How do I know if I’m low in vitamin D?
Vitamin D becomes the talk of the town during the winter, but do you know the effects of low vitamin D?
We catch up with the team from BetterYou, creators of vitamin supplement sprays. Here, they explain what vitamin D is, why it’s so important and the symptoms you might encounter from low vitamin D levels.
What is vitamin D?
Vitamin D is a vitamin that our bodies naturally create when our skin is exposed to UVB radiation from the sun.
It has many jobs throughout the body but is commonly known for its contribution to bone health. Vitamin D promotes calcium absorption in the gut to maintain calcium and phosphate concentrations, which ensure healthy, strong bones and teeth.
It’s also key to a healthy immune system – vitamin D triggers immune cells to create antibodies and assists in reducing inflammation in the body.
Who is most likely to have low levels?
For those of us living in the northern hemisphere, sunlight exposure is limited throughout the winter months and we’re more susceptible to vitamin D deficiency during this time.
If you have dark skin – for example you have an African, African-Caribbean or south Asian background – you may not be exposed to enough UVB radiation to get enough vitamin D from sunlight.
Plus, if you spend a lot of time indoors, this limits your exposure to sunlight and ability to create vitamin D.
What symptoms come with low vitamin D levels?
Common symptoms of low vitamin D levels might include:
- Being more susceptible to coughs and colds
- Struggling to heal wounds
- Bone, muscle and back pain
- Fatigue or tiredness, which can lead to symptoms of low mood and depression
How can I increase my intake?
Spending short periods daily in the sun with your forearms, hands or lower legs uncovered without sunscreen can boost your vitamin D – but it’s not known exactly how much time is needed in the sun to meet your requirements.
The amount of vitamin D your body makes depends on skin tone, geographical location and season. You also need to take care not to burn your skin.
Fish and seafood are other sources of vitamin D, with the NHS advising to eat at two portions per week including one oily fish portion.
Egg yolks and some fortified foods also contain vitamin D, but you’d have to eat quite a lot of them to get your daily requirement and it can be easier to take a supplement.
Supplements for vitamin D can come in the form of tablets, capsules or – even easier – oral sprays.
Will I always need a vitamin D supplement?
Our body requirements change over time due to lifestyle, ageing and diet factors, so it makes sense that your vitamin D requirements will change too.
If you’re deficient in vitamin D, you’ll likely need additional supplementation for a time period to boost your levels.
In the northern hemisphere, we often don’t get the required levels of UV light all year round, so it’s always recommended to take a supplement during the winter months.
BetterYou oral vitamin D spray
The BetterYou Dlux oral vitamin D spray is formulated to combat vitamin D.
Dlux is a convenient daily oral vitamin D spray formulated to combat vitamin D deficiency, which is a natural aid to bone and teeth health and helps to support the immune system.
Dlux is suitable for vegetarians and has a natural peppermint flavour.
Read more related to this
- Everything you need to know about vitamin D
- Vitamins and minerals for the menopause
- Osteoporosis bone building exercises
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