There’s no denying that things are pretty tough at the minute. The skies are grey, you’re stuck inside, and a summer holiday to the Caribbean isn’t looking likely.
While lockdowns and restrictions are essential for controlling the spread of Coronavirus, you may not realise just how much of an impact it all has on your body. This is particularly the case with Vitamin D levels.
Here are five things that you should know about Vitamin D, including how to get the right amount during a global pandemic.
What Is Vitamin D?
Often referred to as the “sunshine vitamin”, Vitamin D helps to regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body. Just like all vitamins, Vitamin D is essential for keeping our bodies healthy and functional.
The great thing about Vitamin D is that we can get it from sunlight exposure. This means that, from late March to the end of September, all we have to do is spend time outdoors to get a sufficient amount. Between October and March, however, cold weather makes this more difficult. This means that we have to seek alternative ways to get our daily dose of Vitamin D.
5 Important Things About Vitamin D
Read on to discover five important things about Vitamin D, including how to get it when you’re stuck indoors.
1. It Is Vital For Strong Bones And Teeth
Vitamin D plays a key role in helping the body absorb calcium from the foods you eat. It is incredibly important for your body to absorb this calcium, as calcium is essential for bone growth and development.
If you do not receive sufficient levels of Vitamin D, the body will not absorb as much calcium, resulting in brittle bones and teeth. This can lead to a whole range of factors, including rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults.
2. It Can Protect You Against Chronic Diseases
Just like many other vitamins, Vitamin D helps to boost your immune system.
Studies from the University of Copenhagen found that Vitamin D helps to activate the T-cells in your immune system; these T-cells attack organisms that can produce disease. If your body isn’t receiving enough Vitamin D, it will not have the support it needs to fight infection. This is why it is incredibly important to keep Vitamin D levels high to lower the chances of getting Coronavirus.
As well as lowering the risk of developing a virus, research suggests that Vitamin D may also protect you against chronic diseases. This includes:
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Colorectal Cancer
3. It Doesn’t Just Come From Sunlight
Vitamin D might be called the “sunshine vitamin”, but it doesn’t just come from sunlight. This is important to know, especially during the darker months (and during lockdown).
Although a very small list, Vitamin D can be found in the following foods:
- Red meat
- Oily fish
- Egg yolks
- Fortified foods
Of course, the above foods do not suit everyone's diet, and it’s unlikely that you’ll eat them on a daily basis. With this in mind, health experts are advising that we take a Vitamin D supplement every single day. These supplements help ensure that, even when we are stuck inside, we get the right amount of Vitamin D to support our bodies' needs.
You can find Vitamin D supplements right here at Express Pharmacy. We stock leading brand Vitabiotics, who specialise in ensuring your body receives the right vitamins and nutrients.
4. You Need A Certain Amount Every Single Day
As mentioned earlier in this guide, a Vitamin D deficiency can lead to a weak immune system and brittle bones. But, while we know that Vitamin D is important for our body, how much do we actually need each day?
Babies (0-12 months): Babies under the age of 1 need 8.5 micrograms of Vitamin D each day.
Children (1 year+): Children over the age of 1 need 10 micrograms of Vitamin D each day.
Teenagers & Adults: Just like children over the age of 1, all teenagers and adults need 10 micrograms of Vitamin D each day.
When exposed to sunlight during the warmer months, you should be able to meet the above requirements without a second guess. When stuck indoors due to lockdown or during the winter months, however, supplements are essential to ensure you get the right amount. All Vitamin D supplements are tailored with the above requirements in mind.
5. It Might Help With Weight Loss
It’s no secret that if you fuel your body with the right nutrients, it will reward you. Getting the right levels of Vitamin D is no exception.
Studies have found that reduced-calorie diets were far more effective in aiding weight loss when the participants had higher levels of Vitamin D in their bodies. Women who fulfilled their Vitamin D requirements lost an average of 7lbs more than women who didn’t!
Vitamin D Is Needed Now More Than Ever
With so many health benefits associated with Vitamin D, we all need to make an effort to keep it in our bodies. While this may be difficult to get through more natural sources when stuck inside, taking a daily supplement will keep everything under control. For more information regarding the importance of Vitamin D, check out this guide from the NHS.