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Research Shows Melatonin & Vitamin D Helpful Against COVID-19

With the world concerned about the continued fight against the COVID-19 virus, it is more important than ever to engage in research related best practices in prevention and treatment. World-renowned researcher, Dr. Paul Marik, recently published results of a study that shows that melatonin and vitamin D are both effective in prevention and a part of treatment of COVID-19.

Dr. Marik serves on the medical faculty and Chief of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Eastern Virginia Medical School. He also co-founded the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance, which focuses on identifying research-based strategies for treating the illness worldwide. A researcher with over 500 peer-reviewed publications, Dr. Marik is recognized as one of the leaders in studying COVID-19.

His recently published research showed that patients taking melatonin were less likely to become infected with SARS-CoV-2 and had lower overall rates of mortality than others. Part of this protective function may come from melatonin’s anti-inflammatory properties as some of the biggest complications from COVID-19 originate from the body’s cytokine storm response, a severe inflammatory response. While most people think of melatonin for its properties of helping sleep, it also has a number of other benefits including antioxidant and cancer fighting properties.

The research also highlighted a number of important benefits regarding vitamin D in the fight against COVID-19. Specifically, a study of 191,779 individuals in the U.S. found a 47% reduction in the COVID-19 positivity rate as vitamin D levels increased from 20 ng/ml to 55 ng/ml. This clearly shows that addressing vitamin D deficiency serves to improve resiliency against catching COVID-19. Dr. Marik also conducted a meta-analysis of vitamin D deficiency in relation to COVID-19 severity, hospitalization, and death which found that people with vitamin D levels below 20 ng/ml were 160% more likely to have severe infection and 22% more likely to die.

Results of these studies make sense when considering the functions of melatonin and vitamin D. As noted, melatonin is an important antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Meanwhile, vitamin D is known to be critical for immune function. It helps regulate functioning of a number of important cells including B-cells, T-cells, and macrophages as well as the cytokine response.

This research provides hope for prevention and treatment but also concern as many people are deficient with their vitamin D intake as the primary source of vitamin D intake is sun exposure. A number of products can be useful in helping people greatly increase their levels of vitamin D and melatonin. For example, a vitamin D sunlamp has been proven to greatly increase vitamin D levels with only five minutes of use every other day. Additionally, LED light therapy boxes are great ways to regulate melatonin levels. Whatever your choice, it is becoming increasingly clear that melatonin and vitamin D are crucially important for health including in the fight against COVID-19.

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Our first GrassrootsHealth collaboration results are here!

We’d like to thank everyone who continues to participate in our collaboration with GrassrootsHealth in the world’s largest effort to combat Vitamin D deficiency. We have the first round of results from Sperti Sunlamp users who participated in the collaboration!

Most experts agree a person’s Vitamin D serum level should be at least 40 ng/ml. Only 7% of the American population is estimated to have sufficient levels of Vitamin D.

Only 47% of GrassrootsHealth participants that don’t use a Sperti Sunlamp have a serum level of 40 or higher.

80% of all Sperti Sunlamp users who registered with GrassrootsHealth have normal or better levels of Vitamin D!

If you’re interested in testing your Vitamin D levels and participating in a collaboration that provides researchers with valuable information about Vitamin D deficiency and how we can fight it globally, you can visit here.

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Signs of Vitamin D Deficiency

An image depicting a woman suffering from back pain

Vitamin D is an incredibly important nutrient that has a number of positive health effects. However, many people are deficient in vitamin D. In fact, approximately 42% of the United States population suffers from vitamin D deficiency with 5.9% of the population severely deficient. Some groups are even more impacted including premenopausal women and people over 65.

However, most people who are vitamin D deficient do not even realize their status. Thus, it is important to understand the different signs of vitamin D deficiency. This will help people to better identify if they need more vitamin D.

Signs of Vitamin D Deficiency

Fatigue. Being excessively tired can be a sign of many different ailments; thus, vitamin D deficiency can often be overlooked as a cause of fatigue. However, testing your vitamin D blood level may quickly illustrate that deficiency may be a source of fatigue. Research has found that this is often a sign in young women.

Frequency Sickness. Are you someone that finds yourself frequently getting colds? Vitamin D deficiency could be the case. One of the important functions of vitamin D is that it strengthens your immune system. Studies have particularly found that people with low levels of vitamin D tend to get many more respiratory tract infections. Vitamin D directly contributes to the formation of the cells that are responsible for fighting off viruses, so it is no surprise that this is a sign of deficiency.

Slow to Heal. Adequate vitamin D levels are important for helping our wounds heal. This is because vitamin D helps to control inflammation and fight infection, two important aspects for the healing process. Studies have found that patients with lower levels of vitamin D heal less quickly from surgery. If you are slow to heal after getting a cut or injury, vitamin D deficiency could be a culprit.

