Why do we all now need Vitamin D?
Most of us are aware that vitamins are usually good for us in the recommended doses and vitamin D is needed for our bones. But what does it actually do and why does everyone suddenly have some sort of vitamin D deficiency?
Well, if you’ve come searching for some answers, you’ve come to the right place.
What Is Vitamin D? Why do I even need it?
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is naturally found in a limited range of foods and is readily available as a dietary supplement. It is more commonly formed when ultraviolet rays from natural sunlight hits the skin and activates vitamin D synthesis.
That would be the definition but in layman’s terms (I don’t really know what that means but I think it’s a cool way of saying normal people talk), it is hard to get vitamin D from food so we have to rely on sunshine and supplements and as we all know, there ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone in the UK and most of North Europe and North America.
Vitamin D is required for calcium absorption. You see, although we may consume enough calcium, we can’t actually use all of it because we may lack vitamin D which can result in a calcium deficiency as well.
Without enough vitamin D, our bones can become thin and brittle. Vitamin D sufficiency prevents rickets in children, osteomalacia in adults and osteoporosis in the elderly. Vitamin D also does a bunch of other important stuff like cell growth modulation, neuromuscular and immune function, and the reduction of inflammation.
What does that mean? What happens if I don’t get enough Vitamin D?
Oh boy, where do I even start. Vitamin D deficiency is not worth risking. I’m talking breast cancer. I’m talking colon cancer. I’m talking prostate cancer. I’m talking heart disease, depression, weight gain, and loads of other problems you do not want in your life.
Studies show that high levels of vitamin D lowers risk of disease, although it hasn’t been proven that lack of vitamin D actually causes the diseases. Does that make sense? If not, let me explain it this way. Having lots of money in your bank lowers the risk of you suffering from poverty although it doesn’t mean you’ll suffer from poverty if your bank account is empty. It’s just better to have extra cash, that’s all y’all.
Other conditions that could benefit from taking vitamin D:
· chronic pain
· high blood-pressure
· neuromuscular diseases
Why don’t I have enough vitamin D?
In general, the UK is too far away from the equator to get a decent amount of sunlight. In fact, you could say, we rarely get to see the sun. This is a huge problem for our bodies and we need to take action; lest we suffer the consequences of vitamin D deficiency.
This is a major problem for people from the African and South-Asian subcontinents living in the UK. Dark skin absorbs less sunlight, so people with dark skin do not get as much vitamin D from sun exposure as do light-skinned people. Fair skinned people may occasionally get enough from sun exposure but the elderly and dark skinned need a lot more. It is therefore paramount for those with darker skin to keep an eye on their vitamin D intake.