Working in an office? Living in the UK? When you finally are exposed to sunlight do you wear factor 15 or higher? If the answer is yes to at least one of these questions the chances are you are Vitamin D deficient, along with 60 – 90% of the UK population.
Vitamin D is far more than the “sunshine vitamin” that helps grow strong bones and teeth. It’s an anti-inflammatory which is crucial in the protection against the degenerative diseases we are all trying not to get, the number one killer being heart disease.
How do you feel if you are deficient?
If you are experiencing unexplained tiredness, lowered immunity, muscle aches and pains then the chances are you too are deficient in Vitamin D.
How do you get it?
With 90% of the UK not being at the correct latitude for Vitamin D to be synthesized in the skin from October – April, sunbathing isn’t an option for most of us.
You can receive Vitamin D from food sources, however it is important to keep in mind that adequate intake of healthy fats it vital to assist the absorption of Vitamin D as it’s a fat-soluble vitamin.
The richest food sources of Vitamin D are animal products: oily fish, such as sardines (300 IU per 3.5oz), mackerel (250 IU per 3.5oz) and wild salmon (500 – 1,000 IU per 100g), and cod liver oil (400 – 1,000 IU per tsp). Plant-based sources are limited, with mushrooms being the best option, particularly when they have been exposed to sunlight. in 2004 mycologist Paul Stamet discovered that exposing freshly picked, indoor-grown shiitake mushrooms to sunlight for 6 hours increased their vitamin D levels from 110 IU to a staggering 46,000 IU / 100g. Our advice: leave your mushrooms gill side up on your window sill to boost the vitamin D content!
Would you consider taking a supplement?
The RDI in the UK is 400 IU per day for adults, however this recommendation only prevents osteomalacia (a weakening of the bones). There is widespread agreement in the health community that this is far too low, and there should be a minimum maintenance dose of 1,000 IU per day taken by all living in the UK from October through to April.
We are fans of VITL’s Vitamin D 1,000 IU capsules which come in an easy to swallow capsule filled with sunflower oil which helps to increase absorption by 32%. These capsules are also non GMO and filler-free. Fillers should be avoided as many contain hydrogenated oils which have been linked to heart problems, strokes, nervous system problems, and importantly block the absorption of essential fatty acids, which would decrease the absorption of fat-soluble Vitamin D.
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