The Importance Of Getting Enough Vitamin D

Vitamin D, sometimes referred to as the “sunshine vitamin” is produced in your skin in response to sunlight. While we might not be getting as much sunlight as usual during the winter months, it is still just as important for us to get enough.

Your body produces vitamin D naturally when it’s directly exposed to sunlight. You can also get it through certain foods and supplements to ensure adequate levels of the vitamin in your blood.

 

What Exactly Is Vitamin D?

Unlike most other vitamins, vitamin D is actually a hormone that is produced when your body is exposed to the sun. If you do not have a lot of exposure to sunlight due to your location, you could find that your vitamin D levels are running low and this can cause a number of health issues. This essential vitamin can be split into two types and can be found in foods such as egg yolks, salmon, tuna, sardines and mushrooms. However, the simplest way to boost your vitamin D levels is to increase your sun exposure as the food that contains this vitamin only provides a very small dose.

 

Vitamin D Deficiency Symptoms and Benefits

So how can you tell if you are vitamin D deficient? The symptoms are often subtle and can take time to become apparent. If you have low levels of vitamin D you are at a greater risk of illnesses including dementia, cancer, heart disease and diabetes to name a few. Making sure you top up your vitamin D levels can help to prevent these diseases and also reduce symptoms of depression and increase physical strength. Vitamin D also helps to control the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body which is integral to bone and tooth health. If you think you could be vitamin D deficient, the only way to know is to visit your GP for a blood test.

 

Taking Vitamin D Supplements

The recommended daily dose of vitamin D is 10 micrograms per day according to Public Health England. If you live in an area where the sun shines year-round, then you could simply make an effort to spend more time outdoors. However, if you live in an area that receives very little sunshine, a simple way to get a daily dose of vitamin D is to take a supplement. This can help to ensure you are getting the amount that you need without having to make any major changes to your diet. While you can increase your vitamin D levels by eating more fish or eggs, these foods contain such a small amount that you would have to eat a large portion of them every day.

 

Vitamin D Overuse

While daily vitamin D supplements can improve your overall health, it is important to stick to the correct amount. Taking extremely high doses can lead to weakened bones, high blood pressure and kidney damage. Taking too much of this supplement can lead to vitamin D toxicity which is a build-up of calcium in the blood.

Vitamin D, sometimes referred to as the “sunshine vitamin” is produced in your skin in response to sunlight. While we might not be getting as much sunlight as usual during the winter months, it is still just as important for us to get enough.

Your body produces vitamin D naturally when it’s directly exposed to sunlight. You can also get it through certain foods and supplements to ensure adequate levels of the vitamin in your blood.

 

Why is it important?

Vitamin D has several important functions. The most vital are regulating the absorption of calcium and phosphorus, and facilitating normal immune system function. Getting a sufficient amount of vitamin D is important for normal growth and development of bones and teeth, as well as improved resistance against certain diseases.

If your body doesn’t get enough vitamin D, you’re at risk of developing bone abnormalities such as soft or fragile bones.

 

Three surprising benefits of vitamin D

Vitamin D fights disease

 

Vitamin D reduces depression

Research has shown that vitamin D might play an important role in regulating mood and warding off depression. Vitamin D supplements can also be found to boost your mood and productivity.

 

Food sources of vitamin D

Few foods contain vitamin D naturally. Because of this, some foods are fortified. This means that vitamin D has been added. Foods that contain vitamin D include:

  • salmon
  • sardines
  • egg yolk
  • shrimp
  • milk (fortified)
  • cereal (fortified)
  • yogurt (fortified)
  • orange juice (fortified)

It can be difficult to get enough vitamin D each day through sun exposure and food alone, so taking vitamin D supplements can help. Always consult with your GP before you start taking any vitamin supplements.

 

Vitamin and nutrition blood tests can detect gluten, mineral, iron, calcium, and other deficiencies, telling you which vitamins you lack and which you are getting enough of through natural sources. Don't just take supplements, know how much and which ones you should be taking. At Pall Mall, we offer a range of blood testing services which detect multiple different deficiencies/diseases or complications. Click here for more information or call us on 03300 58 44 55.

 

 

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