What is Vitamin D? Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin* important in bone health. Additionally, it has immune-modulating and anti-inflammatory effects.
Signs YOU may be deficient - Aching bones and muscles - Increased sweating, particularly around the head - Low mood - Upset stomach
Who is At Risk? You! If you work in an office all day, constantly cover up in the sun/wear sunscreen, are on a fat-restricted diet, have darker skin and/or are obese, you are at high risk of Vitamin D deficiency.
Why should I care? As Vitamin D helps the body utilise calcium, a lack causes osteomalacia (softening of the bones, causing bone and muscle pain) and osteoporosis (weakening of the bones, increasing the likelihood of fracture).
Deficiency is also associated with diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, some cancers and multiple sclerosis (MS).
And it is incredibly easy to diagnose and treat.
How do I find out? Go to your doctor and ask for a Vitamin D blood test.
Then what? If you are found to be deficient you will be prescribed a course of cholecalciferol (capsules,
40 000 IU per week for 7 weeks) with a follow-up blood test when you have completed the course.
Can’t I just up the Vitamin D in my diet? Not really. Vitamin D is found in trace amounts in oily fish and egg yolks. The bulk of Vitamin D is synthesised in your skin on exposure to sunlight. You could up your intake of fat via cheese and milk (but don’t go overboard!) to make sure you are able to adequately absorb the vitamin.
For more information www.jabfm.org/content/22/6/698full www.cochrane.org/CD007470/ENDOC_vitamin-d-supplementation-for-prevention-of-mortality-in-adults www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3356951