November 2 was Vitamin D Day, a day to create awareness about vitamin D deficiency. I have to admit that I was surprised to learn that we have a world-wide vitamin D deficiency problem and that we need a day to promote awareness.
For years we have been advised to stay out of the sun, to use sunscreen, to cover up, and advised not to go out in the midday sun as this was the hottest time and the easiest time to get burnt. I suppose it's the usual, we take things to the extreme and go for total block out of the sun on our skin.
Personally I like to get some sun exposure on my skin before total blackout with sunscreen. But like many of you, I don't actually get that much time in full sun. The main thing of course is to avoid turning pink or getting burnt, this is a major issue and should be avoided at all costs.
The best source of Vitamin D is from the sun, when the sun is at its highest in the sky. The main food sources include cod liver oil, oily fish, eggs, cheese, butter, fortified dairy products, and cereals.
If you didn't get much sun this summer, or if you don't eat many of the above foods, then you might benefit from a Vitamin D supplement this winter. Equally, you may not need any extra vitamin D, so don't go overboard with the supplements. Your doctor or Nutritional Therapist can organise a blood test to see if you need to take a supplement. Most people who take Vitamin D take it for the winter months.
Some health issues associated with Vitamin D deficiency include osteoporosis, lowered immunity, low mood, and hormonal imbalance. Bone pain and muscle weakness are a symptom of deficiency. A deficiency can increase the risk of heart disease and cancer. Both adults and young children are at risk of Vitamin D deficiency. So as you can see it is an important vitamin and it's worth considering whether you need to take extra.
There are lots of Vitamin D supplements to choose from. Call into your local independent health store for advice on which one suits you. For more information take a look at this website www.vitamindday.net.