Feeling the blues? Maybe you need to top up your Vitamin D levels! Here are five things you didn’t know about ‘the Sunshine Vitamin’, and then how
you can get more in your life.
A lack of sun is the cause, and muscle weakness and fatigue are common signs you’re not getting enough. SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder, is also a sign of deficiency that can affect up to as many as 1 in 3 people.
Unlike other vitamins, Vitamin D can actually be classed as a hormone – it is crucial to the body as it maintains the levels of calcium and phosphorus in the blood as well as helping regulate the activity of over 200 genes, which is a huge amount more than any other vitamin!
Vitamin D is crucial for the development and maintenance of bones so it’s needed at every age, from growing children to the elderly. The government has actually recommended that everyone take a Vitamin D supplement in the winter months in order to protect bone and muscle health.
Research has shown that Vitamin D can prevent and relieve chronic diseases. Studies on Vitamin D have shown that can improve conditions such as arthritis, MS and chronic headaches.
If you’re finding it hard to lose weight you might want to up your Vitamin D intake. Research has shown that overweight people have lower levels of Vitamin D and that taking supplements can help shift those stubborn pounds!
“Most of our vitamin D comes from our body’s synthesis in response to sunlight,” says Shona Wilkinson, nutritionist at SuperfoodUK.com. “Our modern lifestyle, however, means that most people work inside and are not exposed to adequate levels of sunlight to produce enough vitamin D in the UK. You can get some vitamin D from foods such as butter and oily fish, it’s not really enough. The best way to get vitamin D is from spending lots of time in the sun.”
If you don’t think you’re getting enough Vitamin D from your diet, you should invest in a good supplement.
“We also found that once in the bloodstream, the vitamin D appears to be deployed into virtually all tissues extremely rapidly, particularly in individuals who may be insufficient in their blood vitamin D levels,” explains Dr Luis Vitetta, Adjunct Professor at the University of Sydney Medical School.
Invest in a lamp that may help combat the lack of sunlight. “Consider using a special light lamp alarm clock,” explains Wilkinson. “The lamp gradually turns itself on (and gets brighter and brighter) to mimic natural dawn sunrise, to wake you up slowly before your alarm goes off. Research has shown people feel more positive and find it easier to get out of bed in the darker months after using it.”