Vitamin D: The Sunshine Vitamin. Benefits, natural sources, deficiency and how to fix
Vitamin D is often called the ‘Sunshine Vitamin’ due to the fact that it’s produced in the skin by the body as a response to Sunlight exposure.
What is it?
It’s a fat-soluble vitamin, meaning it’s can be absorbed along with fats in the diet and stored in the body’s fatty tissue and in the liver.
What are the benefits?
It’s a very important vitamin as its deficiency has been correlated with various cancer and other chronic illness. In particular an adequate level of Vitamin D and an increased intake has been found to reduces the risk of breast cancer in pre-menopausal women.
The benefits of Vitamin D are numerous, among others in protecting against:
· Heart Disease
· Joint Pains
· Autoimmune Disease
Many people, particularly women, are deficient In Vitamin D. One reason for this deficiency is that our best natural source of Vitamin D is sunlight, but these days we all try to stay out of the sun and use sunscreen (even in cosmetics and moisturizers) and the weather doesn’t help either, especially here in UK where we get sun shines from May till September when lucky.
Which are the natural sources of Vitamin D apart from the Sunlight?
Unfortunately, not many foods contain vitamin D naturally. Because of this, some foods are fortified, meaning that vitamin D has been added. Some of these foods include:
Orange juice (fortified)
Which are the symptoms that you could be deficient of Vitamin D?
The symptoms are usually subtle and may take years to decade to show up however these are some of the signs which may give you an alert:
· Getting sick or infected often (Vitamin D has an important role in keeping immune system strong in order to fight viruses and bacteria that cause illness). This is because there is a great talking nowadays about Vitamin D as potential help in fighting Covid 19.
· Excessive Fatigue and Tiredness (there can be many causes of these, but Vitamin D deficiency is one of them)
· Bone and Lower Back pain
· Depression (some studies show that in case of Vitamin D deficiency, supplementing improves mood)
· Osteoporosis, reduced mineral density and increase risk of falls and fractures in older adults
· Muscle pain (a link has been found between chronic pain and low blood levels of vitamin D)
· Hair loss
How can you find out if you are deficient?
A simple blood test can detect if there is a deficiency, I always include it in my test packages.
If you suspect you can be deficiency, speak with a specialist and have it tested before taking any supplement.
Although occurrences are quite rare, it’s not advisable to take too much if not needed as it can cause toxicity. Possible side effects could include too high levels of calcium in the blood, dry mouth, headache, loss of appetite and fatigue.
How can you make sure your Vitamin D level is adequate?
· Have at least 15/20 minutes without sunscreen of midday sun exposure per day (1 hour would be best for people with dark skin, more at risk of deficiency)
· Eat Natural Food source rich in Vitamin D
· Have it tested
· Supplement it in case of deficiency
In conclusion, Vitamin D deficiency is very common and most people are unaware of it, this is because most of the symptoms are non-specific, meaning they can be related to other things.
If you think you may have a deficiency, it’s crucial you get it tested in order to fix it and avoid future complications, it’s an easy fix.
That’s all for now.
PS If you would like to find out more on how I can help you and see the tests I do, book your free Discovery Call on my website.