This is Vitamin D Awareness Week, a good time, I thought, to give you an update on this vital vitamin.
As you know, I’m a big believer that if you regularly engage in physical activity it’s important to take care of your body with the right nutrition. As well as increasing our wellbeing and energy levels, vitamins and minerals have the ability to help protect against injury and ensure good muscle recovery. Recent research has revealed that 50% of UK adults are now deficient in vitamin D.
How much do you know about vitamin D? According to a health survey, 46 per cent of people think they get enough of this vitamin from vegetables. In fact, 90 per cent should be obtained from strong sunlight, this is why many of us become deficient during the winter months.
The highest rates of deficiency are in Scotland, Northern England and Northern Ireland. Due to limited sun exposure between October and March, it is almost impossible to get the UV rays needed to reach the daily requirement of this essential vitamin.
Low levels of vitamin D are associated with increased likelihood of illness, fatigue and a higher risk of suffering stress fractures. As we age, and during the winter months, our body’s ability to produce vitamin D reduces, so it’s important to think about topping up with a supplement.
Research has linked good levels of vitamin D to reduced inflammation and pain within joints, as well as improved exercise capacity and better protein synthesis within the muscles.
Vitamin D is vitally important for bone health. Without it, calcium cannot be effectively absorbed by your body. A deficiency in vitamin D can result in bone and muscle pain, poor bone mineralisation (softer bones) and a greater risk of osteoporosis and fractures as we age – a prime concern for all you fantastic quintastics!
It’s especially important to look after your bone and muscle health if you engage in regular physical activity, doing so can reduce your risk of injury. Weak bones alongside repetitive loading can result in painful and debilitating stress fractures.
Finally, everyone hates the dreaded colds and flu that seem to come along during the winter months. Vitamin D is known for its high anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties, which means it can strengthen our immune system and help protect against colds and flu. Some studies even suggest that vitamin D may offer more powerful cold and flu protection than vitamin C.
Suppliers of vitamin D supplementation include Pharma Nord – here is a direct link to their site: