At the time of writing here in the UK, we are mid winter and at greatest risk of Vitamin D deficiency.
We only get enough sunlight in the UK to make Vitamin D between mid May and September. You can get small amounts from animal foods, such as egg yolks, meat, oily fish and dairy, but it’s not enough to keep your levels in the optimal range.
So unless you’re supplementing Vitamin D through the winter, you’re going to be deficient! And at a time when we are in a pandemic and we need it more than ever, we really have to make sure we’re supplementing enough!
Why is Vitamin D so important?
Did you know that Vitamin D is actually a hormone, not a vitamin? Nearly every cell in your body has a receptor for this hormone, and more and more evidence is now confirming that it’s role in the body is much wider than just protecting your bones.
- Immune booster — it helps to support your immunity and fight infection. Maybe that’s why we get more colds and flu in the winter time when there’s no sunlight?
- Auto-immune protection — many conditions such as MS, Crohn’s, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Hashimoto’s and other auto-immune conditions have been linked to D deficiency
- Cancer protection — more and more evidence now points to the links between vitamin D deficiency and certain cancers, including breast, prostate and colon cancer. One study claims rates of these cancers would be cut by 50% if we got adequate amounts!
- Bone and muscle health — it regulates calcium levels and the activity of bone building cells (severe deficiency we know causes rickets) and helps to prevent osteoporosis
- Brain health — it plays a crucial role in neurological health, mood and cognitive function
- Heart health — it prevents calcium build up in the arteries, helps to normalise blood pressure and reduce inflammation
- Skin — it helps to prevent excess cell proliferation (eg psoriasis, eczema)
- Blood sugar balance and insulin control — it helps to regulate blood sugar and prevent insulin resistance
Can Vitamin D help with Covid 19?
Last month, a panel of 120 health and medical experts wrote an open letter to world governments calling for a widespread, immediate increase of vitamin D intake to 4,000 IU per day for healthy adults in order to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vitamin D is also relatively cheap and readily available without a prescription.
The evidence is now sufficient to show that;
- Higher vitamin D blood levels are associated with lower rates of SARS-CoV-2 infection.
- Higher D levels are associated with lower risk of a severe case (hospitalization, ICU, or death).
- Intervention studies (including RCTs) indicate that vitamin D can be a very effective treatment.
Read more on how Vitamin D can help support your immune system.
Vitamin D Testing
Reference range UK;
StatusBlood levelDeficient< 25 nmolInsufficient25–50 nmolAdequate50–75 nmolOptimal>75 nmol
Like anything, toxicity is possible if you take too much for a long period of time, but experts say that occurrences are very rare and many high dose supplement protocols have been undertaken with no adverse effects.
And we know that over 50 percent of the global population may suffer from vitamin D insufficiency (with levels <50 nmol).
Vitamin D doesn’t work alone!
Vitamin D has to have help from certain co-factors to work properly in the body. These include Magnesium, Vitamin K2, Vitamin A, Boron, Zinc.
So if you start supplementing, make sure you are also getting these co-factors too or you risk causing more imbalances.
I recommend a good quality multivitamin, plus a Vitamin D with K2.
Check out my collection at Approved Vitamins for recommended supplements. But please check with your Doctor or health practitioner before starting any new supplements if you’re on medication or you have a health condition.
- Get sun exposure, without sunscreen, for 20 minutes whenever possible (without burning)
- Get tested
- Supplement with D3 during the winter months
- Supplement with D3 co-factor vitamins and minerals
If you’d like to talk to us about the testing we do, contact us for a free call.