Vitamin D - the essential winter supplement
Vitamin D is a fat soluble essential vitamin with hormonal properties. It is made from cholesterol by our kidneys when the skin absorbs the UVB rays in sunlight. It's also found naturally in fish, eggs and dairy products, although our body only absorbs about 10% of this from food.
Vitamin D helps to control the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body, which is important for proper development and function of teeth and bones. It also plays an important role in hormonal signalling, as well as potentially increasing testosterone in men. Sub-optimal or deficient levels of vitamin D can lead to fatigue, bone pain, easily damaged skin, depression, impaired wound healing, hair loss and osteoporosis.
Anyone working indoors or living any more northerly than about 37 degrees of the equator (around Spain) is likely to have sub-optimal levels of vitamin D as there simply isn't enough sunlight at these latitudes to allow our skin to absorb UV rays. There is evidence that people with darker skin who live in temperate climates have lower levels of vitamin D than those with lighter skin, this is possibly due to the melanin in the skin hindering vitamin synthesis.
Supplementation is recommended for those with lower levels.
When supplementing Vitamin D, 400-800iu is the recommended daily amount, but studies suggest this is actually too low, with 10,000iu being the safe upper limit and 3000-5000iu being the suggested supplementation dose for those with lower levels.
Super You Vitamin D3 comes as a four-month supply and is currently on Super Sale for £5.99, use discount code "winteriscoming"