Cheese a vital source of Vitamin D and probiotic bacteria, helping to fight covid-19 respiratory infection

New Irish research has shown Vitamin D to be vital in the bodies fight against respiratory infection. In this article we look at that new research and also other studies which indicate that including cheese in the diet may help our bodies to combat Covid-19.

The new report has been published by the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA) at Trinity College Dublin (TCD), further studies have been carried out at the Technological University Dublin (TU Dublin) and academics at TCD have also published an article on this topic in the Irish Medical Journal (IMJ).

Dr Eamon Laird suggests that the findings clearly show that Vitamin D deficiency is common, “which could have a significant negative impact on people’s immune response to infection”.

“There is an even larger risk now of deficiency with those cocooning or confined indoors. However, vitamin D deficiency is not inevitable. Eating foods such as oily fish, eggs, vitamin D-fortified cereals or dairy products, and a daily 400 IU (10ug) vitamin D supplement, can help avoid deficiency.”

The research indicates the importance of taking supplements as well as eating foods which are rich in Vitamin D. These include meat, eggs, oily fish and dairy products. Vitamin D supplementation and also eating foods rich in Vitamin D is recommended for the elderly and for health care workers to help them to combat Covid-19

In terms of dairy products milk contains 1iu of Vitamin D per 100g, whilst Cheddar cheese is one of the most rich sources containing 24iu of vitamin D per 100g, compare that to Mozzarella which contains 13iu of vitamin D and parmesan which contains 21iu.

Additional research published this month shows that eating foods rich in Vitamin D are also good for the heart.

The results of that research were published in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics and showed those with the highest vitamin D intake had the lowest risk of cardiovascular health problems such as a heart attack or stroke. Furthermore that research crucially showed that vitamin D sourced from food was more effective than supplementation in protecting the heart.

Study author Matina Kouvari, of Harokopio University in Athens, said: ‘Consuming foods high in vitamin D may have heart-protective effects. ‘In contrast with vitamin D supplementation, this study revealed that increased vitamin D intake from food sources may protect against heart-related problems, especially in men.

‘To the best of our knowledge, the study is one of the very few to evaluate the separate association of vitamin D intake received exclusively from food.’

2010 Research revealed eating probiotic cheese every day led to a clear enhancement of natural and acquired immunity in the elderly

Research showing cheese to be beneficial for the immune system of the elderly is not new. In 2010 Finnish research showed cheese to be beneficial not because of the Vitamin D but because the cheese acts as a carrier of probiotic bacteria. Not all cheeses contain probiotic bacteria, but good bacteria survive the aging process in some cheeses, including Gouda, mozzarella, cheddar and cottage cheese.

The team asked volunteers aged between 72 and 103, all of which lived in the same care home, to eat one slice of either placebo or probiotic Gouda cheese with their breakfast for four weeks. Blood tests where then carried out to discover the effect of probiotic bacteria contained within the cheese on the immune system. The results revealed a clear enhancement of natural and acquired immunity through the activation of NK blood cells and an increase in phagocytic activity.

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