We have heard a lot about Vitamin D lately and its importance and our overall health; this is especially true for women.
Vitamin D deficiency can lead to an increased risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures.
What Is Vitamin D?
A fat-soluable Vitamin it is essential for bone, teeth and muscle health and immune system support.
Every cell in your body has a receptor for vitamin D, affecting several of your body’s systems.
The best source comes from the sun when UVB rays interact with our skin; this process also turns it into a hormone (called activated vitamin D or calcitriol)
Because vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, we store it in our fat cells for use during the winter.
Clever because sunlight between October and March doesn’t have strong enough UVB rays for our body to use, so being able to store sufficient amounts during April to September is vital.
Your body makes around 90% of the vitamin D it needs from sunlight and about 10% from food sources such as eggs.
The most important form of vitamin D is D3 which is the most common type of supplement.
Like most vitamins and minerals, they have a symbiotic relationship. The same applies to vitamin D, which aids calcium absorption so our bones can utilize it,
This is very important as we go into menopause because the balance at which we cast off the old bone and make new bone changes due to estrogen decline; Estrogen is needed to form new bone
But a bone fracture is not the only sign you could be lacking; symptoms of deficiency include
- Fatigue and tiredness
- Depression and low mood (Seasonal Affective disorder)
- Frequent colds and infections
- it can also cause muscle weakness and pain and a condition called Myopathy
How do I get it?
For our skin to use the UVB rays, we need unprotected exposure to the sun on our forearms and/or legs
10 minutes daily during the summer should be enough to avoid deficiency.
Do this in the morning or late afternoon, avoiding between 11am and 4pm.
Food sources include eggs, oily fish and meat, plus fortified foods such as cereals.
- Canned Tuna
- Egg yolks
- Cod Liver Oil
- Vitamin D Supplements
- Quality Multi-vitamin complex
- Cereals (be wary of sugar content)
- Animal and plant-based kinds of milk
- Orange juice
How much do I need?
The current recommended daily dose for an average adult is 10-20 micrograms or 400-800iu – (10-20ug)
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