Winter is fast approaching, the weather is turning colder and the evenings are drawing in. Subsequently, it is a lot harder for us all to get the vitamin D our bodies require to function effectively. We have popped together a small article with all you need to know about vitamin D, including the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency, the benefits of taking vitamin D supplements, what foods are high in vitamin D and vitamin D treatments.

What Is Vitamin D?

Vitamin D helps the body regulate calcium and phosphate. They are the two nutrients needed to keep the bones, muscles and teeth healthy. There are some findings which also suggest that taking supplements can help prevent flu and colds.

What Are The Benefits Of Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is essential for normal growth and development in teeth and bones as well as improved resistance to certain diseases such as osteoporosis. If your body is lacking in vitamin D, you are at risk of developing bone abnormalities such as osteomalacia and rickets in children.

Where Is Vitamin D Found?

Vitamin D. also known as the sunshine vitamin, is produced by the body in response to skin being exposed to sunlight. It also occurs naturally in foods.

Your body naturally creates vitamin D by taking the vitamin from direct sunlight on your skin. From March through to September you should be able to get enough vitamin D from the natural sunlight. However, in the winter months you may need to consider other ways of getting the vitamin such as supplements and diet changes.

What Foods Are Rich In Vitamin D?

Most of the body’s vitamin D comes from the sun, but it can also be found in a small number of food groups including the below.

  • Salmon

  • Herring

  • Sardines

  • Cod Liver Oil

  • Canned Tuna Fish

  • Egg Yolk

  • Mushrooms

  • Fortified Foods Such As; Cows Milk, Soy Milk, Orange Juice, Cereal & Oatmeal.

What Are The Symptoms Of Vitamin D Deficiency?

Severe lack of vitamin D can cause rickets, which show up in children as incorrect growth patterns, weakness in muscles and pain in the bones, as well as visible deformities in joints.
Lack of vitamin D isn’t always obvious, especially in adults. Signs and symptoms may include:

  • Bone Pain

  • Extreme Fatigue

  • Muscle Weakness

  • Muscle Aches

  • Muscle Cramps

  • Mood Changes (Depression)

Who Is At Risk Of Vitamin D Deficiency?

Vitamin D deficiency can be caused by a number of factors. However, the following groups are more at risk of vitamin D deficiency and may need to take supplements:

  1. Pregnant Women 

  1. Women Who Are Breastfeeding

  1. Babies 

  1. Young Children (6 months - 5 years old)

  1. People Aged 65 or over

  1. People who are not exposed to as much sunlight.

What Is The Treatment For Vitamin D Deficiency? 

If you find out that you have a vitamin D deficiency, your GP may suggest the below treatment in order to normalize your vitamin D levels:
Oral ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) at 50,000 IU per week for eight weeks. After vitamin D levels normalize, they may recommend a maintenance dosage of cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) at 800 to 1,000 IU per day from dietary and supplemental sources.

Where Can I Get Vitamin D Supplements From?

You can usually find vitamin D supplements in your local supermarket or pharmacy. Here at iPharm we stock a large range of vitamins and supplements online. We offer a fast and discreet delivery service with unbeatable customer service. Speak to our pharmacists now to discuss your supplement requirements.