May 9, 2021

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Michael Mosley: Could overeating be a sign that your body is lacking nutrients?


For most people, the past 12 months have been really tough, but some companies have boomed – 2020 appears to have been a great year for manufacturers of supplements, with UK sales of nearly £ 500m, a record 14 per cent increase compared to 2019. .

We swallowed their products in record numbers in part because we are all more health conscious, but also in the hope of protecting ourselves and our loved ones from Covid-19.

But to what extent was this money in the abyss? Which of us is really lacking in vitamins or minerals?

Let’s start with vitamin D, which I have been taking in pill form during the winter months.

The Curtin University team suggests that in addition to vitamin and mineral deficiencies more common in people who are overweight or obese, this lack of nutrients may in turn contribute to overeating, causing a vicious cycle where your mind is. Short. On the essential nutrients, it will make you eat unconsciously to make up for the deficiency

Vitamin D is good for your bones, but it is also essential for a properly functioning immune system and there is good evidence that it can protect you from the impact of respiratory infections, including Covid-19.

Most of our vitamin D is produced from the effect of the sun on the skin, but about one in five Britons are not getting enough, especially between September and March when the sun in the UK is very weak.

But some people are affected more severely than others. A recent report found high rates among some ethnic minorities.

The study, conducted by the University of South Australia, which examined more than 440,000 Britons, found that 57 percent of people of Asian descent suffer from severe vitamin D deficiency during the winter and spring, and half of them are still deficient in the summer and fall. .

The next group most affected was black respondents (39 percent were vitamin D deficient in winter and 31 percent in summer).

The NHS recommends these groups take the supplement throughout the year. Another large group of people who tend to have low vitamin D levels, and lack other essential micronutrients, are those who are overweight or obese.

Vitamin D is good for your bones, but it is also essential for a properly functioning immune system and there is good evidence that it can protect you from the impact of respiratory infections, including Covid-19.

Vitamin D is good for your bones, but it is also essential for a properly functioning immune system and there is good evidence that it can protect you from the impact of respiratory infections, including Covid-19.

This is partly because people who are significantly overweight tend to eat less nutritious foods, but also because extra weight, especially around the abdomen, leads to chronic inflammation – and if you have IBD, this may reduce the amount of nutrients you absorb.

There is also research showing that if you have a lot of body fat, it can “steal” vitamin D from your blood, reducing the amount available to the rest of the body. Vitamin D deficiency is more common in obese people compared to those of a healthy weight (although taking a supplement treats this).

While setting up a Channel 4 series, which included helping overweight volunteers shed some kilograms of Covid with my Fast 800 diet, I was shocked to discover how many people we tested were vitamin and mineral deficient.

Surprisingly, very few studies have looked at the status of vitamins in people with a high body mass index (BMI), but those with worrying results.

In research published last year by Curtin University in Perth, Western Australia, 127 people, all of them overweight or obese, kept a detailed record of what they ate and drank.

The researchers also conducted blood tests to measure levels of vitamins A, B12, C, D, E and folate, as well as some minerals, including iron, iodine, calcium, potassium, magnesium and zinc.

Although their food diaries indicate that the volunteers got enough of several of these essential nutrients, their blood tests tell a different story. It turned out that most of the participants were severely deficient in vitamin A, vitamin D, calcium, potassium, magnesium and zinc.

Which indicates that, regardless of what was stated in their food diary, they were not eating enough of the right foods, or that their excess weight significantly interfered with their ability to absorb and use the micronutrients that they were consuming.

One shocking finding was despite the fact that Western Australia is hot and sunny most of the year, 89 percent of the participants were severely deficient in Vitamin D.

Perhaps this is because the fear of skin cancer means that Australians are especially aware of the need to stay out of the sun.

But even worse, only 8 percent of the volunteers had healthy levels of calcium and nearly all of them were deficient in vitamin A, magnesium, potassium and zinc. The only vitamin that they had a great abundance of was vitamin C, which many took as a supplement.

