The Importance of Vitamin D
If there is one thing many people of Melbourne have in common right now, is a low Vitamin D count. This is due to a combination of the world's longest lock-down and that we have just come out of winter.
So what is so important about Vitamin D?
Vitamin D has multiple roles in the body such as:
Promoting healthy bones and teeth.
Vitamin D regulated the calcium and phosphorus levels in the blood which are vital for the maintenance of health bones and teeth.
It also helps the intestines to stimulate and absorb calcium that the kidneys would otherwise excrete.
Vitamin D deficiency can also present as Osteomalacia, a softening of the bones, or Osteoporosis.
Helps to reduce the risk of viruses.
A 2018 study has found that vitamin D protected against the influenza virus, and increases the anti-inflammatory and antiviral responses of the epithelial cells in the respiratory system which helps to reduce the risk of viruses.
This benefit increases the enzymatic reaction in the body when combined with magnesium.
Other benefits include:
- Supporting immune, brain, and nervous system health.
- Regulating insulin levels and supporting diabetes.
- Supporting lung function and cardiovascular health.
- The symptoms for Vitamin D deficiency include:
- Regular sickness or infection.
- Bone and back pain
- Low mood
- Impaired wound healing
- Hair loss
- Muscle pain
And if not treated may lead too:
- Cardiovascular conditions.
- Autoimmune problems
- Neurological diseases
- Pregnancy complications
- Certain cancers - breast, prostate and colon.
The best source of Vitamin D is direct sunlight. Please be aware that sunscreen with an SPF of 30 plus can reduce the body's ability to synthesize Vitamin D by up to 95%, as can covering the skin with clothing.
I'm not saying to not use sunscreen, as it is needed especially during the height of the sun of 11am-3pm, the best way of getting sun exposure to absorb the Vitamin D is direct sunlight on the skin 5-10 minutes a day in the morning and late afternoon when the sun is not at it's strongest.
Other sources include:
- Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel and tuna
- Egg yolks
- Beef Liver
- Fortified Milk and Juices
- Fortified Cereals