Our bodies require a wide plethora of vitamins and nutrients to be able to function properly.
One of the main vitamins that gets a lot of attention – especially during the winter months when a deficiency is highly likely – is Vitamin D. It’s estimated that 1 billion people around the world are deficient in Vitamin D, with 1 in 6 adults thought to be Vitamin D deficient in the UK.
Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that is produced by the body following sun exposure. Though, some foods also contain Vitamin D too.
Known as ‘the sunshine vitamin’, Vitamin D is essential for bone health and the ability to be able to absorb calcium. Therefore, a lack of Vitamin D could cause a wide range of problems, especially if you are not exposed to enough sunlight or if your diet lacks Vitamin D rich foods.
Here is an overview of Vitamin D along with the signs that you could be deficient in it.
Vitamin D Deficiency Symptoms
- Bone pain
- Hair loss
- Impaired wound healing
- Muscle weakness
- Mood changes
- Regular sickness or infection
Vitamin D Deficiency Causes
You don’t consume enough Vitamin D containing foods – Vitamin D can be found in foods such as oily fish, red meat, liver, egg yolks, and some fortified foods such as breakfast cereals. Though if you don’t eat a balanced diet, or if you follow a vegan diet, you may be more susceptible to a Vitamin D deficiency.
A lack of sunlight – As noted above, we get the majority of our Vitamin D from sunlight which our bodies absorb and turn into Vitamin D. However, from autumn onwards the levels of sunlight are not as strong, meaning a Vitamin D deficiency is far more likely. It’s also not possible to absorb Vitamin D through a window, and wearing SPF may also inhibit your ability to absorb Vitamin D too.
Melanin content of your skin – Melanin causes the skin to tan. The darker your natural skin tone, the more sun exposure is needed to get a sufficient amount of Vitamin D from the sun.
Obesity – Those with a BMI of 30 or above often have a Vitamin D deficiency.
Underlying medical causes – Some people have problems absorbing certain vitamins and nutrients through their intestines. In addition, kidney problems can also lead to a Vitamin D deficiency.
Vitamin D Deficiency Health Risks
- Bone disorders such as rickets or osteomalacia
- Cognitive impairment (especially in older adults)
- Low blood calcium
- Mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety and psychosis
- Increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease
- Increased risk of developing cancer
- Severe asthma in children
How Can I Boost My Vitamin D?
The easiest way to boost your Vitamin D levels is to take a daily supplement, with the NHS recommending anyone over the age of 4 requires 10 micrograms of Vitamin D per day.
Other ways of boosting your Vitamin D levels is to ensure you are exposed to sunlight for at least 10-30 minutes per day, especially from March to September. Anyone who works mostly indoors or on night shifts need to be particularly aware they may not be getting an adequate amount of sunlight.
Changing up your diet to include the Vitamin D containing foods we’ve mentioned above will also help keep your levels topped up.
If you are concerned you have a Vitamin D deficiency, you should consult a doctor so they can help monitor your levels and give you tailored advice based on the specific cause of your deficiency, especially if you have any underlying health conditions.
Alongside taking a Vitamin D supplement, it’s essential not to forget about the other essential vitamins and your body needs to function.
Optml is a two step supplement and is packed full of ingredients such as Vitamin C, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B12, iron and magnesium citrate. Combined with eating a healthy and varied diet and taking a daily Vitamin D supplement, our Rise and Rest formulas can help you keep your levels in check.
Try Optml today and receive free delivery on your purchase. Once your vitamin and nutrient levels are improved, you’ll start to feel like the best version of yourself, so that you’re better prepared for whatever life has to throw at you.