What is vitamin D?
Vitamin D is actually a hormone. We makes this from a substance similar in form to cholesterol. Vitamin D is important to ensure that our immune system is working well. If we have a badly functioning immune system, we cannot protect ourselves adequately. This can result in sickness or, even worse, death.
We receive ninety percent of our vitamin D from the sun and only ten percent can be extracted out of our nutrition (meat, fish and egg). It is converted in the liver and processed into an active form by the kidneys.
What does it do exactly?
Vitamin D is the starter of many genetic reactions. Almost every body cell requires it. Specific functions are:
- Keeping the mineral balance between calcium and phosphor in order: how much is extracted from the body when required and how much is stored in, for example, bones and teeth.
- Cel differentiation: producing a cell and giving it a certain function.
- Regulating the blood pressure.
- Improving and managing your mood.
- The health of your skin.
- Steroid hormone balance: or ensuring that the oestrogen, progestoren, testosteron and cortisol ratios are in balance.
- And finally to support the immune system: for example, improving the inherited defence system, helping to prevent auto-immune sicknesses by making sure the immunesystem doesn’t stay unnecessarily active and thus preventing unnecessary immune reactions being activated.
Vitamin D is also advised in the case of the COVID-19 virus. But why?
Vitamin D helps in a preventative manner to ensure that the chances of infection are smaller. Also, if infected, vitamin D ensures that the serious complications are minimal and your recovery is faster.
Symtoms in the case of a vitamin D deficiancy
You can notice a vitamin D deficiancy in the following symptoms: tiredness, muscle weakness, cardiovascular problems, unsteadness, low libido, lower stress resistance, heavy PMS and menopause complaints, down/winter dip, osteoperose (low bone density), tooth decay, weak cartilage, pain when applying pressure to bones, symetric lower back pain, pulsing pain when applying pressure to breastbone or shins and insuline and leptine resistance.
Maybe you can recognise one or more symptoms. Tiredness is the most common. If you recognise other complaints as well as tiredness then it is handy to have a check up with your doctor.
Also ask for your levels so that you can see where you are within the range. The border levels of vitamin D in the blood are 50-120 nmol/L blood. If your level is 55 nmol/L blood then you may be feeling quite tired. The normal health system is based on the lower levels. You should, though, strive to reach an optimal level or a level where you feel healthy and fit. This level is by most people round the 100 nmol/L.
How do you ensure that you are getting enough vitamin D?
Some people require extra help in getting enough vitamin D. Everyone above the age of 50 and people with a dark skin should use supplements the whole year through.
What most people don’t know is that to ensure that you receive enough vitamin D in the summer there are a few requirements:
- First, you should be in the sun between 11/12:00-15:00.
- Outside, not behind glass.
- Preferably only 25% of the body should be covered, meaning shorts and t-shirts.
- From may until September it is possible to receive vitamin D from sunlight.
- The first 10-15 minutes (depends on the skin type) without suncream until slightly coloured (not red!). After this immediately apply suncream and/or move to shade. Suncream blocks the UVB rays which allows the production of vitamin D.
We shouldn’t forget that most Dutch people have office jobs. Or, as is the case now, are working from home. Also jobs involving night shifts lessen the chance of being able to consume enough vitamin D in the summer months. Due to these circumstances it is often difficult to ensure that we can receive enough vitamin D. So remember this. If you are suffering from a winterdip, this may be why.
In short, vitamin D is, especially now, a mega boost for your immune system and energy levels!
Vitamin D boost? Buy vitamin D in your boutique. See here for more regarding our supplements.