It’s common knowledge that we need to ensure we are living a healthy lifestyle and engaging in positive practices and a nutritious diet. Not only will this mean that we are giving our body the vitamins, minerals and ingredients it needs to function properly, but it means that we are setting ourselves up for optimum performance levels.
Our body requires a huge range of vitamins: Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Vitamin A… the list goes on. But the one we’re here to talk about today is Vitamin D: a main ingredient in The Recover Capsules and a vitamin that the body requires for normal growth, maintenance, and functioning.
Let’s get into it…
What is Vitamin D, and why do we need it?
Vitamin D is one of the most important vitamins required by our body, as it’s responsible for a range of important functions such as bone health, muscle health and even keeping our teeth healthy and in tip-top condition.
Interestingly, Vitamin D works in a slightly different way to other vitamins, namely through its functioning that is like a hormone. Whilst this sounds super complex, this means that many cells in our body have a receptor for this vitamin. The result of this is simple: when your skin is exposed to sunlight (or you receive a source of Vitamin D in some other form), your body creates something called cholesterol.
Adequate Vitamin D levels are so important in fact, that national health services recommend taking Vitamin D supplements such as The Recover Capsules during the autumn and winter months to ensure that these levels are maintained.
What are the main sources of Vitamin D?
Whilst it’s true that you can receive sources of Vitamin D through foods, the amount you can sustain from this source is not enough for the body’s requirement alone.
Of course, the amount of Vitamin D supplementation you require will depend on several factors, including sex, body mass index and skin type, but generally speaking, we all need a certain amount of the vitamin in order to stay healthy and avoid Vitamin D deficiency.
Generally, people require 100 international units (IU) of Vitamin D a day. But how much of this can we get from the sun? Or, in other words, how much Vitamin D can we get naturally?
How much sun exposure do we need for Vitamin D?
If you’re now thinking that you aren’t getting enough natural sunlight, don’t panic. You don’t actually need to be exposed to the sun for as long as you think. What’s more, in the Spring and Summer months, it’s pretty easy to get the required amount of Vitamin D from sun exposure alone by going about your day-to-day activities.
Interestingly, the amount of Vitamin D you get will also depend on your geographical location, so it’s definitely important to take this into account when you are considering your potential integration of Vitamin D supplementations into your diet.
How much time do we need to spend outside?
We recommend that you aim to get around ten to twenty minutes of midday sunlight for a minimum of three days a week, but it’s always good to get outside as much as you can.
The effect of latitude on Vitamin D
If you didn’t already know, latitude refers to the distance between a geographical location and the Earth’s equator. This is important in terms of sun exposure, as the closer you are to the equator, the closer you are to the sun, therefore increasing your exposure to sunlight and it’s UV rays.
As a result, like seasonal differences, reports have found that geographical locations have a huge part to play when it comes to a persons Vitamin D intake. So, if you’re further away from the equator (if you’re based in the United Kingdom, like us), you might want to consider alternative sources of Vitamin D more than someone that is lucky enough to live in a more tropical climate.
How do you know if you are deficient in Vitamin D?
If you aren’t getting enough Vitamin D, there are a few physical symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency that you’ll notice.
Symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency include:
- Regular sickness
- Increased fatigue
- Aching bones
- Back pain
- Symptoms of depression
What are the risks of Vitamin D deficiency?
There are a range of risks involved with Vitamin D deficiency, especially if you are at deficient levels for a prolonged period. The risks range in severity, but all will have a hugely detrimental affect on your health if not properly managed.
Risks of Vitamin D deficiency include:
- Development of diabetes
- Increased risk of various cancer types
- Risk of the development of multiple sclerosis
- Increased blood pressure
- Various immune system disorders