Bone Loss. One of the important functions of vitamin D is helping with calcium absorption. This contributes to the maintenance of bone health. With low vitamin D levels, bone loss is possible. This tends to be more of a severe issue in women and is often a sign that can go unnoticed.

Hair Loss. Hair loss can also be caused by deficiency of a number of nutrients including vitamin D. In fact, low vitamin D levels are also a risk factor of developing alopecia which causes severe hair loss. There are many different things that affect hair health so understanding the cause may be difficult. If someone experiences hair loss with other signs of vitamin D deficiency, a doctor may want to investigate.

Depression. Mental health is very complicated and can be caused by a wide range of factors. However, low levels of vitamin D can contribute to the onset of depression or an increase in its severity. In fact, vitamin D has been shown to reduce symptoms of depression in some people.

What Should I Do?

These are common signs of vitamin D deficiency. If you feel that your health may be impacted by low levels of vitamin D, it is best to discuss the matter with your doctor. Health is complicated and vitamin D deficiency may often be overlooked. Your doctor can test the level of vitamin D in your blood and help investigate potential causes of any symptoms.

Additionally, many people can simply benefit from increasing their vitamin D levels, particularly those who do not get a lot of sunlight. For those that want the benefits of sunlight without the health risks of too much exposure, a sun lamp may be an excellent way to recharge your vitamin D levels.

 

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Vitamin D in Sports Performance

An image depicting an athlete jogging through a burst of sunlight

Athletes are often working to find every possible way to improve their performance. After all, when you are an athlete, small differences can lead to big success. Many people are surprised to find that vitamin D plays an important role in athletic performance.

This is particularly interesting given what is known about vitamin D levels. Vitamin D deficiency has been called a worldwide epidemic with 42% of people in the United States alone suffering from vitamin D deficiency. Let’s take a look at how vitamin D can affect sports performance.

How Vitamin D Affects Athletic Performance

There are actually a number of ways that vitamin D affects sports performance. This is not surprising given that existing research has shown that vitamin D is responsible for a number of important processes within the body.

Muscle Strength. For athletes, the strength of their muscles is extremely important in how well they execute. Vitamin D actually has a number of contributions to muscles. First, it is necessary for healthy muscle growth. However, it is also imperative for muscle functioning as it regulates the contractility of muscles.

Athletes who are deficient in vitamin D may have increased muscle weakness and suffer more injuries. Research found that higher levels of vitamin D are associated with lower occurrences of muscle injuries in sports as well as better overall performance.

Bone Strength. We all know that calcium consumption is key for developing bones; however vitamin D also plays an important role in this process. Vitamin D essentially helps your body to be able to effectively absorb calcium. Without healthy levels of vitamin D, even people who get enough calcium may be unable to maintain healthy bones.

For athletes, a broken bone can spell up to a year out of action. As the foundation of our body, our skeletons are critical for athletic performance. While muscles do the work, skeletons comprise the frame. Thus, having healthy bone density is important for athletes. Studies have confirmed that athletes with low vitamin D levels are more likely to suffer fractures.

Fatigue and Sickness. A common sign of vitamin D deficiency is fatigue. For athletes, this can cause a number of problems. If you are suffering from fatigue, you may not engage in as much training while you also may get less from your training than if you were well rested. This can have a negative impact on performance over time.

Additionally, the effect of vitamin D on the immune system is well known. Vitamin D promotes immune health with people who have adequate vitamin D intake getting sick much less frequently. Athletes put a strain on their bodies and need greater immune protection.

Athletes & Vitamin D: What to Do

If you are an athlete wanting to achieve your best, you may want to assess your level of vitamin D health. Vitamin D deficiency can put a damper on your athletic abilities and even lead to troublesome injuries while getting enough vitamin D can help keep your body in top shape.

Vitamin D deficiency can particularly be a problem for athletes during the winter months as the primary source of vitamin D is the sun. Many athletes supplement their vitamin D health during the winter months by sending extra time in front of a sun lamp than they do in the summer. Assessing your vitamin D health may allow you to optimize your sports performance.

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How Vitamin D Prevents Ailments

An image depicting an ill person. Vitamin D can help prevent illnesses of many sorts by boosting your immune system.

Vitamin D is one of a number of substances that cannot be directly produced by the body alone. Instead, Vitamin D requires that we either consume it in our diets or receive adequate exposure to sunlight in order to allow our skin cells to convert substances into it

Thus, it is not surprising to find that 41% of adults are deficient in Vitamin D. This can create a number of problems as Vitamin D is important for preventing a wide variety of ailments due to its importance in the normal functioning of the body. Let’s take a look at the role of Vitamin D in the body and how it prevents a variety of problems and conditions.

