We all know that vitamin D is very important for the growth and development of our muscle cells. It regulates the amount of phosphate and calcium in the body and therefore keeps bones and teeth healthy. Moreover, it is essential for the proper functioning of the innate and adaptive immune system and protects us against a range of diseases. During summers, our body manages to synthesize vitamin D from sunlight and this is why it is also called the ‘sunshine’ vitamin. This is the reason that in winter when we have very little to no sunshine, vitamin D deficiency is more prevalent.
The deficiency of vitamin D in the body can result in several health-related problems including bone deformities and pain. This is why health experts recommend vitamin D supplements during winter.
Signs of vitamin D deficiency
- Bone pain
- Muscle pain or weakness
- Mood changes
According to the National Library of Medicine, lower back pain is also linked to this deficiency. Another study also found that those with problems of lower back pain experienced an increase in severity of pain due to low levels of the ‘sunshine’ vitamin.
A research published in Public Health Nutrition analyzed 81 studies and found that people with arthritis and muscle pain tend to have lower levels of vitamin D.
There is a study that links depression with vitamin D deficiency in older adults. It has been found that vitamin D supplements to people with a deficiency may help improve seasonal depression. This typically occurs during the winter season and when we don’t get enough natural sunlight.
How much vitamin D is needed
According to NHS, most of us require a dose of 10 micrograms per day. It is also measured in International Units (IU). One microgram of vitamin D is equivalent to 40 IU.
Good source of vitamin D
Oily fish, fortified foods like breakfast cereals and some fat spreads, egg yolks, red meat, and liver are a good source of vitamin D.