Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that is made in our bodies when we are exposed to the sunlight. It plays a major role in:
- Bone health
- Immune system
- Regulating insulin levels (assisting in the management of Type 2 Diabetes)
- Supporting lung function and the cardiovascular system
What causes deficency?
There are many causes of vitamin D deficiency; some can be out of our control, for example skin colour. Melanin, which causes skin pigmentation, lowers the skin’s ability to make vitamin D in response to sunlight exposure.
Age can also be a factor. As we age our bodies becomes less efficient at using vitamins and minerals and managing them correctly. The elderly are also likely to spend more time indoors.
Symptoms of deficiency
Intake of Vitamin D through diet alone is unlikely to be sufficient and often it is necessary to supplement.
Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency may include:
- Frequent infections
- Bone and joint pain
- Slow healing of wounds
- Bone loss/atrophy
- Hair loss
- Muscle pain
An important discovery that has been made in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, is that tests have shown many of those suffering with the more severe effects of this virus were deficient in this important vitamin.
The importance of this vitamin has been recognised by the UK Government, as they are making it available to those individuals who are recognised as clinically extremely vulnerable. Therefore, it is vital that at this time that we keep our vitamin levels in check.
Sources of vitamin D
There are a number of ways we can acquire vitamin D naturally:
- Spend 20 minutes in the sun a day within a daily walk or jog with skin exposed
- Eat foods high in vitamin D such as mushrooms, fish and egg yolks
- Consuming fortified foods
Remember, it’s important that we do not not let supplementation replace a healthy lifestyle and diet but instead use it to assist in maintaining healthy levels of this ‘sunshine’ vitamin. If you have any concerns regarding any aspect of your health, please seek medical advice from your health care professional.
I have been supplementing with Nu U Vitamin D 4000 IU Softgel Capsules*. They are an easy to swallow quadruple strength vitamin D3 supplement.
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