The UK is currently suffering from a vitamin D deficiency pandemic, many nutritionists say, with a sedentary lifestyle and poor diet slowly putting millions at risk.
A whopping 40 percent of the US population, around 150 million people, are vitamin D deficient.
In the UK, an estimated 20 per cent of adults and 16 per cent of children do not have the required levels in their blood.
According to the NHS, since it is “difficult for people to get enough vitamin D from diet alone, everyone should consider taking a daily vitamin D supplement during the fall and winter.”
the UK Health Security Agency, says adults and children over the age of one should consume 10 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin D daily, while other studies recommend 25-100 mcg.
Why is vitamin D important?
Vitamin D is absolutely vital to your health, critical to maintaining your muscles, teeth, bones and immune system.
A deficiency can lead to rickets, an increased risk of death from cardiovascular and immune system diseases, cognitive impairment in older adults, severe asthma in children, and a greatly increased chance of dying from cancer.
Vitamin D is one of the most researched and best supplements proven to be effective.
Incredibly, it has been shown in various studies to reduce your risk of developing multiple sclerosis, your risk of developing heart disease, and help reduce your chances of catching the flu.
Perhaps most amazingly, it has been linked to fighting off the virus development of depression.
Our main source of vitamin D is the sunlight that reaches our skin, so it’s important to supplement it during the darker months.
Do I have a vitamin D deficiency?
A lack of vitamin D will lead to major health problems if left untreated. The most common signs of vitamin D deficiency in adults are:
- Muscle weakness, pain or cramps
- Mood swings or symptoms of depression
Deficiency in children is easier to spot, as symptoms show up as a child grows in an abnormal pattern, with pain in their muscles, bones, and deformities in their joints.
However, it is common to be vitamin D deficient without exhibiting these severe symptoms.