A focus on vitamin D – how the ‘sunshine’ vitamin can improve your health
It’s Vitamin D Awareness Week (19th – 25th October) and nutrition brand Pharma Nord is discussing the benefits of vitamin D and how you can get more of it.
We are all too aware of the lack of sunshine in the UK and things are set to get worse as we head into winter. This is bad news for those of us who may be deficient in vitamin D, as it is produced naturally in the skin in response to strong sunlight.
Did you know over 50% of the UK population are deficient in vitamin D due to lack of quality sun exposure?
Sunbathing or working in the garden on a bright summer day can enable your body to make 10,000 IU of vitamin D, but how often do we get the chance? The National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) estimates that more than 10 million people in the UK are deficient in vitamin D.
The highest rates of deficiency are found in Scotland, Northern England and Northern Ireland. While we should all be concerned about our vitamin D levels, those at greatest risk of deficiency are people aged over 65, pregnant and breastfeeding women, those who spend large amounts of time indoors, ethnic minorities and children. As a result, many people are turning to supplements to ensure they get enough of this important vitamin.
Three reasons to make sure you have enough vitamin D
Support your bones and muscles
Vitamin D is vitally important for bone health. Without vitamin D, calcium cannot be effectively absorbed by your body. A deficiency in vitamin D can result in bone and muscle pain, poor bone mineralisation (softer bones) and a greater risk of osteoporosis and fractures as we age. Research has shown that one in three women and one in five men over the age of 50 will fracture a bone, which is normally due to poor bone health. It’s especially important to look after your bone and muscle health if you engage in regular physical activity too.
Are you fed up of catching colds?
A vitamin D deficiency can leave you feeling tired and run down. The ‘sunshine’ vitamin can stimulate the body’s production of anti-viral and anti-bacterial proteins, making it an effective nutrient to boost immunity and protect against colds and flu. In fact, some studies have suggested that vitamin D may offer more powerful cold and flu protection than vitamin C.
Mental health and wellbeing
If you are feeling low you could be in need of a vitamin D boost. There are links between vitamin D deficiency and seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a form of depression that usually begins in the Autumn and continues throughout the winter months. Symptoms can include feeling sad or anxious, fatigue, concentration problems, irritability and feelings of guilt and hopelessness. Although its exact cause is unclear, numerous studies have suggested that the condition may be triggered by a lack of sunlight.
Now is your chance to try Pharma Nord’s Bio-Vitamin D3
When choosing a vitamin D supplement, look out for vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) as it’s identical to the form produced naturally in the skin. Pharma Nord’s Bio-Vitamin D3 contains vitamin D3 dissolved in organic, cold-pressed olive oil so your body can absorb the contents more easily. Try to avoid dry, chalky tablets for this reason. The tiny capsules are easy to swallow and blister packed for freshness.