Vitamin D Is More Important Than You Think
As the winter months roll in and the temperature gets colder, especially here in the northern hemisphere, it's appropriate to talk about a certain vitamin that you may be lacking in your diet and lifestyle.
Yes, that vitamin famously know for being obtained from sunlight - Vitamin D.
Diets that are lacking in certain vitamins (as well as minerals/phytonutrient's/fibre/adequate hydration) can have severe consequences on a person's health and well-being.
Said person goes about their day at a sub-optimal level of a vitamin and their body becomes used to this. The person assumes that how they feel is now their equilibrium and is happy to continue in this fashion. A trend also seen with caffeine intake.
However here at Angel Nutrition HQ – we don't believe in feeling sub-optimal and want you firing on all cylinders.
So what is vitamin D?
Vitamin D, or any vitamin for that matter is an organic compound essential for normal human growth. They cannot be synthesizsed (created) by the body so therefore it is important our diet is rich in all of the vitamins.
Vitamin D is a precursor to a hormone involved in calcium management and cell growth. So we would technically classify Vitamin D as a hormone but that goes beyond the scope of what we are discussing today.
You may also have heard the term D2 and D3. That's because Vitamin D is found in two forms. The former is manufactured by plants and fungus and is found in foods such as juices, milk and cereal. D3 is formed when the skin synthesizes sunlight via exposure to the Sun as well as via animal products like eggs and oily fish.
Supplementing can improve cognition, immune health, as well as reduce the ricks of cancer, heart disease, multiple sclerosis and diabetes.
Individuals aren't always generally deficient in vitamin D – but they aren't at optimal levels either. The recommended daily allowance for adults is around 400-800 IU/day. However as mentioned previously we want to be functioning at optimal levels and research suggests that a safe upper limit could even stretch to 10,000 IU/day.
For the majority of us normal folk with no underlying concerns, a range of 1,000 – 2,000 IU/day should suffice.
To put this into perspective, take a normal 200 ml glass of milk fortified with vitamin D. You will get roughly 100 IU's. So you would need to drink about twenty glasses of milk to reach our moderate amount. No thank you!
For those of us that do not live in tropical environments, those who spend most of the day working in an office out of the sunlight, as a minimum I would recommend Vitamin D3 supplementation daily during the winter months of 1,000 – 3,000 IU/day.
During the summer months, aim to get outside in the Sunlight as much as possible. This will also be healthy for your state of mind as we are cooped up inside for a lot of the year. You need to start getting out and enjoying the world. No excuses.
Plus who doesn't want to enjoy getting a tan AND improve their health at the same time?
Just ensure that you don't spend too long out in the Sun unprotected. The NHS website has a section that talks about how much sunscreen to apply, which looks at skin types which is work looking into.
Also anyone with a milk allergy and those that adhere to a strict vegan diet should take care to ensure they are getting adequate levels.
Don't shun the Sun people!