Reduced Risk of Illnesses

We all know that our immune system is important for keeping us protected from foreign invaders such as viruses and bacteria. For our immune system to function efficiently, it needs to be able to detect these invaders and send an immune response to eliminate them. Vitamin D serves to help regulate the overall functioning of a healthy immune system.

In fact, Vitamin D has been found to be particularly effective against influenza. Researchers have studied whether vitamin D deficiency resulted in higher incidences of the flu. Having adequate levels of Vitamin D is important for preventing flu and other illnesses.

Bone Health

One of the most notable ways in which Vitamin D is important relates directly to the health of bones. There are a number of reasons for this. First, Vitamin D is incredibly important for the regulation of calcium within your body. Secondly, it helps your body to maintain healthy levels of phosphorus in the blood. Additionally, Vitamin C stimulates the intestines to absorb more calcium and helps reclaim calcium that would otherwise be eliminated by the kidneys. These things are incredibly important for bone health.

This is particularly an area of concern for older adults who are at risk of developing conditions such as osteoporosis and osteomalacia. These can result in bones becoming soft, brittle, and risk fracturing. Ensuring a healthy amount of Vitamin D is particular effective for older adults, meaning that UVB sunlamps can be important tools for their bone health.

Mental Health

While most discussions of aspects of nutrition turn to things like physical health, Vitamin D is also very important for promoting mental health. Research has found it to be involved in helping the body to regulate moods. In fact, individuals diagnosed with depression saw improvement in their symptoms when they had adequate amounts of Vitamin D.

Benefits were also shown in terms of those with anxiety. A study of patients with fibromyalgia found that those with vitamin D deficiency had much higher rates of anxiety as well as depression than did those with adequate levels of Vitamin D.

Children’s Health

Vitamin D is integral to healthy children. It is well known that a lack of Vitamin D in children can lead to the development of rickets, a condition where inefficient levels of calcium lead to softening of bones. However, there are a number of other ways were Vitamin D benefit children.

Research from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology found that low levels of Vitamin D led to higher allergic responses to substances while other research found children with lower levels of Vitamin D were more likely to develop allergies. It has also been found that Vitamin D can increase anti-inflammatory effects, serving as effective supporting therapy for those with steroid resistant asthma.

Heart Health

Cardiovascular problems are the most significant cause of mortality in the United States. Vitamin D is one of many things that can improve overall cardiovascular health. The vitamin itself regulates blood pressure through its actions on smooth muscle cells. Deficiency has resulted in a higher incidence of cardiovascular disease as well as higher death rates for those with cardiovascular disease.

Thus, Vitamin D deficiency has been designated as a risk factor for a number of conditions such as stroke and heart attack as well as associated conditions including high blood pressure and diabetes. The function of the skin to convert cholesterol into Vitamin D also serves to maintain heart health.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, Vitamin D is critical for keeping our bodies safe and preventing a number of potential ailments. Since a large number of people find themselves struggling with Vitamin D deficiency, UVB sunlamps such as the Sperti Vitamin D Sunlamp can be effective for helping overcome deficiency and receive the various health benefits of adequate Vitamin D intake.

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Five Ways Sunlamps are Better than Vitamin D Supplements

We often do not spend a lot of time thinking about micronutrients; however, they are absolutely critical for our health. One incredibly important one is Vitamin D, which is a substance that cannot naturally be made by people and requires either consumption of Vitamin D supplements or exposure to sunlight to attain the appropriate levels of Vitamin D.

However, many people suffer from Vitamin D deficiency. There are a wide array of causes for this including issues with the kidneys or digestive track, the amount of melanin in your skin, levels of sunlight exposure, or an improper diet. For people who suffer from Vitamin D deficiency, the major recommended solutions are either sunlamp therapy or taking Vitamin D supplements. While both are viable solutions, there are a number of reasons why Vitamin D sunlamps provide a more optimal choice for Vitamin D than supplements.

1)         Sunlamps mimic natural sunlight.

It is important to note that not all sunlamps are able to result in Vitamin D production; however, true sunlamps supplement Vitamin D by producing ultraviolet B light, which is then used by your skin cells to convert cholesterol into Vitamin D. Sunlamps that emit ultraviolet B rays will be able to mimic the natural process for creating Vitamin D. This means your body can receive Vitamin D from a more natural source than taking pills.

2)         Sunlamps are more efficient

For those who have taken supplements before, you likely struggle to remember to always take them in a timely manner. It is easy to make a sunlamp a typical part of your day. In fact, sunlamps are designed in a manner that allows them to rapidly provide your body with the amount of ultraviolet B rays needed to produce Vitamin D. In fact, the best sunlamps require as little as five minutes of use every other day to produce optimal levels of Vitamin D.

