A must have for your body!

I would say in the last year, I have read many articles in newspapers, magazines and online about a general deficiency of vitamin D in people. But what is vitamin D and why do we need it?

Vitamin D plays a vital role in maintaining overall health. It has several important functions - helps to regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in your body, helps to regulate cell growth, neuromuscular and immune function and helps to reduce inflammation. Scientific research has even suggested that vitamin D could be important in preventing forms of cancer, cardiovascular disease and multiple sclerosis, but more research is needed to provide a definitive conclusion. By not getting enough vitamin D (from the sun, food or supplements) bones can become brittle and can begin to thin. A deficiency in children can cause rickets (softening of the bones that can lead to fractures and deformity) and sadly, rickets is on the rise.

How do we get vitamin D? Well the best source comes from sunlight on the skin. This doesn't mean that laying out in the sun for hour after hour is the way to go! Experts actually suggest short bursts of exposure to the sun without sun screen on is the best way to obtain vitamin D. This could be a quick walk to the shops, cutting the grass, or simply sitting outside for a short time. But, be careful so you avoid burning. Vitamin D is also found in a small number of foods, but its very hard to obtain enough vitamin D through food. Good sources are - oily fish (such as salmon) and eggs. But as mentioned, your not likely to get enough through food, so either be out in the sun, or use a vitamin D supplement (liquid form is the most common).

Not getting enough vitamin D can be harmful to a range of different people - pregnant and breastfeeding women, children under 5 years old, elderly people 65 years and above, people who rarely go in the sun and people with darker skin (such as African people, as their bodies are less able to produce as much vitamin D)

A great way to help ensure you get enough vitamin D, is with a simple supplement. I personally use one, which is in liquid form, that I simply put a few drops under my tongue everyday. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, I would strongly recommend you use a supplement. Also, young children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years old should have a supplement, along with elderly people over 65.

As with any supplement, make sure you read the label and follow the instructions to ensure you are using it right. If you are unsure, visit your GP.

This is a serious issue, and even though rickets is still a rare disease, it is on the rise.

Popular Posts