Vitamin D is known as the ‘vitamin of the sun’ and with 1 in 3 people suffering with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) with the added pressure of a UK National Lockdown, should we be supplementing this vital nutrient?
We’ve hit the winter months and we’re missing the long summer evenings and wearing our shorts all day. But, do we ever stop to think about whether our nutrient status is still in check?
Why do we need it?
Every cell in the human body has a Vitamin D receptor, so every-body system depends on it. A co-factor in Calcium absorption in our bodies, whilst supporting cell rejuvenation and reducing inflammation.
Research and clinical expressions have associated Vitamin D deficiency with poor genetic expression, declined metabolic rate, weak bone density, hormone dysregulation and weak immunity. Contributing to signs and symptoms including (but not limited too) fatigue, aches and pains, mood changes (including depression and SAD), coughs/colds and flu, high blood pressure, diabetes, Rickets Disease.
Where do we get it?
Naturally, Vitamin D is created by the body when our skin has contact with daylight, optimally between 11am and 3pm when the sun light is at its peak. But, with longer working hours, more screen time exposure and less time spent outside are we getting what we need from our golden friend?
Vitamin D is also in an abundant of foods including Oily Fish (such as Salmon, Mackerel, Sardines), Eggs (yolks) and Mushrooms too! Incorporating these foods into our diets, especially during the winter months, are a great way to ensure we are supplying our bodies with the nutrients it needs to perform day-to-day activity. Organic Dairy products also provide a source of Vitamin D.
National Government Guidelines advise that UK residents supplement Vitamin D between the months of October-March as our clocks go back and sunlight becomes weaker.
NHS England also advise supplementing Vitamin D during the COVID-19 pandemic as we are spending more time in doors with research supporting Vitamin D reduces the risk of contracting Coronavirus with immune system regulation.
When looking for supplements, chose wisely. Using a high quality, bioavailable form that is easily absorbed is an optimal way ensure sufficient quantities. Try opting for food formed supplements that provide both active and stored forms of Vitamin D that are readily available for absorption and therefore easier to convert to Vitamin D3 – the active form of Vitamin D in our body.
As with many other vitamins, Vitamin D can easily follow a U-Shaped curve meaning high levels in the body can be equally problematic with increased risk of cardiovascular disease, kidney stones and compromised bone density.
Understanding Vitamin D requirements can be confusing. To understand your individual needs, working with a Nutritional Therapist, Functional Medicine Practitioner or GP for Vitamin D blood testing are advised.