Vitamin D – why you need to be supplementing in the UK Winter and what to take with it

Vitamin D – why you need to be supplementing in the UK Winter and what to take with it


– Hi it’s Nicki here from
happy hormones for life and today, I am talking about vitamin D. Now we know that vitamin
D is the sunshine vitamin but did you know it’s actually a hormone and it’s absolutely vital to
keep us in optimal health. Now at the time of
recording this it’s December so any vitamin D from
sunshine you may have got over the summer, vitamin
D does store in the body but not for that long, a
couple of months maybe, so it’s gonna be well
and truly gone by now. So unless you’re supplementing,
you’re more than likely going to be deficient, because
the main source of vitamin D is from direct sunlight. So unless you’re
holidaying in the Caribbean every few weeks during the winter months, you are likely to be deficient. We only get enough sunlight in the UK to make vitamin D between
mid-May and September. You can get small small
amounts from foods, animal foods such as egg
yolks, meat, oily fish and dairy but it’s really minimal and it’s not enough to keep your levels in the optimal range. So according to the national
diets nutrition survey 90% of us in the UK have
insufficient blood levels of Vitamin D and five
to 20% of the population are in a state of severe deficiency and we are seeing this in
children more and more children with rickets. We are going backwards with this. Why is vitamin D so important? Well nearly every single cell in your body has a vitamin D receptor. So more and more evidence
is now being confirmed but vitamin D’s role in
the body is much much wider than we ever thought. And much more wider than
just protecting your bones. First of all it’s an immune booster. It’s your main immune system regulator. It helps to fight infection. No wonder we all get sick in the winter. Maybe that’s you know, something we’ve got to consider that when we’re supplementing or when we’re looking at our vitamin D to get us through the winter months. It’s our immune system protector, right? It’s also because it’s an
immune system protector it’s also an auto-immune protector, so many conditions like MS,
Crohn’s, rheumatoid arthritis Hashimotos and other autoimmune conditions have been linked to
vitamin D deficiencies. And if we can get those levels up, we’re more likely to be
able to protect ourselves. Cancer. More and more evidence
now points to the links between vitamin D deficiency
and certain cancers, including breast,
prostate, and colon cancer. One study claims, that
rates of these cancers would be cut by 50% if we got
adequate amounts of vitamin D. That’s incredible. Bone and muscle health, vitamin
D regulates calcium levels and the activity of bone building cells. So we know that severe
deficiency can cause rickets and we know also adequate vitamin D, helps to prevent oesteoperosis too. Your brain really really crucial vitamin D deals role in neurological health. Mood issues, cognitive
function, all of that. Vitamin D’s very much linked to depression and in the winter we
can feel that can’t we? ’cause it’s that whole sad syndrome. Heart health, vitamin D
prevents calcium build up in the arteries. It helps to normalize blood pressure and reduce inflammation. Goodness me, if we had enough levels maybe that would help with our
whole heart health epidemic. Skin, it’s good for your skin. It helps to prevent that
excess cell proliferation so things like psoriasis and eczema. We know in the sunshine
these things tend to improve. Also blood sugar balance
and insulin control. Really helps to regulate blood sugar and prevent insulin resistance and of course that’s gonna
help with things like diabetes. What can effect your levels of vitamin D? Well obviously lack of
exposure to sunshine. Whether that’s actual sunshine, or whether you’re actually covering up or wearing sunblock or
high level sunscreen. If you have darker skin, the more sun, you need to be exposed to. If you have kidney or liver disease, that’s going to affect the
conversion of vitamin D because that’s converted
in the liver and kidneys. If you’re pregnant you
may need extra amounts of vitamin D for building babies bones. If you’re stressed, cortisol
is a steroid hormone made from cholesterol. If the body’s stressed out, cortisols going to take priority over the synthesis of vitamin D. So again, stress has an impact and we know how much of that there is around, especially this time of year. Obesity can reduce the biological activity of vitamin D as well
and of course genetics and gene mutations as well,
can lower levels of vitamin D. This is actually interesting,
’cause if you have a mutation in certain genes that regulate vitamin D, it means that you’re going
to always need to take more as a supplement and I’ve got this myself. So I think it relates to
about 30 to 40% percent of the population. So if any of these things affect you then you’re going to be more than likely to need a vitamin D supplement. And you will definitely need
one through the winter anyway. How much do we need is the question? You actually need to
get your levels tested to know exactly how much
you need to supplement. You can ask your doctor. They can be a bit reluctant
to test your vitamin D because everyone’s coming back deficient so they’re just gonna assume
you’re deficient in the winter. If you want to know your levels though, I suggest you get tested
and get a home kit from vitamindtest.org.uk and
I’ll put that underneath. It’s a simple home blood test
for your vitamin D levels. Now the reference range is in the UK, if you’re under 50 ng/mLs then you’re going to be insufficient and the amount of people
we’ve tested recently, nobody’s come back over 50. Really optimal you need to be
sort of around 70 to 80 so, really want to keep that in mind and I’ll put the levels
in the blog as well. So you can get toxicity like anything with too much vitamin D but
you have to take a huge amount and toxicity is very rare
according to experts, so not too worried about. Now the current daily
recommendation is 200 IU, now this for me is really inadequate, because recent research
indicates that actually human daily requirements of vitamin D may be up to 10 times more than this. And if you consider that
skin actually produces about 10,000 IU vitamin D in response to about
20 minutes of sunshine, you can easily see how
200 might be a bit low. Now vitamin D doesn’t work alone. Don’t just take a vitamin D3 supplement. Oh by the way, take D3 and not D2. D3 is the active form. So you need vitamin D3 but
you need certain co-factors for it to be made to
work properly in the body and these include
magnesium, K2, vitamin A, boron and zinc. If you start supplementing with vitamin D, make sure you’re also
getting these co-factors too or you can risk certain imbalances. So I recommend a good
quality multi-vitamin and a vitamin D with K2. You can get this, there’s a
brand called Cytoplan I use, C Y T O plan that has a
lovely vitamin D with K2 and you can order that from
the natural dispensary, I will then pop that in the notes as well. But please check with your
doctor or health practitioner before starting any new supplements. I hope that was useful,
I’ll see you all soon.

One thought on “Vitamin D – why you need to be supplementing in the UK Winter and what to take with it

  1. I got my level checked a couple of years ago and I was insufficient; 43 and was quite unwell at the time. I’m in the 90’s now, so supplements do work. I didn’t know about the co factors though so this has been useful. Thank you.

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