Just a few days ago (September 22nd) marked the start of the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, which means days will start to get shorter and nights longer. As we are exposed to less and less sunlight during the winter months, many of are put at risk of a vitamin D deficiency without even knowing it.
This is why we have written some signs to look out for to determine whether you are low in vitamin D, so you know when it is time to increase your supplement intake for a healthier, stronger you.
1) How much vitamin D is enough?
According to the NHS website, babies up to one years old require 8.5 to ten micrograms of vitamin D a day; children older than this and adults need at least ten micrograms a day, especially if they are at risk of a deficiency, such as pregnant or breastfeeding mothers. To find a super Vitamin D for your baby, see our Baby Ddrops
While the summer helps maintain this dose naturally through the warmer months, as the body produces vitamin D when exposed to sunshine, the lack of sunlight from the end of September to March makes it difficult to receive enough without taking vitamin D supplements. Please check out our Vitamin D
2) Signs to look out for
You might not know you are deficient in vitamin D until you start presenting with the symptoms. According to Mercola, these include:
- Frequent colds and flu
- Depression - worse between October and March in the northern hemisphere
- Musculoskeletal pain - aches and pains in your joints
- Impaired cognition - "mushy brain"
- Head sweating
While these may seem rather mild, a lack of vitamin D has also been linked to more serious conditions, including severe asthma in children, cancer, cognitive impairment, and increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease.
The Vitamin D Council also recently published research that showed a lack of vitamin D in children can increase their chance of developing urinary tract infections (UTIs), with the study revealing 76 out of 120 youngsters under three had both a UTI and low levels of vitamin D.
3) Why is vitamin D so important?
The reason why it is essential to have the right dose of vitamin D is because it enables the body to regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body. Therefore, this helps bones, teeth and muscles to remain healthy, which is why a lack of it typically results in weak bones and muscles.
4) Natural ways to boost vitamin D in the body
If this has you worried, you could start boosting your vitamin D levels by making simple, but effective, changes to your lifestyle.
The NHS recommends spending more time outdoors in the summer, to increase how much sunlight you take in. As vitamin D is created by the body from direct sunlight hitting the skin, it is important to head outside even if it is chilly.
Check out the Shadow Rule where your shadow needs to be shorter than you to enable you to absorb Vitamin D from the sun
You could also make changes to your diet, by increasing how much of the following foods you eat:
- Egg yolks
- Fish liver oils
- Oily fish, including herring, mackerel, salmon and sardines
- Fortified dairy and grain products
- Red meat and liver
In addition to making sure you eat more vitamin D-rich foods in your diet during the colder months, it is a good idea to boost your levels by taking dietary supplements every day.