The Sunshine Vitamin

The lack of sufficient Vitamin D, also known as the ‘sunshine vitamin’ can be a problem for many people, particularly in the winter months.

Research shows that many people are deficient in Vitamin D because the sunlight produced in the winter months is insufficient for the skin to stimulate the production of Vitamin D. It is therefore, important for us to store as much Vitamin D as we can in the summer months, so that we have enough Vitamin D to get us through the winter months.

Effects of lack of Vitamin D

Deficiencies in Vitamin D have been linked to:

  • Osteoporosis; (vitamin D helps with the absorption of calcium)
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • High blood pressure.

The National Institute carried out research in 2004 on Vitamin D and found that those who have mediterranean diets have around ten times as much vitamins A and D as those people who had Northern Diets. They also found that people on Mediterranean Diets were healthier and didn’t suffer with these diseases.

Now to some of the risk factors. We all need exposure to sunlight for at least 15 to 20 minutes a day without sunscreens. Some of the key questions we need to ask are listed below:

Do we avoid eating dairy products? Do we eat a low fat diet? Do we eat seafood? Do we have very dark skin? Do we live in an area that is polluted, overcast or cloudy? These can be some of the reasons for deficiencies in Vitamin D.

Unfortunately, we seem to have changed our lifestyles over recent years. We tend to spend less time outdoors because of the poor winter months. We have indiscriminately made changes to our diets to fit into our lifestyles, without thinking about the consequences.

To be cont.d/2

28 Feb, 2011

4 thoughts on “The Sunshine Vitamin

  1. This is very interesting.

    Living in the UK we do experience more dull and cloudy days, than we do sunny days.

    I am lucky as the weather really doesn’t bother me, but I do know many people who are clearly affected, as they do tend to be ‘down’ more during the winter months.

    I wonder if there is a relationship between SAD and a lack of Vitamin D.

    1. There are also one or two people that I know who have problems with the winter months, although there will be many who don’t equate their moods to SAD, but to problems they may be dealing with!

      I’m not sure about the link between SAD and Vitamin D, but I do know there may be a link between melatonin and SAD.

  2. Very good information.

    May be that’s why some people get depressed in the winter months, due to a lack of Vitamin D.

    I know I get depressed in the winter months, but as soon as it warms up and the sun shines brightly and warm, I feel rejuvenated. I don’t eat a lot of dairy or seafood… and I had my levels checked a few months ago during the winter months and they were low. I bet they would be up during the summer months.

    1. Lisa I’m not sure there is a link between Vitamin D and SAD but there definitely is a link between SAD and melatonin.

      I don’t think there is a test for SAD, but given what you deal with, it would be easy for you to feel a little low in the winter months.

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