Vitamin D is in the news again today as a report in the Lancet states that rates of rickets in the UK are on the increase and that hospitalisation rates for rickets are the highest in five decades.
Vitamin D is created in our bodies by sunlight hitting our skin, but the sun’s rays are only at the right wavelength in the UK between the months of May and September, which means that if you didn’t generate enough stores last summer, by now your stores will probably be depleted.
Why is Vitamin D important?
Vitamin D plays many roles in our health including:
- Helping the body to absorb the calcium and phosphorous from our food, so that we have strong bones. A deficiency in vitamin D can contribute to rickets in children and osteomalacia (brittle bones) in adults
- Supporting the immune system. Perhaps the reason we get so many coughs and colds in the winter is due to a lack of vitamin D?
- It is linked to auto-immune diseases such as Diabetes, Rheumatoid Arthritis, lupus and MS
- It is important for cardiovascular health
- A lack of vitamin D is linked to mood disorders, including SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)
- There is a clear link between obesity and Vitamin D deficiency
Researchers are learning more and more about vitamin D and new information is constantly available. I find a great source of information is the Vitamin D Council, and I follow them on Facebook to keep up to date.
If you are concerned about your vitamin D status then you can ask your GP to test you. Or you can be tested privately. Contact me for more information