Why Vitamin D is the essential ingredient for a healthy winter.
The NHS is mounting a sustained campaign to encourage all of us to take vitamin D, recommending that we should take 10 micrograms (400 IU) of vitamin D a day between October and early March to keep our bones and muscles healthy. Some scientists believe (though there is still much research to be done) that a deficiency in vitamin D could be linked to an increased risk of some cancers, dementia, diabetes, heart disease, multiple sclerosis and depression.
The NHS is particularly concerned that the problem of Vitamin D deficiency might be particularly acute this winter given the amount of time that many people have spent indoors during lockdown – sunlight (strictly speaking, ultraviolet B) is the best source of this essential vitamin. There have also been suggestions that vitamin D can reduce the risk of coronavirus (COVID-19), although the NHS is quick to emphasise that there is ‘currently not enough evidence to support’ this claim.
Once you hit your fifties there is an increased risk of a deficiency in your vitamin D levels. Generally we absorb enough vitamin D through exposure to the sun during the summer months to see us through the winter, although there is still a risk of a deficiency in the cold months, so you may want seek the advice of your GP and get a simple blood test once a year to check your levels.
If it’s found to be a bit on the low side, you could supplement your diet with wholefood sources rich in vitamin D such as oily fish, fish oils, liver, meat, cheese, eggs and mushrooms.
If your doctor recommends it, take a single-dose, high-quality vitamin D3 supplements, D3 (cholecalciferol) being the more natural form as it is D3 humans make when exposed to sunshine. It is a more stable option and more effective at raising and maintaining vitamin D levels than D2 (ergocalciferol).
You might also want to make the most of our partnership with Doctor Seaweed who have combined organic Scottish seaweed — a natural source of iodine — with plant-based vitamins B12 and D3, to produce a capsule of supreme, natural goodness. They are offering High50 subscribers an exclusive discount of 20% on purchases of their brand new Doctor Seaweed’s Weed & Wonderful® Immunity+ Supplement. Each capsule of Dr Seaweed’s Weed & Wonderful® Immunity+ Supplement contains plant-based and organic ingredients – pure organic seaweed powder as a natural iodine source (at 233% RDA), Vitamin B12 from mushrooms (at 100% RDA), Vitamin D3 from lichens (at 200% RDA).