By Alison Smyth, Registered Nutritionist at Connected Health
The importance of Vitamin D during the Pandemic and winter months.
Vitamin D is named the sunshine vitamin as our bodies make it in response to UV rays we receive from direct sunlight. Sadly, we only get enough sunlight in the UK between mid May and September, so many people have inadequate levels of Vitamin D or can be severely deficient through the winter months.
Vitamin D is not actually a vitamin but a hormone and it is vitally important for keeping us optimally healthy as every cell in our body has a receptor for it. Recent data has shown that in cases of Covid-19, where a person has adequate levels of Vitamin D, they have experienced a mild infection. However, in cases where there is a Vitamin D deficiency, unfortunately, the person has experienced severe or critical symptoms.
Some of the benefits of Vitamin D are:
– An immune system protector shown to reduce risk of respiratory infections and other viruses such as flu.
– Boosts brain health helping to prevent low moods, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and depression.
– Aids in weight management, helping to keep insulin in check and balance blood sugar.
– Strengthens bones and supports good muscle health.
– Helps keep skin healthy and prevent eczema and psoriasis.
– Aids restorative sleep and prevents fatigue.
– Provides excellent protection from many chronic diseases.
You can find Vitamin D in foods such as oily fish, eggs, mushrooms and dairy products but the amount of the vitamin contained in each food is minimal so taking good quality supplements can be greatly beneficial, particularly during the current pandemic and winter months.
It’s important to test your levels of Vitamin D so you can work out the amount you need to supplement with. My clients have been using a home Vitamin D test which you can order online from https://www.vitamindtest.org.uk which costs £29. It could be helpful to order the test and see what your level of this important hormone is.
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