One shocking finding was despite the fact that Western Australia was hot and sunny throughout most of the year, 89 percent of the participants were severely deficient in vitamin D.

One shocking finding was despite the fact that Western Australia was hot and sunny throughout most of the year, 89 percent of the participants were severely deficient in vitamin D.

All of this is important because Vitamin A strengthens the immune system and maintains healthy eyes and skin, while potassium plays a vital role in preventing high blood pressure (high blood pressure) and helping our heart muscles to function properly.

Zinc is essential for wound healing and helps fight viral infections, while magnesium is important not only for a healthy body and brain, but it also helps regulate your weight. Low levels are linked to depression and lack of sleep, and they have powerful anti-inflammatory effects.

Calcium is not only essential for healthy teeth and bones, but it may also aid in weight loss. This is because calcium binds to fats in your diet, ensuring less of them are absorbed.

The Curtin University team suggests that in addition to vitamin and mineral deficiencies more common in people who are overweight or obese, this lack of nutrients may in turn contribute to overeating, causing a vicious cycle where your mind is. Short. On the essential nutrients, it will make you eat unconsciously to make up for the deficiency.

Unfortunately, measuring your vitamin and mineral levels is not easy.

You can run specific tests on the NHS if you have obvious deficiency symptoms, such as anemia, but if you want a comprehensive picture, you will need to do them specifically.

In any case, I recommend that you try to follow a Mediterranean-style diet, rich in oily fish, nuts, seeds, legumes, vegetables, fruits and some dairy products, as this will give you most of the vitamins and minerals you need.

Now that spring has come, embrace the sun. To boost your vitamin D levels, you should go outside (for about 15 minutes) with your forearms, hands, or lower legs exposed and without sunscreen, ideally between the hours of 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.

But as the NHS warns: “Take care not to get sunburned, so make sure to cover or protect your skin with sunscreen before your skin starts turning red.

One of the reasons for our success as a species is not only our big brains, but we’re great at sweating.

We have ten times as many sweat glands per inch compared to chimpanzees and this mutation, which helps with cooling, is what made it possible for our ancestors to start taking over the world by out of the woods to hunt the hot African savannah.

The downside is body odor (or BO). Now the real solution could come from eliminating the main villains, including Staphylococcus hominis.

In March, Belgian scientist, Dr. Chris Kalliouer, better known as “Doctor Armpit”, revealed promising results of a probiotic spray containing good microbes that dislodge bad microbes like human staphylococcus. So is it BO bye forever?

After the victory of Covid Gap, it is time to face the mosquitoes!

Springtime means barbecues, long nights out and moose.

Globally, mosquitoes are not only a nuisance, but they are our deadliest predator. The diseases they transmit, including malaria, yellow fever and dengue fever, are the main deadly diseases in human history.

However, news came last week that the vaccine, developed by the Oxford team responsible for AstraZeneca Covid jab, was shown in a small study to be 77 per cent effective at preventing malaria.

This is likely to be a major breakthrough and the world is awaiting the results of a larger experiment with interest.

Fortunately, we no longer have malaria in this country (the last outbreak was in 1917), but we do have a lot of pesky insects. To protect yourself, avoid letting the water stand in plant pots or wheelbarrows, as it is a potential mosquito breeding ground.

Growing strong-smelling herbs like lavender, basil, and mint is said to keep them away, but I haven’t seen any studies confirm this.

Nothing really beats a mosquito repellent that contains DEET, although covering up by wearing socks, pants, and long sleeves is effective. A while ago, I had an experiment with another brave volunteer in which we went into a room full of predatory mosquitoes wearing nothing but shorts and a shirt. Next, we counted our bites and found that they were mainly around the feet and ankles – probably because mosquitoes like the smell.

We also noticed that insects prefer to bite me. So, another tip is to hang out with the mosquito’s most attractive friends. Ruthless, but effective.