Vitamin D

Well Vitamin D is the up-to-the-minute celebrity of the vitamin world gobbling up column inches all over the place. The latest news from the University of Copenhagen is that Vitamin D is a vital component of the immune system and this crucial nutrient has been linked to building strong bones, fighting depression and boosting muscle strength. Currently Vitamin D is the equivalent of me-time virtually none of us are getting enough of it and it’s a big problem. So let’s cut to it, what does Vitamin D do, how much do we need and how can a busy girl get it?

Ok well the nutrient is called a vitamin, but dietary Vitamin D is actually a precursor hormone; the building block of a vital steroid hormone in your body. Vitamin D works to maintain normal levels of calcium and phosphorus in the blood to support healthy bone renewal. It also promotes normal cell growth all over the body, working to maintain a hormonal balance and a healthy immune system. Vitamin D deficiency can be characterized by muscle pain, low energy and fatigue, lowered immunity, symptoms of depression, mood swings, and sleep irregularities.

How much do we need? Well the recommendation for all adult individuals is 200 IU (international units) daily. The upper limit of Vitamin D has been recommended at 2,000 IU daily and anything in between is great.

The difficult issue how to get enough although. We can all make an ample supply of Vitamin D with as little as a couple of hours per week in the sun if the UVB rays are strong enough but with busy lives and jobs this is not as easy as it sounds.

If you can’t get into the sun you can get Vitamin D through common foods like fatty fish, eggs and liver. There are also fortified foods like cereals and yoghurts to consider, although there is some debate over how easily these nutrients are absorbed. Lastly if you really can’t boost your Vitamin D levels by a more natural route you can consider a good food-state supplement. Whatever route you pick it is becoming clear that the right amount of Vitamin D is vital to keep your body fit and healthy.

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