Many populations are now finding that they are deficient in Vitamin D. Why is this occurring at such alarming levels? Most likely contributing factors are due to lack of sun exposure, sunscreen lotions, covering up, nutrient malabsorption, darker skin pigmentation and immobility. Lack of Vitamin D is responsible for a multitude of debilitating conditions. Become deficient in this much needed vitamin and you are at higher risk of illnesses like multiple sclerosis, thyroid conditions, diabetes, heart disease, mental disorders and autoimmune conditions, to name a few.
So what happens to the thyroid when Vitamin is too low? Vitamin D is responsible for the communication between the thyroid and the rest of the cells in the body. You can exercise all you like, eat really well and still not have optimal thyroid function. Not only is lack of Vitamin D attributed to the list of previously mentioned conditions, it is also linked with muscular aches and pains, poor immunity, dental caries, depression, infections and so much more. Did you know it is also essential for healthy insulin and testosterone? Or that vital neurotransmitters such as Serotonin and D3 dependant to help keep you feeling well?
Research has shown that increasing your Vitamin D levels can significantly reduce inflammation, due to a decrease in CRP (a marker of inflammation). There has also been evidence to suggest that it reduces allergic reactions, which is now becoming a widespread problem in today’s society. It is also essential for formation of bones, teeth and skeletal tissue.
So how do you boost your levels of Vitamin D, I hear you ask? Well only 5-10% of our Vitamin D is actually absorbed from foods, such as yoghurt, fish and eggs. So really the best option for boosting those levels is to get out into the sunshine and during the winter months look to supplement with a good quality brand of Vitamin D from your healthcare practitioner. For some of us, even being out in the sun regularly does not guarantee that you have sufficient stores, as sunlight helps your convert and activate Vitamin D from the diet into the active form of Vitamin D3! Many cheap supermarket and pharmacy brands of supplement are not bioavailable for the body to use, so unfortunately you are not going to boost your levels sufficiently. A high dose GP prescription, dosed monthly or bi-monthly is also very poorly used for raising Vitamin D3 in thyroid patients. Neither too low a daily dose, nor excessively high random dosing are good choices for raising stores of this essential co-nutrient.
*Please note, due to quality control, increasing the dose of an over the counter supplement may not be safe due to the oil base or preservatives in use. High strength dosing should only be administered by a health profession, using concentrates or compounded Vitamin D3 designed for higher dosing.
Best options are to get your levels checked through a blood test, so that you know exactly how deficient you are and how you can go about monitoring your body’s store of Vitamin D.