Brighten Up Your Winter With Vitamin D
Vitamin D is often referred to as the sunshine vitamin, but in fact it has multiple roles in keeping our bodies healthy.
Let’s look at its importance in safeguarding against Vitamin D deficiency, and what to look out for when buying Vitamin D.
The Sunshine Vitamin
Vitamin D is often referred to as ‘the sunshine vitamin’ as it is naturally produced under the skin following exposure to sunlight. During winter months it is impossible for our skin to make vitamin D from sunlight because the sun is too low and the ultraviolet light from the sun is not strong enough during the shorter, darker days to produce sufficient vitamin D.
However, it is not just in the winter months that our skin is struggling to absorb the wonders of vitamin D from sunshine. The changes in our lifestyle such as increased time spent indoors, fears of sun-overexposure, use of sunscreen, and wearing clothing that covers the body have all had a significant impact on our skin’s ability to create Vitamin D.
Reasons Why Vitamin D is Essential
This highly important, fat-soluble nutrient helps to prevent an array of health issues and has multiple health benefits. Vitamin D is an essential nutrient for the body. It is crucial if you do not expose your skin to the sun in order to support normal bodily functions. These include:
- Maintaining the health of bones and teeth.
- Supporting the immune system, lowering the risk of infection, heart related disease and autoimmune diseases.
- Reducing inflammation in the body.
- Regulating mood and reducing depression.
- There is evidence that Vitamin D plays an important role in women’s hormone levels during menopause.
- Maintaining the health of muscle function.
- Normal absorption/utlilisation of calcium and phosphorus.
- Normal blood calcium levels.
- Calcium and Vitamin D help to reduce loss of bone mineral in post-menopausal women.
- Vitamin D helps to protect against fractures and osteoporosis.
Vitamin D Deficiency
Vitamin D deficiency has resulted in a serious health epidemic. The classic Vitamin D deficiency is rickets and is becoming increasingly common in the UK. In fact, combined hospital admissions for vitamin D deficiency and/or rickets has increased by 30% year on year. Fortunately, there are ways you can safeguard against Vitamin D deficiency through dietary supplements.
People At Risk of Having Low Levels Vitamin D
The elderly and small children are at risk of lowered vitamin D. In addition, those with darker skin are also at risk of lowered vitamin D. However, anyone whose skin is not exposed to the sun is also at a considerable risk.
Historically the Public Health England vitamin D recommendations were solely for the elderly and children. However, in response to the widespread inadequate vitamin D status, the recommendation to supplement 400iu of vitamin D in winter months was extended to all UK residents.
Vitamin D Food Sources
Foods that contain Vitamin D:
- Cod liver oil
- Tuna fish
- Orange juice fortified with vitamin D
- Dairy and plant milks fortified with vitamin D
- Beef liver
- Egg Yolk
- Fortified cereals
- Some mushrooms such as Chanterelles and morels
- Dried organic apricots
These dietary sources do not provide sufficient levels of Vitamin D, therefore a supplement daily supplement is required between October to March.
The Government Recommendation for Vitamin D Intake
As it is too difficult to get enough vitamin D from food, Public Health England (PHE) recommends supplementation of vitamin D to maintain bone and muscle health. PHE recommends that all adults and children supplement with 400iu of Vitamin D from October to March, and more recently the PHE has recommended a daily intake 400iu of vitamin D during spring and summer due to reduced sun exposure. Larger doses may be necessary if you’ve been diagnosed with a vitamin D deficiency.
Vitamin D Daily Requirement,
There are many factors which can determine how much vitamin D is required for each individual. These include age, skin-colour, sun exposure, clothing, use of topical moisturisers with an SPF rating, and more.
Different studies will recommend different amounts of Vitamin D intake. PHE recommends everyone takes 400IU of Vitamin D daily.
People with low vitamin D status, as tested in a blood test, should take 1000-2000IU daily. The pregnant and elderly should take advice from their GP. (Further information is available from the Endocrine Society Guidelines on Vitamin D, which defines the amount based on healthy blood levels.
Vegan Vitamin D
Vitamin D supplements are available widely, but keep in mind that most are derived from lanolin in sheep’s wool, making them unsuitable for vegans or those avoiding animal products. However, a recent discovery revealed Vitamin D3 is present in lichen, resulting in vegan Vitamin D3 food supplements.
Vitamin D2 & D3 Differences
There are 2 major forms of Vitamin D – D2 and D3. Vitamin D3 is transformed into the active form of vitamin D quicker than vitamin D2. However, an organic vitamin D3 does not exist, those wanting an organic vitamin D would need the Organic Vitamin D2.
Vitamin D3 is generally animal derived, with the exception of lichen. Vitamin D2 is sourced from plants, with levels of D2 especially rich in mushrooms.
Viridian provides the vegan form of D3, which is available in capsules and liquid form.
Why Take Viridian Vitamin D
Viridian Nutrition has a Vitamin D range spanning 8 supplements in capsules, liquids, and an oral spray to allow flexibility for individual or family requirements. There’s a Vitamin D supplement for everyone!
- In a vegan form derived from lichen
- Contains 100% active ingredients
- Formulated by expert nutritionists
- No artificial fillers and no nasties
- Sourced according to Viridian’s strict ethical criteria
- No animal testing
- No GMO or palm oil
Viridian Supplements are available at:
Emporium Treatment Clinic.
Visit our SHOP here.
Trusted Research Sources
Author: Angela Taffinder the founder of Emporium Treatment Clinic. A practising aesthetician for 35+ years, holistic and wellbeing advocate and yoga instructor.
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