Vitamin D is an essential cofactor in the prevention and treatment of many conditions ranging from osteoporosis to cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Vitamin D is also essential for bone and muscle development, immune function and defence, overall health and helps fight the flu. Recent studies confirmed that almost a third of Australians have Vitamin D deficiency.
Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to a wide range of conditions including heart disease, diabetes, depression, and increased risk for colds, infections and autoimmune disease. Optimising your Vitamin D levels can have significant positive effects on your overall health particularly during the winter season where Vitamin D allows your immune system to activate and fight the cold and flu. Vitamin D works by increasing your body’s production of 2-300 different antimicrobital peptides that are far more effective than any synthetic antibiotic or antiviral.
Few foods contain Vitamin D, hence Vitamin D supplements are recommended unless your skin is exposed to regular sunlight. Vitamin D is found in fish liver oils, salmon, mackerel, tuna fish, cheese, vitamin d-fortified milk and egg yolks. Most people meet over half of their Vitamin D needs through sun exposure, which is ideally the best way to get your Vitamin D. UV rays from the sun trigger Vitamin D production in your skin. However, too much sun exposure can increase the risk of skin cancer, so it’s important to balance between being sun smart and exposing your skin to sunlight to increase your Vitamin D levels.
Daily adequate intake of Vitamin D varies across each age group and gender group. If you have concerns about your Vitamin D levels, visit us in store and talk to one of our qualified Naturopaths about your needs.