VITAMIN D HAVE YOU GOT ENOUGH?
Now that we’re at that time of year again when sunshine and daylight are dwindling and temperatures are rapidly falling, many of us are starting to feel a bit lethargic, de-energised and sluggish, as well as suffering with the latest colds and bugs that are doing the rounds. This could be directly linked to our diminishing levels of vitamin D now that our summer has well and truly finished.
Vitamin D is the hormone that we produce from fat under the skin in response to sunlight. Although vitamin D can be found in a number of food sources, experts estimate that the most effective source is direct sunlight, accounting for about 90% of our intake.
When you consider that vitamin D is essential for so many aspects of our health and wellbeing, the shorter and colder days seem even more daunting! Vitamin D:
· helps the body to absorb calcium which is essential for healthy bones and teeth
· regulates the immune system and consequently helps to fend off winter bugs
· supports cognitive function
· helps to support the reduction of inflammation, which is often aggravated by the drop in temperature during winter
· may support healthy heart function
· supports the balance of hormone levels
· supports healthy muscle function (including skeletal muscle and heart muscle)
· may help to support mood and wellbeing in those with SAD
It is thought that as much as approximately 60% of the UK population is deficient in vitamin D. Concern for the problem is so great that government guidelines now recommend most people supplement with vitamin D throughout the winter months.
So there is light at the end of the tunnel so to speak! Taking a regular vitamin D supplement with the suggested intake of 1500-2000iu for your age will support your body’s levels of the all important vitamin and put you on track until we see some nicer weather.