Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that is present in some foods and we also get it from sun exposure. We don’t receive much sunshine here in Ireland in the winter time, however spending time outdoors in the winter sun even if only a for a short while has its benefits.
People don’t often think about their vitamin D levels, and unless it shows up in a blood test many of us rarely think about it. Even if you don’t think you are low in this vitamin, it’s no harm to consider the benefits of consuming more of these foods or taking a good brand quality supplement with no binders or fillers if possible.
Factors that lower Vitamin D
Diet and lack of sunshine, stress and dairy intolerance and other gut issues decrease vitamin D levels. Vegetarians can also become low in this vitamin. Children who have rickets are often low in vitamin D, this is where the bone tissue isn’t properly mineralized, resulting in soft bone and skeletal deformities.
Symptoms of low vitamin D
Joint pain , stiffness, rheumatism, muscle aches and pains, arthritis, hair loss, oesteoporosis in adults are the main symptoms of low vitamin D. Other symptoms can be low mood, fatigue and a low immune system.
Foods that contain Vitamin D
Few foods contain vitamin D. Fatty fish like trout, salmon, mackeral and tuna are good sources. Fish liver oils are also beneficial. Mushrooms contain variable amounts of Vitamin D, fortified cereals and butter also.
The EU recommendations for vitamin D is 5ug(200iu). However this is often too small an amount. 1000iu and above is generally a more optimal daily amount for adults. If there is a real deficiency then some people need higher doses. When you get a blood test done with your doctor ask what your levels of vitamin D are.
Calcium and Vitamin D work together to protect your bones while vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium. So it’s important to have both in your diet. Vegetarians and Lactose intolerant individuals should be aware of this.
If you are thinking of buying a vitamin D supplement then read the amounts of actual vitamin D you are getting and how much to take. Look at the small print to see what other ingredients were used to make this brand of vitamin D like binders and fillers and buy as organic as you can. Always check with your pharmacist how much to take and for how long. It’s also a good idea to tell your pharmacist what medications you are on so there are no interactions.
Overall studies reveal that vitamin D has been shown to protect against acute respiratory infections and further studies are ongoing as to the relationship between vitamin D levels and mortality rates in Covid 19 cases especially in older adults. Hopefully across generations of society people will soon identify the importance of nutrition, diet and lifestyle as factors in helping people stay healthy.
Here at Cavan Kinesiology we identify food intolerances, toxins, digestive concerns and more. We check what nutrient you might be low in and go through diet and lifestyle factors that might play a part re your health concern.