It's 6am. The alarm is going. It's cold and dark outside and you just can't drag your self out of bed. If this is becoming a regular occurrence, it may be down to more than the autumn/winter blues. In the UK, around 10 million of us have low levels of the sunshine vitamin. If our skin wasn't already amazing enough by having many different functions, the main of which is being our protective shell, it also can create vitamin D when exposed to the sun. Unfortunately, the Great British weather doesn't allow us an awful lot of sunshine.
Low vitamin D levels can contribute to many health problems including osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease and has even been linked to diabetes, multiple scoliosis and gluten intolerance.
So, who's at risk?Vegans:
We can obtain some vitamin D from the foods we eat. However, most natural sources come from foods avoided in the vegan diet like oily fish, egg yolk, milk and liver.Darker skins:
Melanin (the skin's pigment) limits the body's ability to absorb vitamin D. Those especially at risk are older people with tanned or olive skin tones.Over weight:
People who have a body mass index of 30 often have low vitamin D levels. This is because fat cells extract vitamin D from the blood.Digestive problems:
Medical conditions such as celiac disease also make it more difficult for your body to absorb vitamin D from your diet.Even if none of the above applies, don't rule yourself out just yet. Everyone is at risk of vitamin D deficiency.
Vitamin D Testing
It's easy to find out if you are deficient in vitamin D through a simple and quick pin-prick blood test
. The test is carried out in clinic via a pin-prick testing kit. We remove a small drop of blood from your index finger and send the results off to a testing lab. If your results come back as deficient it's time to top yourself up!Vitamin D in supplement form is the best way to boost your levels to have you fighting fit again. Our top pick is the Heliocare Oral Ultra D Capsules