October 24th to 30th was Vitamin D awareness week. And as we are hearing more and more about Vitamin D deficiency we thought we’d look in to it. Earlier this year the Government recommended that all in the UK over the age of 1 year should consider taking a Vitamin D supplement daily during the autumn and winter.
What is Vitamin D and why do we need it?
The NHS says
“A lack of vitamin D – known as vitamin D deficiency – can cause bones to become soft and weak, which can lead to bone deformities. In children, for example, a lack of vitamin D can lead to rickets. In adults, it can lead to osteomalacia, which causes bone pain and tenderness”
The Vitamin D Council says the following about the link between lack of Vitamin D and breast cancer.
“Preventing breast cancer
Some studies have been conducted which have found that women with low levels of vitamin D are more likely to develop breast cancer. A recent review of many studies found that post-menopausal women with low levels of vitamin D had a higher risk of developing breast cancer compared to post-menopausal women with high levels of vitamin D.
Other studies have found what is called a dose-response relationship, where for each increase in vitamin D levels in the body, there is a decrease in breast cancer risk”
It also says “There are four types of studies that are used to see whether UVB exposure and vitamin D reduce the risk of breast cancer: geographical studies, observational studies, laboratory studies and randomized controlled trials. All four types of studies have found strong evidence that UVB and vitamin D reduce therisk of breast cancer.”
Vitamin D has also been linked with weight loss according to sfgate.com
“Although there is no magic pill for weight loss, vitamin D does play a role in maintaining healthy weight. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, which means it is stored in your body’s fat cells. The link between vitamin D and weight has not been completely explored by researchers and is not fully understood, but several studies have shown a connection between vitamin D and status and weight.”
So, putting it simply
“Vitamin D is important for good overall health and strong and healthy bones. It’s also an important factor in making sure your muscles, heart, lungs and brain work well and that your body can fight infection.” Vitamin D Council
So where do we get Vitamin D from?
We get Vitamin D from a few foods such as oily fish & red meat, but our main source is from the Sun. Which we don’t see a lot of in this country and is why vitamin d deficiency is sometimes called the “English Disease”, and why it is advisable to take a Vitamin D supplement especially during Autumn and winter.