Bring me sunshine…. and Vitamin D

We are all fed up with the dismal weather, it’s May for goodness sake, this morning it was raining and 5°C!

As soon as the sun finally comes out we all need to get out and soak up it’s rays, not only does it make us feel happier but it’s really important we get our much needed dose of Vitamin D.

In the UK it is recognised now that we all are deficient in Vitamin D, especially during the winter and those who live up in Scotland. That is because most of our Vitamin D comes from the sunlight converting a natural chemical in our skin to become Vitamin D, we absorb very little from food. Researchers are also discovering more and more about the benefits of Vitamin D.

So what does Vitamin D do?

  • It is crucial for the absorption and metabolism of calcium and phosphorous, which have various functions, especially the maintenance of healthy bones.
  • It is an immune system regulator.
  • It may reduce the risk of developing multiple sclerosis. Multiple sclerosis is much less common the nearer you get to the tropics, where there is much more sunlight.
  • Vitamin D may have a key role in helping the brain to keep working well in later life.
  • It may reduce the severity and frequency of asthma symptoms, and also the likelihood of hospitalisations due to asthma.
  • It has been shown to reduce the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis in women.
  • A form of vitamin D could be one of our body’s main protections against damage from low levels of radiation.
  • Various studies have shown that people with adequate levels of vitamin D have a significantly lower risk of developing cancer, compared to people with lower levels.

Some key researchers recommend everyone (and not just those in the “At Risk” group) take supplements as well as getting outside.

If you are interested here are some interesting links, including a link to a BBC Radio 4 podcast. Let it shine…!

BBC Radio 4 Food Programme Podcast on Vitamin D.