We are making our way through the key nutrients giving you some guidelines on where to find them and who needs to use them. Our aim is to make the world of vitamins and minerals more accessible and easier to understand.
At this time of year many of us will be feeling the lack of sunshine in our lives, we have written various blogs around the subject (Vitamin D3-the feel good vitamin, Sun protection Vs lack of vitamin D, Seasonal Affective Disorder.)
Vitamin D is known as the sunshine vitamin, this is because we need sunlight to help us synthesise this special nutrient. In this country we only get sunlight worth synthesising between April and September at around 10am–2pm each day on a sunny, non-cloudy day!
Given that most of us spend much of our time in doors, either at school or work, it is easy to see how we can become depleted of Vitamin D. Add to this the concerns over skin care and sun damage which have led to greater use of sun creams and the reasons why we become deficient are obvious.
Vitamin D is an increasingly important nutrient. It is actually a co-hormone, it works in conjunction with the rest of our endocrine system to keep our important hormones in balance; one sign of hypothyroid is a deficiency of vitamin D.
The young, pregnant women and the elderly are all strong contenders to be vitamin D deficient. People who live indoor lives or who do not eat oily fish will be susceptible to deficiency. In addition people living in areas like Scotland where there is less natural daylight will also be vulnerable to needing extra vitamin D.
Types of Vitamin D
Ergocalciferol is D2 which is a plant based source and not as easily absorbed by the body.
Cholecalciferol is D3 which is the most easily absorbed form of D3.
D3 works in conjunction with K2, Magnesium and Calcium in particular to ensure we have good bones and muscles.
As already stated Vitamin D is an important co-hormone working as an essential part of the endocrine system. These hormones work in conjunction with each other and need to achieve the correct balance for the body to work properly. Any imbalance will lead to the body not performing it's best.
D3 is involved in many of the body processes and we believe it will continue to have further discoveries made about it for some time yet!
Oily fish, dairy products, nuts, seeds, tuna and avocado are all good sources of D3.
Who needs Vitamin D3?
- The elderly
- Pregnant women
- Those living a predominantly indoor life
- Anyone who does not include oily fish in their diet
- Residents of areas like Scotland where there can be less natural daylight
- People who suffer from an underactive thyroid
The functions of vitamin D are summarised through the EFSA claims:
Vitamin D contributes to
- Maintenance of normal bones
- Normal function of the immune system
- Normal growth of and development of bones in children
- Normal blood calcium levels
- Normal muscle function
- Maintenance of normal teeth
How can I get enough Vitamin D?
We always advise you that a healthy balanced diet that comprises food from organic sources will provide you with a great basis for a healthy life.
Having an active and outdoor lifestyle helps but it is difficult to be sure of getting enough Vitamin D in this country if you
- Work indoors
- Don’t eat fish
- Don’t eat dairy products
Supplementing is the easy choice and ensures your body get enough of this important nutrient to work properly. Fortunately, there are vegan versions of vitamin D that have been created from plant products.
This vitamin is so important we do encourage people to supplement daily because it is so vital to so many different body functions.
The holiday to a lovely sunny location is of course a great top up to boost your body’s supplies. Just bear in mind it won’t keep you going all year.
Sadly, we will repeat this statement throughout this series of blogs. The nutrients in our modern diet do not compare to those of our ancestors. In previous times, our ancestors ate approximately 10 - 20 times more of all nutrients than we do today.
The ancestral diet was comprised berries, fruits and other vegetables. Today, we eat processed ready meals that lack the nutrient content our bodies need. In addition, the intensive farming of our land means that nutrients are vastly depleted from the soil. It is going to take a long time to recover this situation. The processing of our food removes even more nutrients.
This means we are exposed to a nutrient deficiency. We simply do not get the nutrients we need to thrive in this modern world. It is our aim for our customers that they do not just survive but achieve optimal health. In our opinion, it is extremely difficult to achieve this without the help of supplements.
We hope that you are enjoying this series and we love to hear your comments and questions so let us know!