that in 192,000 American citizens sampled, they were 47% less likely to test positive if their vitamin D levels were > 55ng/ml (sufficient) compared to 20ng/ml (deficient) (7,8).

Others looked at the average vitamin D levels for various countries, comparing these to their respective Covid rates. They found countries which have lower average vitamin D levels tended to have more cases of Covid, and also higher mortalities (9).

Countries closer to the equator generally have higher levels of vitamin D in their population and this is another factor possibly affecting Covid rates. 

We also know that people from BAME communities are more likely to test positive and are also at a higher risk of dying from Covid than white individuals as released in the government document “Understanding the impact of Covid -19 in BAME groups.” (10) This may be attributed to low levels of vitamin D, as people from BAME communities tend to have lower levels of this in their blood.

So why is this so important? Well, this is just snap-shot of some of the publications of research ongoing throughout this critical time.

We are all still learning about Covid-19 but the evidence is mounting that a simple dietary supplement can help prevent and treat this condition. It is important to say that this is not the only factor in transmission rates and mortality, but evidence based medicine is key, and to quote Boris, we should all “follow the science”.

So supplement with vitamin D! It is safe and the potential benefits could not only help you, but also help us all return to normality. 

At Get a Drip we offer Vitamin D booster shots which can be purchased and taken in two different ways:

  1. Book your monthly booster shot of 30,000 units without having your vitamin D tested. This is in keeping with current NICE guidance (all adults living in the UK should supplement vitamin D throughout the year) and is comparable to buying a vitamin D tablet over the counter, but saves the hassle of remembering this every day.  
  2. Book a vitamin D blood test (recommended) to discover whether you are deficient or not. Our staff can then tailor a treatment plan to replenish your vitamin D levels. Please read our blog post “Vitamin D testing is here”

This article was written by Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Matthew Calcasola.

COVID Testing Now Available!

COVID testing is now available at Get A Drip

 

Get A Drip have partnered with an ISO:15189:2012 accredited UK laboratory to make available a COVID-19 RT-PCR (Antigen) test that you can do in the safety and comfort of your own home.

The process is simple:

  1.  Order the test online via our website 
  2. The test is delivered to you within 48 hours of your online order being placed
  3. You take your nasal and oral swabs at home and send it off using the pre-paid postage bag included in the test kit
  4. You will have your reliable test results back within 24 to 48 hours 
 

How does an at home sample work?

Your kit will include a simple sample collection device with comprehensive instructions on how to complete your test in just a few minutes. Once you have  taken your sample, simply follow the instructions and return the sample to our lab using the pre-paid postage bag included in the test kit.

How do I return my test properly?

Royal Mail are providing a special set of arrangements for the transportation of test samples. You can read more about it here and find your closest Royal Mail Priority Postbox. Samples returned via Royal Mail Priority Post Boxes should reach the lab in the following 24 hours. Once a sample is delivered to the lab, the lab usually take up to 24 hours to process the test, though it can sometimes take longer.
Please note that the postal service is not suitable for those with a Saturday or Sunday ‘test’ date as your test will not be processed until the Monday.

How do I get my results and how long will it take?

In general, once your test arrives at our lab facility you should have a result emailed to you within 24 hours. In particular please take weekends into account as there is a drastically reduced service available at weekends.

What do I do if my Covid-19 PCR swab test is positive?

If your covid-19 PCR test is positive, please follow the national guidelines. You and your household will need to isolate.
For more information go to the NHS covid-19 website. Do not visit a health centre such as a hospital, Clinic, GP surgery or Pharmacy unless instructed.

What do I do If My Covid-19 PCR swab test is negative?

A negative PCR test means that you were not infected with Covid-19 when you took the test. If you have no symptoms, you can continue as normal (unless you have been told to self isolate until a certain date).

 

 

 

Why Your Hormones Are Stopping You Losing Weight

We have a big one for you today on the Get A Drip Podcast. I spoke to nutritionist Pippa Campbell all about hormones and weight loss and, sorry gentlemen, this one is mainly for the ladies. We talk about why us females are more likely to have a harder time with our hormones, what hormone imbalances look like and how hormones can affect our weight.

So Pippa, you’re a nutritionist but you specialise in hormones and weight loss is that correct?

That’s my area! Although weight loss has never been an issue for me personally, helping women lose weight is something that I find so rewarding.  I specialise in a hormone balancing weight loss. I’ve been doing that for many years.

The reason why I got into it so many years ago was because I used to suffer horrifically with PMT from the age of about 19. I got my period at an early age, I was 12 and getting my period every 2 weeks so there was obviously a hormonal imbalance. 

Now in those days, you didn’t go to the gynaecologist if you had ongoing problems like this. I went to the GP and he just put me on the pill so then I didn’t get my period. I really didn’t want anything artificial in my body anymore so I came off [contraception] at about age 18. 

My PMC was horrific, two months out of every month. I felt exhausted, I didn’t really get period pains, no sort of chronic pain. But I felt dizzy, I felt shaky, I felt really emotional. 

Diet definitely helped and supplements were the icing on the cake. When I did the DNA testing, I’m a certified nutrigenomics practitioner for LifeCodeGX. I was then able to finally understand what was going on. 

Would you say that hormone imbalances affect women more than men?

Absolutely. Men can also have hormone imbalances of course. But when I’m talking about hormones, I suppose I’m specifically talking oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone and the like. Thyroid hormones also definitely come into play as well.

I suppose it’s like an orchestra as they all work together so we always have to look at everything in balance. 

You mentioned before that there are people that sometimes experience anxiety as one of their symptoms of a hormone imbalance. I’m sure there’s so many ways that a hormone imbalance can manifest itself. What are some of the most common signs that you see of a hormone imbalance?

We’ve got so many different hormones but if let’s focus on the female sex hormones- oestrogen and progesterone. So while they’re getting their periods, they might experience the symptoms that I was talking about such as extremely heavy periods. It could be anxiety. Some people can’t sleep, they feel very anxious. Sometimes people can feel very sad and very down and that they don’t feel quite right. A lot of women say they don’t feel right; they feel like they’re having an out of body experience. 

How can our diet help hormone imbalances?

The first thing we want to do is to get rid of the rubbish because it’s inflammatory. Throw away the crips! I would recommend going lower carbohydrate, I’m not saying keto, I’m not saying people have to go high fat but I definitely think that finding the amount of carbohydrates is key. I would eat three meals a day and  no snacking because every time we eat, we would release incidents and no snacking. 

Want to hear the rest? Listen to the rest of the Get A Drip Podcast here