Times are tough, the covid-19 quarantine period has left us all uncertain and rethinking a lot of things.  Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that your body needs for many vital processes, including building and maintaining strong bones and immune function.  Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin and contrary to water-soluble vitamins, the body has no easy way of getting rid of fat-soluble vitamins. For this reason, excessive amounts may build up inside the body causing vitamin toxicity. While low vitamin D is quite common in South Africa and contributes to a lot of diseases. 

Vitamin D Main Health benefits: 

  • Supports bone and teeth growth and development 
  • It is involved in the normal functioning of the immune system 
  • Facilitates hormone function 
  • Supports normal blood sugar control 
  • Important for heart health 

How do I know if I am lacking vitamin D? 

Vitamin D deficiency can present itself in many ways, but one the common deficiency symptoms is rickets which is extremely popular in children. Rickets is a condition of soft, brittle bones which mostly present itself as bowed legs in children. Especially important that children are always taken for their scheduled immunizations including their vitamin D routine supplementation in clinics. 

  1. Bone problems e.g. osteoporosis, bone density loss or rickets in children 
  2. Fatigue and tiredness 
  3. Poor wound healing 
  4. Hair loss 
  5. Anxiety and depression

Who is more at risk of vitamin D deficiency: 

  • Older people 
  • Darker skin 
  • Staying indoors most of the time 
  • Being obese or overweight 
  • Breastfed babies who are not supplemented with vitamin D shortly after birth

How do I fix it? 

  1. Food sources : There are foods that are high in vitamin D that you can add into your diet such as oily fish e.g. pilchards, sardines; mushrooms – more if you leave them in the sun for a couple of minutes, eggs, fortified milk and margarine  
  2. Vitamin D supplement: You can take vitamin D supplement to help supplement your diet with vitamin D. more important for the those at high risk for vitamin D deficiency. 
  3. Vitamin D is called “sunshine D” because when our body is exposed to the sun – it naturally makes vitamin D. Spending at least 15 minutes in the sun with some or most of the skin exposed is important.

Remember: to consult with your healthcare professional before taking at health or herbal supplement or medication. 

References available on request. 

Yours in health, 

Mbali 

xx

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