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.
- Bone problems e.g. osteoporosis, bone density loss or rickets in children
- Fatigue and tiredness
- Poor wound healing
- Hair loss
- 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?
- 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
- 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.
- 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,