In the UK Vitamin D deficiency is very common, this is mostly due to the lack of sunlight, the main source of the vitamin, but also related to a lack of absorption through our diets and can be linked to some illnesses. During autumn and winter our sunlight exposure is very limited therefore we advise the following to reduce the risk of a deficiency
DIET – increase the amount of good quality oily fish, salmon, mackerel and sardines, Eggs,
SUN EXPOSURE – when the sun is out, take a walk, if warm enough expose your arms to increase the skins ability to absorb the light. Please talk with your doctor if you have any concerns regarding exposing your skin for example due to the presence of moles or other skin conditions.
SUPPLEMENT – The UK Department of Health recommend that adults over 65, pregnant and breastfeeding women, babies and children supplement with 10 micro-grams (400IU). During the darker and colder months however everyone, more if you have limited sunlight exposure. This recommend daily amount is significantly increases if you have a deficiency, should you be concerned consult your GP who can test your vitamin D levels.
Optimum vitamin D levels also support mental health conditions such as Seasonal Affective Disorder and Depression. A study carried out in 1999 concluded some positive findings with, ‘All subjects receiving vitamin D improved in all outcome measures.’ (1). Another study suggested that vitamin D may enhance serotonin production hence its mood-enhancing effects (2)
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