In a recent BBC interview I heard from our Prime Minister is that he is aware of his own physical condition and the possible relationship between his obesity and the impact Covid19 had on him.
It has been widely publicised that body fat and diabetes are factors related to poor outcomes when infected with Coronavirus. Boris Johnson says that this is a time of opportunity to improve the health of the nation in relation to this issue.
Of course it’s easy to say and Boris did not elaborate on any plans the Government has to help those at greatest risk improve their chances of increasing their resilience against the virus as we move from the first wave towards a Winter during which estimates suggest we could be in for a higher than average death toll from respiratory diseases.
So, is there anything can you do?
There has been discussion about whether Vitamin D levels are relevant in our robustness in the face of Covid19. There is a belief that Optimum levels of Vitamin D are important to a well functioning Immune System.
A 2017 study in the British Medical Journal concluded that “Vitamin D supplementation was safe and it protected against acute respiratory tract infection overall.”
In the BAME group Melanin levels in the skin that are higher than in pale skin toned people mean that it is not possible for the same levels of Vitamin D to be produced when exposed to the same amount of sunlight at the same latitude.
Hypovitaminosis D (low vitamin D) was found in 100% of BAME people in a 2007 study of 154 people.
Things are just as bad for the obese. Vitamin D is a fat and stored in fatty tissues, thus reducing the available Vitamin D circulating in the blood. To raise your vitamin D levels as an obese person it is necessary to take substantially more vitamin D than someone of optimal body mass.
So how much Vitamin D should we take?
My friend and colleague Simon Billings is an expert on Vitamin D, amongst many other things, and he has produced this video to help you understand why Vitamin D supplementation is one of the most useful things we can do for the benefit of our health and how much we should be taking.