Vitamin D: cod-liver oil for modern times
A recent national survey has shown that over 80% of New Zealand women are deficient in vitamin D. Many processes in the body are affected by vitamin D, with deficiency causing bone disease in children and increasing the risk of osteoporosis in the elderly.
Not just for bones
Vitamin D not only keeps your bones strong but also is important for tissue growth, healing, sleep, mood and supporting your immune system. Recent studies have even suggested that vitamin D may protect against some forms of cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
Adults can experience vitamin D deficiency as a dull ache in their muscles and bones with weakness that can develop into a condition called osteomalacia. Vitamin D is important in the production of melatonin and serotonin, so a deficiency can cause problems such as insomnia and depression.
How you get vitamin D
Your skin uses sunlight to make vitamin D, which is then used throughout your body. Of course, these days most people are concerned about excessive sun exposure and use sunscreen or cover up with clothing, limiting our ability to make vitamin D. Being over 60 or having naturally dark skin will also make your skin slower to use sunlight to make vitamin D. As we head into shorter days and colder, wetter weather, we tend to have even lower vitamin D levels which makes us prone to a host of health issues like colds and flu. Unlike many vitamins and minerals, you are unlikely to get enough vitamin D from food and drink. Supplementation is the easiest way to ensure our bodies have a sufficient supply. It's like a modern version of cod-liver oil, without the unpleasant fishy taste.
Supplementing your vitamin D
The vitamin D supplement we stock at Health Within is an inexpensive and palatable vanilla-flavoured liquid. It comes in the active D3 form that is ready for your body to use immediately. Just 3 drops a day will give you 1000 international units, the recommended intake.