With the arrival of longer, darker days of winter, there is a common deficiency which we all need to be aware of for good health: Vitamin D.
Commonly called the “sunshine vitamin” many studies show that most Europeans are not getting enough, especially during our winter months.
The easiest method to increase vitamin D is via exposure to the sun; 20 minutes of summer-strength sunlight on bare skin is a good goal. When our back, legs and arms are exposed we can absorb maximum sunlight.
But in many parts of Europe, we can’t often get this level of sunlight on our skin, even in the summer, which is where supplements and diet come in.
Vitamin D deficiency can lead to numerous problems and often ones that you might not immediately connect. It is needed for everything from hormone balance and immune function to healthy teeth, bones, and muscle, a slow ageing process, and good brain health and mood.
The most common 7 common risk factors for vitamin D deficiency are:
- Having dark skin.
- Being elderly.
- Being overweight or obese.
- Not eating much fish or dairy.
- Living far from the equator where there is little sun year-round.
- Always using sunscreen when going out.
- Staying indoors - with Lockdown 2.0 now happening in Europe, it is time to be aware.
Vitamin D is especially important for formation of serotonin, so if you’re suffering from seasonal affective disorder, or a lowered mood, a lack of vitamin D could be behind it. Research has also shown that low levels may increase our risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
The answer lies in our diet and the supplements available to us. Offering “modest levels” of vitamin D, oily fish, egg yolks and mushrooms can help, although won’t address a severe deficiency.
Supplements are a good idea to cover all your bases – Public Health England recommends a daily dose of 400iu or 10mcg to all adults in the winter months, although you can take higher than this.
How you take it is important too. Since vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, it absorbs better when fats are present, so always try to take it with food and a good source of healthy fats.
Why Xendurance? Our Omega+D3 contains triglyceride EPA and DHA omegas and 4,000 IUs of vitamin D. The benefits of EPA & DHA are only effective if your body actually absorbs these essential fatty acids. Studies show that fish oil in the triglyceride form is absorbed 70% more than ethyl esters (EE) omegas. The triglyceride form provides for better absorption and helps reduce the risk of molecular instability.
The vitamin D in Omega+D3 is a fat-soluble vitamin that your body absorbs and is essential to help the body retain minerals such as calcium and phosphorous. Vitamin D has been linked to better immune system function and promoted by the CDC to use during these unprecedented times.
Further Reading from the BBC: Coronavirus: Should I start taking vitamin D?
Further Reading from The Times: People hit hardest by Covid-19 more likely to lack vitamin D.