Vitamin D is best gained through certain foods, supplements and adequate sun exposure.
But with the British weather giving us very little sunshine, and research into the link between sun exposure and skin cancer becoming more prevalent, many of us take greater care of our skin by guarding it from the sun.
The problem with this is that we end up depriving our bodies of the essential vitamin D, impacting our health in more ways than we know.
To help determine what you need to be looking out for, Naturopathic Nutritionist Amy Morris, from Water for Health, shares her tell-tale signs that you’re not getting enough.
Hair loss is often attributed to stress, according to Amy, which is the most common cause. But when hair loss is severe, it is recommended to look at whether it is the result of a nutrient deficiency. Vitamin D, in particular, is understood to be one of the most important nutrients required for the body to function.
Amy said: “The negative impact of a vitamin D deficiency on the body can lead to conditions that cause hair loss, and there is evidence to suggest that vitamin D is directly involved in supporting the process of hair growth and hair follicle health.”
Feeling tired often has many causes, but vitamin D is commonly overlooked as one of them.
Amy said: “Individuals diagnosed with a vitamin D deficiency are known to complain of low energy and muscle fatigue, with long-term vitamin D supplementation being shown to improve these symptoms.”
Chronic sweating, particularly on your forehead, is a known indicator that your body is lacking in vitamin D, says Amy.
She added: “This form of sweating is likely to take place when the individual has done very little, often making it an embarrassing situation but one which can be dealt with easily by upping your vitamin D intake.”
Vitamin D is essential in maintaining bone health, so pain in your bones or lower back could be an indicator that you’re not producing enough of the vitamin.
Amy said: “Studies have shown that people with low vitamin D levels were two times as likely to have aching bones in their legs, ribs or joints compared with people who had sufficient levels of the vitamin. This is a dangerous and important symptom to look out for, as it can contribute to the risk of developing osteoporosis and fractured bones later in life. To combat this, I would recommend taking UnoCardio1000, a unique, high quality supplement which contains omega-3 as well as vitamin D3 to alleviate deficiencies in the body and help maintain healthy bone structure.”
You’re More Prone to Colds and Flu
It is not a coincidence that cold and flu season correlates with the winter months, when our vitamin D levels are particularly low due to lower sun exposure.
Amy explained: “A key role of vitamin D is keeping your immune system strong enough to fight off illnesses and infections. If you’re getting bed bound a lot more often than you would like, there is a strong chance you are suffering from a vitamin D deficiency.”
You’re feeling blue
There has been various research studies which indicate a link between vitamin D deficiency and depression. The reason for this is because vitamin D is important for adequate brain function, particularly in regard to the release of ‘serotonin’, known as the happiness chemical.
Amy said: “Subsequently, insufficient nutrient levels are likely to inflict negative reactions in the brain which play a role in enhancing depression and other mental illnesses.
“It’s important to remember that vitamin D is called the sunshine vitamin for a reason, which is why people often feel SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) in the winter months, especially, as a result of shorter days and longer periods of darkness. If you find yourself feeling ‘down’ in the winter, it is likely that your body is reacting to the lack of vitamin D.”
Vitamin D supplements can help to improve immune health, and helps the body to get the nutrients needed to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy. But, the vitamin could also lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases, researchers claim.