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Vitamin D: Are You Getting Enough?

By Natalie Brady, Holistic Nutritionist

This vital nutrient is one many people don’t really think of, yet populations around the world are suffering from vitamin D deficiency. It’s crucially required to assist in the maintenance of a healthy heart muscle, bone mineralisation, skin conditions, mood/cognitive function, immune function, inflammatory response, enhance calcium absorption and more.

Symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency include:

  • Frequent colds and flu’s, respiratory tract infections
  • Fatigue, tiredness
  • Mood disorders
  • Inadequate bone growth
  • Muscle weakness and aches
  • Frequent bone break and fractures

Vitamin D is produced in the skin when exposed to UVB light. On average, exposing a large area of your body (think stomach/back) in the sun (without sunscreen) for 15 minutes a few times a week will keep your vitamin D levels in check. If that is not possible, exposing your arms, face and even legs in the sun for 5-10 minutes most days will suffice.

We are bought up in a world where we are told to lather on sunscreen when outside, however sunscreen blocks your body from absorbing vitamin D. We do not encourage people to go out all day and redden or burn your skin, but just 15 minutes most days to obtain optimal vitamin D levels.

If this is just not possible for you (which in the winter months can be challenging) then a supplement could come in handy. There are some foods which contain vitamin D such as egg yolks, fatty fish like salmon, tuna, sardines, cod liver, some dairy foods, however if you are deficient in vitamin D, food sources will most likely not be enough to bring up your levels.

Vitamin D comes in two forms D2 and D3. From food sources D2 is a vegetable derived form and D3 is an animal derived form. I would recommend taking a D3 supplement, which is the natural form of vitamin D that your body makes from sunlight. The RDI is 400iu, however the body uses much more of this vitamin each day for general functioning, therefore I would recommend an intake of 2000iu+ for general health and wellbeing.

To get your Vitamin Profile checked, book now with Natalie