Now is the time of year that Vitamin D is discussed in the health world a lot, when here in the UK we can't get it from the sun and we get a very small amount, roughly just 10% from our diet. So what is Vitamin D? How do we produce it in our bodies? What are the effects of low Vitamin D levels? And the big question, do we need to supplement it?
Vitamin D acts as a pro-hormone and effects hormone balance amongst many other aspects of health and is produced by the body, in the skin, mostly through synthesising UV light from the sun and is also found in small amounts in some foods like fish, eggs, and mushrooms.
In the UK the only time of year we can make Vitamin D from the sun are months between May and September when the sun is the correct distance, directly above us. We need to be exposed to the sun with no sun creams or protection until we start to see the skin go pink (before you get red, don’t burn yourself) it’s best between the hours of 11am and 3pm, it takes about 10 to 20 minutes, depending on your skin type i.e. the darker skin the longer it will take to produce Vitamin D.
Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin meaning it will not leave the body, if there is more then you need and will be saved for future use. So soaking up in the summer months will help you for the times when we can’t get the vitamin from the sun. Although some people absorb nutrients better than others for various reasons, we can’t rely on this method completely.
The Sunshine Vitamin, as many call it, has proven to be vital in many health conditions including:
- Immune support – helping to protect against infections and auto immune conditions.
- Brain support – preventing anxiety, depression, lack of energy, and cognitive decline.
- Blood sugar balance – helping to regulate blood sugar and insulin.
- Bone health – supporting bone building and regulating calcium absorption.
- Heart health – preventing calcium build up and reducing inflammation.
According to the UK National Diet and Nutrition survey on Vitamin D, about 90% of the UK population are deficient. But not everybody needs to supplement on Vitamin D, I would advise you to get a test that you can do yourself at home from www.vitamindtest.org.uk and if you need to supplement on Vitamin D, I would suggest using a spray or drops, with an oil base which enhances faster absorption. The National University of Athens found in a four week trial to have 52% greater absorption of Vitamin D spray in comparison to tablets.
There are so many different types and strengths of Vitamin D, I can help you work out which product would work best for you.