This week’s Nutrition News looks at the latest health studies to have taken place during the global pandemic of COVID-19 as well as the nutrients that may support during menopause.

Catch up on the latest research here.

Why vitamin D is hitting the media

Dr John Campbell, a retired nurse teacher and A&E nurse with a YouTube following of 695,000 subscribers, has voiced his frustration of the delayed media coverage of the importance of vitamin D for respiratory health. Speaking in his latest video, Dr Campbell went through recent headlines from British publications and shared his optimism in vitamin D’s importance now being shared through such platforms, despite it all seeming a little late and far behind the research, which has been discussed in previous Nutrition News articles.

In the video Dr Campbell shared facts from recent studies and publications including one from an Indonesian study that found that 98.9% of COVID-19 patients had been classed as vitamin D deficient.

While, of course, further research is needed to better evaluate the link between vitamin D and coronavirus severity, an increasing number of studies are coming out that support the case, leading to many publications and the government reviewing their stance on vitamin D supplementation. This includes a recent BBC article that has been updated to acknowledge the link between vitamin D and immune support as the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) is now reviewing studies looking at the impact of vitamin D on chest infections.

Survey finds 1 in 4 at risk of malnutrition

The coronavirus outbreak has sparked health concerns across the globe, with direct and indirect health issues being of real concern. While many have considered the knock on effect of people with ongoing health issues having to forgo their usual treatment, one area that hasn’t been as widely considered is the monetary concerns imposed by reduced income and job losses.

A recent survey, published by Feeding Britain and Northumbria University’s Healthy Living Lab, reported in this Medscape article, suggests that the financial implications of COVID-19 extend to malnutrition risks in as many as 1 in 4 adults in the UK. The survey has found that many adults in the UK have changed their food buying habits, opting for cheaper food and forgoing items they would normally buy, leading to food insecurity.

This can result in people relying on cheaper, processed foods, devoid of nutritional value and even, in more extreme cases, going without; leading to its own health concerns.

The link between magnesium and menopause symptoms

Magnesium is important for all sorts of functions in the body, including the normal function of the nervous system, muscle function, and psychological function, but a recent article by Healthline has highlighted its potential role in menopause support.

Magnesium is also important for bone health, with approximately 60% of the body’s magnesium stored in the bones. Estrogen levels decline during the menopause process, which can lead to an increase in osteoclast activity or bone loss, therefore, magnesium can play a crucial role in supporting bone health during the menopause.

As magnesium also plays an important role in psychological function, some studies suggest it could have a positive effect on low mood experienced during menopause.

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Alison Astill-Smith author Alison is Director and Founder of Metabolics who writes about Metabolics updates, events and natural healthcare. Her experience and passion for natural supplements and healthcare comes from her years of experience as a practising osteopath, having founded Metabolics in her search for high quality, natural products in her own work. Alison has been a qualified and practising Osteopath since 1981 and regularly gives seminars on a range of healthcare subjects to the wider practitioner community helping share her knowledge and experience.