What is Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is often referred to as the sunshine vitamin because our main source of it comes from the sun. It’s a fat soluble nutrient that plays an important role in immune function, bone health, blood pressure, keeping hormones healthy, brain and mood function. It’s essential, meaning the body can’t make it, and we need to get it though sun exposure, diet or supplement form.

Why Should We Take Vitamin D?

There are very few foods that contain vitamin D and it is only present in small amounts in those foods making it harder to get the required amount through diet alone. During the winter months when there is less skin exposure to the sun supplementing with vitamin D becomes essential and the NHS recommends that all healthy adults take a vitamin D supplement between the months of October to March. Supplementing with vitamin D is important for all stages of life, including babies and children with public Health England recommending that babies from birth up until 12months old have a daily supplement of 10 micrograms throughout the year. Children age 1 to 4 need a daily supplement of 10 micrograms too.

Maintaining Healthy Bones

Vitamin D is important in the absorption of calcium and phosphorus which are both essential in building and keeping strong healthy bones. Low levels of vitamin D can result in softening of the bones and severe deficiency in vitamin D can lead to rickets in children. Being deficient in vitamin D can also increase the chances of developing osteoporosis. Studies have shown that supplementing with vitamin D can improve muscular skeletal health by naturally slowing skeletal ageing.

What Can Low Vitamin D Levels Do to Our Body?

Vitamin D is very important in regulating the immune system and keeping it balanced, preventing prolonged periods of inflammation. Having a low level of vitamins D stored in the body has been linked to respiratory illness, increased susceptibility to immune related disorders, infection, disease, mood disorders such as anxiety and depression, fatigue, hormone imbalances, poor cognitive function, hair loss, psoriasis, and even making us more susceptible to certain cancers.

From heart health, Blood sugar, and Cholesterol to Inflammation

Studies have shown that supplementing with vitamin D and calcium in those that are deficient can improve blood sugar control. Having low levels of vitamin D have been linked to a higher risk of developing type 1 or 2 diabetes. It has also been shown to be beneficial to those with pre diabetes too.

Vitamin D is beneficial when it comes to heart health, as it can help maintain normal blood pressure levels, cholesterol and keep inflammation at bay. There are many studies that link vitamin D deficiency with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

As mentioned above vitamin D deficiency is linked to a greater risk of mood disorders too, this is because it can effect brain function. Vitamin D acts as a hormone within the body with the ability to stimulate activity of the endocrine glands and support nerve transmitter production.

Check if you are deficient in Vitamin D, it can do you the world of wonders.

As you can see the powers of vitamin D are essential to living a healthy life, and as the body make it from sunshine on the skin during the colder months supplementing is essential to prevent a deficiency from occurring. If you haven’t been taking a vitamin D supplement during the winter months speak to your doctor about which one is right for you and what the correct dosage is. A simple blood test can let you know how your vitamin D stores are looking. Babies and children who are having more than 500ml of formula a day do not need to take an additional vitamin D supplement as most formulas are fortified with this important vitamin.