5 Things To Know About Vitamin D
Vitamin D is one of the most influential vitamins for your body.
It is a fat soluble vitamin so our body stores it away to be used when needed.
Top 5 things to know about Vitamin D:
1. It is synthesised by the action of sunlight on our skin. It is then metabolised in the liver and kidney to the metabolically active form before being used in your body.
2. It is involved in supporting your cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, nervous, immune, reproductive and digestive systems - so pretty much your whole body!
In greater detail, vitamin D plays a role in:
- absorption and metabolism of calcium, magnesium and phosphorus
- regulation of iron and zinc
- bone and teeth formation
- maintains a stable nervous system
- maintain a healthy heart
- immune system function
- inhibition of autoimmunity
- assists cell differentiation and reduces cancer cells
- needed for insulin secretion
- blood pressure regulation
- libido and sexual organ maintenance
3. You can find out your vitamin D levels by having a blood test - however due to living in Melbourne, the medical community assume that everyone is deficient (see point 4 for more details).
During summer, your levels should ideally be above 100nmol/L.
At the end of winter, your levels should not drop below 60nmol/L.
4. It is challenging to maintain Vitamin D levels in Melbourne due to our position from the equator and our decreased solar UVR (solar ultraviolet radiation) especially between the months of May and August.
Studies have been shown that majority of people in Melbourne were not able to achieve the currently recommended amount of winter sun exposure for maintaining vitamin D adequacy and those that did were still not able to maintain their vitamin D levels.
5. Signs you may be deficient include:
- tired, fatigued
- impaired immune function
- bone fractures
- bone pain
- muscle weakness
It is always good to discuss suspected deficiencies with your health practitioner.
Too much vitamin D can also give similar symptoms to deficient states so please contact a health practitioner before supplementing your diet.