Hooray, the sun finally showed its face here in the UK this week! And as soon as that happens we’re told “Keep covered up and stay out of the sun!” So we lather on our SPF and hide in the shade under a tree or umbrella, thinking that we’re protecting our skin and keeping ourselves healthy, but we do need some sun exposure or we could end up deficient in Vitamin D.
- Essential for our skin to combat signs of ageing
- Essential for healthy bones as it helps with the calcium absorption
- Helps with menopause symptoms
- For our Energy levels
- To keep our immunity up
Our bodies are capable of producing vitamin D, so we aren’t dependent on getting it from our food, and when our skin is adequately exposed to the UV rays in the sunshine our bodies can produce enough to maintain the essential processes.
Vitamin D is unique, as our body turns it into a hormone known as ‘Calcitrol’. It’s Calcitrol that manages the absorption of calcium in our blood, bones and gut, which is essential for a healthy body. Having too little vitamin D can lead to osteoporosis and rickets, and rickets cases have risen in the UK by more than 400% since 1996.
Some research has found a connection between high levels of vitamin D and a lower risk of some cancers, such as bowel, breast and prostate cancer. Vitamin D helps with regulating cell growth, with research showing it helps to prevent cell multiplication by reducing cell division, restricting tumour blood supply, increasing the death of cancer cells and limiting the spread of cancer.
For menopausal women, Vitamin D and cholesterol together create the mother hormone pregnenoline, and this hormone is responsible for creating both progesterone and estrogen. Estrogen levels stay higher for longer during menopause, but progesterone drops rapidly from 40 onwards. So providing the body with the building blocks to continue to create this hormone is key to reducing symptoms of peri-menopause during the 40s and 50s
As you age the body loses it capacity to absorb calcium – vitamin D is crucial to fixing calcium in bones. There are higher risks of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women – research has shown vitamin D can reduce potential osteoporosis. Diets rich in calcium and vitamin D can help control symptoms of irritability, anxiety and tearfulness
How do you know if you’re deficient?
The symptoms are vague and can look like many other illnesses, such as tiredness, fatigue, lower immune system and general aches and pains. So it’s often missed until there’s a severe deficiency or bone issues.
How do I get enough vitamin D?
Intake recommendations (based on international units—IUs—per day):
Adults: up to 800 IU
(For those with severe deficiency up to 2000iu)
And what about sun exposure?
So this seems to go against what we’ve been told. Well Vitamin D is known as the “Sunshine Vitamin” for a very good reason! Yes it’s important to protect your skin from harmful UV rays but equally important to give your body some time to absorb vitamin D from the sun too. You could sit out in the sun without SPF/UV sunscreen for 15 minutes every day, after that you should apply sunscreen of SPF30 or above, so that you stabilise the need for vitamin D with skin protection.
Look for these ingredients in your skin care and sunscreen – carotene, carrot seed oil, pomegranate and sea salts. These ingredients contain vitamins A, D and E which can nourish dry, dehydrated and stressed skin, making your skin radiant, boosting anti-oxidant protection and repairing and strengthening ageing skin.
With a combination of diet, supplements and careful sun exposure, you can achieve your recommended daily vitamin D intake. You’ll have more energy, brighter skin and possibly prevent other illnesses.
If you’d like any help with any of your symptoms or supplements get in touch.
Love Catriona x
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I’m Catriona Armor founder of Vital Remedy & The Hormone Fairy Programme, a registered Homeopath & Health Coach, Reiki and Crystal Practitioner, practicing in the Milton Keynes, Leighton Buzzard, Bedford and Aylesbury area, and across the UK via Skype.
My passion is helping and inspiring others, in particular women, to make the changes they need to feel healthier, more grounded, excited and confident about their lives. I specialise in Hormonal health, Pregnancy, Menopause, Anxiety & Depression.
If you’ve been struggling with your health and wellbeing and feel that now is the perfect time for you to make some changes then I would love to help you!