Are you getting enough?

Woman smiling at the sun
Are you getting enough?

No silly, not that…vitamin D! It’s National Vitamin D Awareness week from Monday October 29 to Sunday, November 4?

One in nine people is deficient in vitamin D, which can leave us feeling sniffly, grumpy, achey, tired and lacking in energy.

I’ve been feeling like I’m coming down with a cold for about the last fortnight, my gym attendance has dropped off considerably and I’ve been crying at Eastenders. Maybe I’m deficient too? It’s hardly surprising many of us seem to feel grotty all winter long, as Vitamin D also gives our immune system a real boost, and if we don’t get enough, we haven’t got the defences in place in our cells to react against invading sniffles and lurgies and fight off serious infections. Oh dear.

A recent survey by BetterYou revealed that 77 per cent of adults spend most of their day indoors, like me, sitting at a computer, avoiding going outside because it’s raining. People who work in office jobs from nine to five miss out on daylight and seldom see the sunshine in winter months. It’s all very well telling people to go outside for a vitamin fix, but when I look out of the window at cold, dark and grey, it makes me want to make like a squirrel and not come out until at least March.

Unfortunately, it’s not just a case of being a bit fed up and run down, if we get properly deficient in D, we could also end up suffering from bone and muscle pain, joint pain, migraines…and even rickets. Or it could turn into Seasonal Affective Disorder and leave us with depression to boot. It’s so serious that Chief Medical Officer, Dame Sally Davies has asked health professionals to consider vitamin D supplementation for at risk groups like pregnant mothers.

Signs to look out for include:

• Several coughs and colds.

• Headaches and migraines

• Fatigue, bone ache, joint and muscle pain

• SAD or depression

Of course, that might just sound like your typical winter! There are things that you can do other than being very good and getting as much sunlight as you can when the sun actually does come out to play.

1. Eat: Oily fish

2. Take: Cod liver oil or one of the D-Lux vitamin D supplement range

3. Use: A sun lamp specially designed to reproduce daylight

4. Get away on holiday and make the most of the sun, safely. Don’t put the sunscreen on straight away; soak up 10-15 minutes of sunshine before you slap it on.

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