3)         Better financial decision long-term

While Vitamin D supplements are relatively inexpensive, the cost does add up significantly over time. Spending $15 a month on Vitamin D will add up to over $1,000 in expenses over the course of seven years. Meanwhile, the highest quality sunlamps like the Sperti Vitamin D sunlamp are half that cost and comes with a seven-year warranty, making sunlamps an excellent decision in terms of affordability long-term.

4)         Supported by clinical research

When making decisions regarding health and wellness, it is often useful to turn to studies to determine the best options. Research has confirmed that sunlamps are superior sources of Vitamin D supplementation. Research from Clinical Nutrition Experimental found that simulated sunlight exposure was much more effective in bone homeostasis when compared to Vitamin D supplements.

5)         Supplements simply do not work for everyone

While most people may assume that consuming Vitamin D would work as a great way of supplementation for everyone, the reality is that some people simply cannot absorb Vitamin D supplements. Specifically, people with conditions such as cystic fibrosis, short bowel syndrome, and other issues cannot absorb Vitamin D from dietary supplements. However, researchers from the National Institutes of Health found that UVB sunlamps were effective sources of Vitamin D for individuals who cannot absorb the vitamin from supplements.

Final Thoughts

Many people do not get adequate levels of Vitamin D from their diet and exposure to sunlight. For these people, optimal health and wellness will involve finding ways to acquire necessary Vitamin D. UVB sunlamps are an excellent choice for this as they are more efficient, natural, and cost-effective than taking Vitamin D supplements, helping your body to produce Vitamin D through natural processes.

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Five Ways to Boost Your Immune System

Easy Ways to Keep Yourself Healthy as Sickness Spreads the Globe

With the surge of Covid-19, the flu season, and even the common cold heading around the world right now, it’s easy to think you’re destined to contract something. In addition to washing your hands and social distancing, there are more ways you can help your body fight off viruses and other infections that make their way into your community.

1.Eat more citrus

Did you know humans are one of the only mammals that don’t have the ability to synthesize Vitamin C? We have to obtain it from our diet. While Vitamin C plays an important role in many chemical reactions in our body, it’s so important in keeping us from getting sick because it’s a powerful antioxidant. Stock up on oranges, lemons, and grapefruits if you want to keep your body safe and healthy!

2. Don’t smoke

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smokers are generally less healthy than non-smokers. Cigarette smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals, many of which can affect your body’s ability to fight off sicknesses. Smoking throws off the equilibrium of your immune system, so if you’re trying to stay healthy avoid both first-hand and second-hand smoke.

3.Get more sleep

Getting sleep is so important because when we sleep our bodies produce and release cytokines. Cytokines fight infection and inflammation in our body and essentially trigger our body’s immune responses. When you’re stressed about getting sick, it can be hard to maintain a healthy sleeping schedule. Many people will use bright light therapy devices to help wake up in the mornings and fall asleep at night.

4.Manage your stress

Stress is your body’s biological response to an actual or perceived threat. We’re always going to have stress in our lives, but managing it is an important part of fighting off illness. Chronic stress can lower your body’s ability to regulate inflammatory responses. You can manage stress by avoiding caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine, getting more sleep, meditating, or exercising!

5.Raise your Vitamin D

Low levels of Vitamin D have been linked to higher infection rates. As we’ve discovered, things like smoking, sleepless nights, and stress, can throw off your immune system’s balance and make it harder to stave off infections. Vitamin D helps your body trigger an immune response to infections, so lower levels make it more likely you’ll get sick this season.

It is estimated that 1 billion people worldwide are Vitamin D deficient. At Sperti, we’re passionate about providing a natural solution to low Vitamin D levels. Our Sperti Vitamin D Sunlamp is proven to help raise Vitamin D levels in just 5 minutes every other day.

What are some ways you’re keeping healthy?

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Can Vitamin D Help prevent Tuberculosis?

Approximately one quarter of the world’s population has been infected with tuberculosis (TB) bacteria. Nine million people become ill with TB each year and more than a million and a half of those will die from it. Some symptoms of tuberculosis are:

  • A long-lasting severe cough
  • Weight loss
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Coughing up blood

While it is known that people with weakened immune systems are more susceptible to contracting tuberculosis, new studies have shown that low Vitamin D levels are associated with latent tuberculosis (when a person carries tuberculosis but has no symptoms). 

Latent tuberculosis is often a precursor to active tuberculosis, so preventing the contraction of the latent form is the best measure to stay healthy. In a 2019 study of more than 6,000 people, the participants with Vitamin D levels of less than 12 ng/ml were twice as likely to have latent tuberculosis. In the same study, participants with a Vitamin D level of more than 30 ng/ml had the lowest probability of having latent tuberculosis.

If you’re interested in checking your Vitamin D levels, you can purchase a home testing kit here.