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Vitamin D....The Key

Updated: Nov 20, 2020


Vitamin D


Most commonly known as the sunshine vitamin, exposure to sunlight causes our bodies to produce it naturally. Vitamin D is also found in our food, although not in many options and in small quantities. The importance of Vitamin D is huge as we will explore below. During the winter months in the UK now sunlight is reduced which in turn means reduced levels of Vitamin D unless you already take a supplement or ensure your diet counters the lack of sunlight. Maintaining a healthy level of vitamin d will greatly improve your health alongside the reduction of ailments listed below. It will also improve your performance whatever your goal.


Why is vitamin D important?


Healthy Bones


Vitamin D along with other nutrients such as calcium helps bones rebuild as they naturally break down. Vitamin D enables the phosphate and calcium to be absorbed into the bones. Lack of Vitamin can cause bones to become brittle. Osteoporosis is often linked with a calcium deficiency, but as stated earlier vitamin D helps with the absorption of calcium and other nutrients so if we have a lack of vitamin D our body will it be less efficient in absorbing the calcium we intake. So a long term vitamin D deficiency can lead to Osteoporosis.


May reduce cancer risk


Many cancer research agencies stress the importance of getting enough vitamin D, research suggests that people who experience a lack of sunshine are more likely to get cancer. Research suggests that it decreases cancer cell growth & increases stimulated cancer cell death when Vitamin D is taken with calcium.


Immune system safeguard


The evidence suggests that Vitamin D enhances your immunity and inhibit the development of autoimmunity. With a lack of the vitamin you will have a weaker immune system and be at risk to more infections. You can even feel the effects of a Vitamin D deficiency before it snowballs into bigger problems. Be sure to look out for the following; foggy thinking, unexplained fatigue & muscle weakness. Like vitamin C, Vitamin D also helps protect you from getting the flu, plus if you did get the flu symptoms are dramatically reduced with higher levels of Vitamin D.


Reduces Alzheimer’s Disease


Researcher has found that the higher the Vitamin D deficiency the greater the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease & Dementia. You are twice as likely to develop either disease if you are severely deficient (less than 25nmol/l)


Combats Depression


Studies have shown that there is a link between depression and people with low levels of vitamin D. It shows that people deficient in the vitamin are at a much greater risk of depression. It is believed that because healthy brain function is related to positive levels of vitamin D that insufficient nutrient levels may contribute towards depression.

It is also related to seasonal affective disorder due to the lack of sunlight during the winter months.


Anglin RES, et al. (2013). Vitamin D deficiency and depression in adults: Systematic review and meta-analysis. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 202, 100-107. DOI: 10.1192/bjp.bp.111.106666



Reduces Rheumatoid Arthritis


RA is an autoimmune disease that affects many people from different backgrounds. The painful disease can cause swollen joints or regular fever and fatigue.

Studies have been conducted that show vitamin D could be crucial in alleviating some of the rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.


The authors of the study said the following: “Vitamin D deficiency is associated with the clinical activity of the disease,”. “The quantification of serum 25 (OH) D levels and, consequently, vitamin D supplementation, should be considered in the management of patients with RA.”


Deficiency in vitamin D can be seen as part of unhealthy habits which include poor nutrition, smoking, drug abuse, low exercise or a lack of sunshine being stuck inside. A culmination of these factors of which some are social economic factors, lead to worse disease outcomes. From this we can see that a vitamin D deficiency is most likely a cause and a sign.


Athletic Performance


In history athletes that got sun lamp exposure experienced improvements in strength, speed & endurance.

Supplementing with vitamin D while dieting also leads to faster fat loss particularly in the abdominal area.


Based on the research presented, It is suggested that vitamin D levels above the normal reference range which is up to 100nmol/L might increase muscle function, lower recovery time, increase force and power production & also increase testosterone levels. All of which increase athletic performance.


Cardiovascular disease


Multiple studies suggest that vitamin D may play an important role in preventing cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.


Most of the population are deficient and have increasing levels of parathyroid hormone, activating the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, and increasing insulin resistance, thus leading to hypertension and left ventricular hypertrophy, metabolic syndrome/diabetes mellitus, inflammation, and increased risk of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease.


Dosage


The normal recommended amount is 10 micrograms per day and should not go above 100 micrograms although leading experts suggest that we should be taking more than this, between 4000IU-5000IU per day for the best benefits of taking a vitamin D supplement.


Ultimately you should get yourself tested with a vitamin D test to see where you natural levels sit and then consult your own physician.


Recommendations


Here are my two recommendations, one that offers a 4000iu dosage per tablet and the second that offers a 1000iu dosage per tablet. I take the 4000iu each day but I have also listed the 1000iu for those that already supplement with a multi-vitamin that contains vitamin d so that you can boost your intake without having too much.





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