Vitamin D, also known as the sun shine vitamin as it helps in its production. As it is made in the skin while out in the sun. Vitamin D is important for physical health as the immune system uses it to make antimicrobial weapons that makes holes in viruses and bacteria. it also is important for the health of our bones, teeth and muscles. As it regulates the amount of calcium and phosphate in our bodies.
It has been in the news for the last few days. This is as a result of analysis published in the British Medical Journal . The BBC also reported in July 2016 that Public Health Advice was that everyone should consider taking a Vitamin D supplement (10 micrograms) in the autumn and winder had made a recommendation that It suggested that Vitamin supplementation “was safe and it protected again acute respiratory tract infection overall”. Also that there were greater benefits taking daily or weekly supplements rather than the monthly super dose. So during the autumn and winter months, when there is less sun and we are more covered, it would make sense to take a supplement and or seek out foods with it in. However, too much Vitamin D can lead to high levels of calcium in the blood which can cause heart and kidney problems. So it is important if you have a chronic condition or taking medication that you should seek advice from their GP.
Researchers (systematic review of studies 2013 McMaster University reported in the British Journal of Psychiatry recently reported links between Vitamin D deficiency and depression. The link is that it is involved in many brain processes. The study concluding that low Vitamin D levels are associated with depression. There are no definitive results from a large trial. However, if you are depressed you may want to ask your GP to check your Vitamin D levels.
Remember….. not everyone with low Vitamin D, will experience depression as a primary symptom. For some, their symptoms are some of the following: fatigue and weakness, muscle cramps; joint pain, blood sugar issues etc.
Sources of Vitamin D
The Sun: You only need 10 minutes a day between 11am and 3pm. From October to March we can’t make it so we use the store, if any in our bodies.
Oily Fish: Herring; Sardines; Salmon, Mackerel. The amount in it varies depending on the fish, farmed or wild and how cooked. A word of warning about eating too much as there are concerns about contaminants in them Food Standards Agency
Eggs: You would need to eat 6 a day to get your daily Vitamin D dosage.
Fortified Foods: Where Vitamin has been added, like breakfast cereals & some fat spreads. However, there are not usually of a high level.
Sue Martin Counselling & Psychotherapy, Supervision, Therapy in Clapham South, London, Battersea, Tooting, Balham,south west London, Clapham SW4, SW10, SW11, SW12