Vitamin D fights disease
In addition to its primary benefits, research suggests that vitamin D may also play a role in:
- Reducing your risk of multiple sclerosis, according to a 2006 study published in the Journal of American Medical Association
- Decreasing your chance of developing heart disease, according to 2008 findings published in Circulation Trusted Source
- Helping to reduce your likelihood of developing the flu, according to 2010 research published in the American Journal of Clinical nutrition Trusted source.
Vitamin D reduces depression
Research has shown that vitamin D might play an important role in regulating mood and warding off depression. In scientists found that people with depression who received vitamin D supplements noticed an improvement in their symptoms.
Vitamin D boosts weight loss
Consider adding vitamin D supplements to your diet if you’re trying to lose weight or prevent heart disease. You can find a great selection of vitamin D supplements on amazon.
Beware of D-ficiency
Many factors can affect your ability to get sufficient amounts of vitamin D through the sun alone. These factors include:
- Being in an area with high pollution
- Using sunscreen
- Spending more time indoors
- Living in big cities where buildings block sunlight
- Having darker skin. (The higher the levels of melanin, the less vitamin D the skin can absorb.)
These factors contribute to vitamin D deficiency in an increasing number of people. That’s why it’s important to get some of your vitamin D from sources besides sunlight.
The symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency in adults include:
- tiredness, aches and pains.
- severe bone or muscle pain or weakness that may cause difficulty climbing stairs or getting up from the floor or a low chair.
- Stress factors especially in your legs, pelvis, and hips
Doctors can diagnose a vitamin D deficiency by performing a simple blood test. If you have a deficiency, your doctor may order X-rays to check the strength of your bones.
If you’re diagnosed with a vitamin D deficiency, your doctor will likely recommend you take daily vitamin D supplements. If you have a severe deficiency, they may instead recommend high-dose vitamin D tablets or liquids. You should also make sure to get vitamin D through sunlight and the foods you eat.
Groups with darker skin are also much more likely to be deficient in vitamin D. Even before the pandemic, Public Health England (PHE) advised people with dark skin to take a vitamin D supplement all year round.
“Vitamin D is made in the skin from sunlight, and the higher level of pigment present in the skin of BAME populations and the subsequent tendency to vitamin D deficiency have been hypothesised as the reason for this effect,” Baiarda reveals.
However there are likely other factors behind this health inequality.
PHE recommends that people in the UK take 10 mcg vitamin D every day in autumn and winter (from October to April). That’s because 90% of our body’s vitamin D is made in our skin from the sunshine falling on it. During the gloomy colder months, we don’t get enough strong sun for our bodies to make the vitamin.