Vitamin D

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Vitamin D

8th November 2017 12:20 PM

Author: Samantha Farmer

Vitamin D

Vitamin D has been in the news a lot over the last few years.  Low blood levels have been associated with an increased risk of diabetes, cancer, heart disease, fertility issues, mood issues and much more. However, it is not clear if low levels are the result of other imbalances or part of the cause.

Vitamin D is produced by your body when exposed to the sun.  Optimum levels of vitamin D enable the absorption of calcium and phosphorous and therefore it plays an important role in bone health. Low levels have long been associated with Rickets.

Supplementation and testing of vitamin D are now commonplace, but over consumption of vitamin D supplements is also being realised.

Certain vitamins are stored in fat, vitamin D is one of these. A, E & K are the other 3. This means that exposure to sunshine during the summer months can lead to storage of enough vitamin D to last through the winter months.  This also means, however, that there is a danger of vitamin D toxicity if too much  supplementation is taken.

Before you embark on a course of vitamin D supplementation, it is advisable to first find out what your serum levels of vitamin D are; GPs now regularly test vitamin D levels, and reliable pin-prick tests can also be bought online for around £28. The reference ranges for serum vitamin D in the UK are:
<15nmol/L  severe deficiency
13 to 30 nmol/L Deficiency
30 to 50 nmol/L maybe inadequate in some people
>50 nmol/L is sufficient for almost the whole population

The outcome of the test will indicate whether supplementation may be beneficial. The important question now is at what the level? 

Harvard Medical school advise that 600 to 800 IU per day is adequate for most people.  However, should someone have a bone disorder, gut disorders, liver issues or other problems absorbing vitamin D they may need more.  This is where professional advice comes in. 

In general vitamin D supplementation is advisable only during winter months, after which a further test to find out post supplementation levels would provide useful information for future reference.

There are few foods that naturally contain vitamin D, but look to include oily fish, mushrooms (place them on a window sill to absorb the sun), and fortified dairy products in your diet. And above all, enjoy the sunshine when it comes by basking without sun screen for around 15 minutes a day.

If in doubt seek professional advice.

Samantha is a registered nutritional therapist (CNHC & BANT) with a keen interest in womens health, digestive issues and stress management. Her approach is in line with Functional Medicine, which focuses on the client, looking to re-balance all components that lead to optimum health. These components include diet, lifestyle, exercise, genetics and medical history. For more information, please visit Samantha's website www.eaternalhealth.co.uk

Tags: Nutritional Therapy, samantha farmer, Vitamin D, Winter Wellbeing

Treatments: Nutritional Therapy

Practitioners: Samantha Farmer

The views expressed in these blogs are those of the blog authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Bridge Centre for Natural Health.

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