Vitamin D – A Big Deal for Winter?

June 3, 2018

 

In recent years, Vitamin D has shot to centre stage amongst the research community assessing the link between specific vitamin deficiencies and disease. As a result of this concerted research push, it has led many experts to believe that the identification of Vitamin D may be one of the most important health discoveries of the last 100 years when it comes to wellness optimisation and disease prevention.

So, what is the big fuss? Unfortunately there is no simple answer to this as Vitamin D carries out so many functions and supports so many systems that it is virtually impossible to delineate its specific benefits. However, what we do know is that Vitamin D is crucial for bone health. It also reduces the risk of heart disease, diabetes and some types of cancer. It is vital for the absorption and metabolism of calcium and phosphorus. In addition it has been found to:

  • Regulate and support the immune system

  • Prevent infections

  • Maintain healthy body weight

  • Reduce the risk of developing multiple sclerosis

  • Maintain brain function as you age

  • Reduce severity and frequency of asthma symptoms

  • Reduce the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis in women​

However, from assessing the research it seems that one of Vitamin D’s biggest benefits is in its role as an immune-stimulant. This obviously has important ramifications for the prevention of serious conditions such as cancer. But arguably just as important is the role Vitamin D plays in keeping us free from the constant coughs, colds and flus that plague us in the winter months.

Indeed, Vitamin D expert Dr. John Cannell has shown that many winter based health issues such as coughs and colds are a result of weakened immune resistance due to the significant reduction in sunlight exposure in winter and therefore in our circulating Vitamin D levels. The upshot of this is a reduction in our immunity and an increased risk of infection and illness.

As I write this and look back over the last week, it seems that everyone I have come into contact with seems to be battling a low grade cold and cough and a general lack of vitality. Could this be due, in part, to the fact that we are in the middle of winter and statistically speaking, over 80% of us are likely to be deficient in Vitamin D? From reviewing the evidence, this certainly seems very plausible.

How Do We Address This Issue?

The good news is that the best way to increase our Vitamin D levels is free; the sun! Generally speaking, between May and October, most of us can obtain enough Vitamin D from being outside – just 20 minutes of sun exposure 2-3 times a week appears to be enough to keep our Vitamin D levels up.

We can also obtain Vitamin D from certain foods such as wild oily fish, eggs, mushrooms and raw cultured dairy. However, obtaining enough Vitamin D from food in the winter months in the Northern Hemisphere is generally not feasible.

So that begs the question, what do we need to do to optimise Vitamin D levels during the latter half of the UK winter? The simple answer is via Vitamin D supplementation – it appears to be the only way to effectively do so.

Current UK guidelines recommend adults take a daily Vitamin D supplement of 10mcg per day between October and April and then stop over the summer months.

This seems like very sensible advice and having reviewed the evidence, our family are now all merrily taking Vitamin D on a daily basis.

Turbo Charge your Immunity

In the face of the barrage of coughs, colds and flus that are very much doing the rounds in the UK at the moment, one of the most powerful ways of significantly boosting our immunity and resistance to infections is via elderberry syrup. This immune-stimulating power house has been shown to be just as effective as Tami-Flu at reducing the prevalence and severity of flus and general colds and

coughs due to the exceptionally high vitamin and antioxidant concentrations found in elderberry.

To generate total all-round immunity, elderberry syrup is ideal for use alongside Vitamin-D supplementation and to help you with this, we are pleased to announce a winter immune-boosting package consisting of  1 x Pukka Elderberry Syrup and 1 x premium grade Lamberts 10mcg Vitamin D tablets for £18.00.

 

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