Vitamin D insufficiency affects practically every function of our body and is a vital fat-soluble vitamin important for our bones. It’s special in that most of it comes from sunlight, and only trace amounts of it are found in our meals.
Vitamin D deficiency affects 60% of the UK population.
Vitamin D deficiency has increased dramatically, particularly in youngsters, where rates were 15 times higher in 2014 than in 2000. This could be due to increased testing as the importance of Vitamin D becomes recognized. It could also be because people are spending less time outside and using more sunscreen.
Children, the elderly, and persons with darker skin tones are especially vulnerable.
Sunlight provides 90% of Vitamin D.
White British people need 13 minutes of skin exposure to midday summer sun at least three times a week to elevate blood Vitamin D levels to exceed 50nmol/L (basic minimum for excellent health). Two of the highest sources only supply the RDA for adults at the bare minimum. 526IU (13.1cg) is found in 100g of cooked Sockeye salmon, while 154IU (3.9cg) is found in a complete can of tuna. Cod liver oil, on the other hand, has 1360IU (13.1cg) per tablespoon.
For six months of the year, we don’t get enough Vitamin D from the sun in the UK.
In the UK, there isn’t enough UVB sunshine throughout the winter months for vitamin D production, so we have to rely on vitamin D stockpiles from the summer or tablets. The NHS now recommends that everyone, especially youngsters, the elderly, individuals with darker skin tones, pregnant women, and breastfed babies, consider taking a vitamin D supplement.
Low levels can lead to bone issues.
Vitamin D, together with calcium, magnesium, and vitamin K2, is required for good bone mineralization. It’s also required for bone growth and health, as well as the prevention and treatment of fractures. Vitamin D deficiency in children and adults can lead to rickets and osteomalacia. Vitamin D aids in the prevention of osteoporosis in humans.
Increased infections can be caused by a vitamin D deficiency.
Vitamin D deficiency not only raises your chances of getting an infection, but it also increases your chances of getting a more serious infection (including sepsis) and dying from it.
Pain and muscle weakness can result from a deficiency.
Vitamin D aids in the preservation of muscle mass and strength, as well as bone health. Vitamin D supplements have been found in small studies to help with musculoskeletal pain and arthritic knee discomfort.
In children, deficiency can result in stunted growth and convulsions.
Hypocalcemic tetany (low calcium due to low Vitamin D) can lead to seizures in those who are deficient in Vitamin D. In children, it has also been related to development issues, cardiac problems, autoimmune disease, and ADHD.
Supplementing with vitamin D may improve your mood.
Many people’s moods plummet during the darkest months of the year, so now is a good time to think about taking a Vitamin D supplement. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to an increased risk of sadness and anxiety, and supplementation may help to alleviate depression symptoms.
Vitamin D is essential for a healthy immune system.
Vitamin D has unique receptors in immune system cells that can activate it, demonstrating how vital this vitamin is to our immune system. Vitamin D promotes cell growth and maintains a healthy immune system. It also protects against infection and autoimmune illnesses. It may also help to prevent cancer. Low Vitamin D levels, according to current studies, may have a role in food allergies, presumably through its involvement in gut health.
Memory and brain function are both aided by vitamin D.
Vitamin D is crucial for our brain function and memory, as well as protecting us from Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
Vitamin D is important for gut and heart health.
Vitamin D is crucial in reducing the risk of inflammatory bowel illnesses like Crohn’s disease by reducing inflammation in the stomach. Vitamin D promotes heart health, lowers blood pressure, and lowers the risk of atherosclerosis (although it should be taken with Vitamin K2 to prevent this).