The Importance of Vitamin D3
There are 5 types of Vitamin D (D1, D2, D3, D4 and D5). Although D2 and D3 are both available in supplement form, D3 is the supplement of choice, as D2 only works for some people.
Vitamin D3 deficiency is widespread in areas with low sun exposure. It is thought that up to 85% of the population in north Europe are affected to some degree. Optimum Vitamin D levels are important to help prevent the progression of:-
Vitamin D raises production of a variety of antimicrobial peptides in the body, that fight infections like influenza. Vitamin D3 also reduces fracture rate in the elderly who suffer from osteoporosis and osteopenia. It encourages the absorption and metabolism of calcium and phosphorous.
People exposed to normal quantities of sunlight do not need vitamin D supplements because it promotes sufficient vitamin D synthesis in the skin. Activated Vitamin D promotes absorption of calcium and phosphorous from food in the gut. It also allows reabsorption of calcium in the kidneys which increases the flow in the bloodstream.
Many of the patients who consult us in Liverpool Street / Aldgate work inside all year round and spend a minimal amount of time in sunlight. This has been shown to have negative effects on mood and health. Have you noticed how you and others around you get a spring in their step when the days get longer and brighter especially after a long dark winter?
We have carefully researched current Vitamin D3 options on the market. From our research this is currently the ‘best Vitamin D3 supplement’ we have found to suit our patients needs, which can be purchase online or in clinic. We recommend people take these between October and April in the UK to maintain their Vitamin D levels throughout winter. Click here to read more about the added benefits to this particular brand.
Why is Vitamin D so important to us?
Essential for the normal mineralisation of bone, maintaining many organ systems and preventing a low calcium condition which can result in:-
Overactive neurological reflexes
Spasms of the hands and feet
Cramps and spasms of the voice box
Sunlight and Vitamin D requirements
Exposing your unprotected skin for two sessions of 15minutes of sunlight each week, allows your body to naturally produce adequate Vitamin D. However, there are a number of factors which can affect Vitamin D synthesis:-
Distance from the equator
What if I am not exposed to the correct intensity of sun?
You should obtain Vitamin D from foods however if you are deficient you should consider a good quality Vitamin D3 supplement. People with high risk of vitamin D deficiency must ensure they are consuming the correct strength supplement each day so there is a good level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D in the bloodstream. Vitamin D3 should be taken during the day as it can occasionally disrupt sleep.
Elderly and dark skinned people should consume extra vitamin D for good health. Dark skinned people require extra due to the melanin pigment which acts as a natural sunscreen, blocking absorption of vitamin D from sunlight. Elderly people should also consider higher dosages due to poorer absorption in the gut.
Who should be careful taking Vitamin D supplements?
Vitamin D must be precisely managed via your GP for those with a history of:-
High Calcium levels