It’s so nice to see the sun this week. It makes everybody feel better and is the main source of vitamin D. Vitamin D plays an important role in health and wellbeing. It is well known for supporting bone health, but it also plays a role in regulation of mood with a deficiency being linked to Seasonal Affective Disorder. Vitamin D also supports immune health and has antimicrobial effects. Other areas that vitamin D may play a role are in the role of insulin and glucose haemostasis and cardiovascular health.
Most of Vitamin D comes from exposure to sunlight during the months of April until September when the sun is at its strongest and being a fat-soluble vitamin can be stored in tissues to be used over the winter months (although many people can still have a deficiency during the winter and may benefit from supplementing at this time of year). There are some factors that may affect absorption of vitamin D which include being obese, being dark skinned, applying sunscreen, babies, the elderly, certain medications and people with digestive impairments.
Food sources of vitamin D include dairy, oily fish, egg yolk, some mushrooms and foods fortified with vitamin D like orange juice, milk, some cereals and breads, but it is thought that food sources are insufficient to provide us with the level of vitamin D that is required for health.
The good weather is set to continue so whether you are in the garden or out exercising, it is time to get those arms and legs out. Be sensible though, 15 minutes exposure a day is enough to increase vitamin D levels and avoid the mid-day sun if very hot.
If you are unsure of your vitamin D levels, you can have your vitamin D level tested through www.vitamindtest.org.uk.
Please get in touch if you would like any personalised nutrition including ensuring your vitamin D levels are optimal.