- Lucas Vermot-Desroches
The Sunshine Vitamin - Vitamin D
Do you often find yourself low in energy and mood during the winter months?
A vitamin-D deficiency could be the problem!
Vitamin-D is sometimes referred to as the ‘Sunshine Vitamin’ because it is synthesised when the skin is exposed to sunlight. It is part of a group of fat-soluble vitamin compounds.Only few foods contain vitamin-D and in very low doses unless they were fortified.
Although low energy and mood is one of the most noticeable symptoms of a vitamin-D deficiency there are far more severe symptoms. Bone abnormalities are amongst the most threatening outcomes of a deficiency. They include:
Osteoporosis, a diseased characterised by bone fragility.
Rickets, a disease found in deficient children, is characterised by an ineffective mineralization of bone tissue.
Osteomalacia, a disease affecting adults by softening the bones. This can lead to bending of the spine or legs, muscle weakness, bone fragility and increased fracture risk.
One of its vital functions is the regulation and absorption of calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphate and Zinc. It further supports and strengthens the immune system and ameliorates symptoms of depression and SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). Additionally to its primary benefits some studies suggest that vitamin D may also cause a reduced risk of multiple sclerosis, developing heart disease, and catching the flu.
How much Vitamin D do you need?
Between May an October, 20 min of daily exposition is enough to produce sufficient Vitamin D. In those winter months you will have to opt for a supplement providing a minimum of 1000IUD and a maximum of 5000IU. I suggest you take Vitamin D3 in combination with Vitamin K2 since the two as a dynamic duo slow the progression of excessive calcification in the body.
Journal of Internal Medicine, R. Jorde, M. Sneve, Y. Figenschau et. al., Effects of vitamin D supplementation on symptoms of depression in overweight and obese subjects: randomized double blind trial, 2009, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2796.2008.02008.x/abstract
US National Library of Medicine, Division of Molecular Epidemiology, Jikei University School of Medicine, Randomized trial of vitamin D supplementation to prevent seasonal influenza A in schoolchildren, 2010, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20219962
US National Library of Medicine, Suzanne Judd, MPH, PhD and Vin Tangpricha, MD, PhD, Vitamin D Deficiency and Risk for Cardiovascular Disease, 2009, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2726624/
Journal of the American Medical Association Kassandra L. Munger, MSc; Lynn I. Levin, PhD, MPH; Bruce W. Hollis, PhD; et al, Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Levels and Risk of Multiple Sclerosis, 2009, http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/204651
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