Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin which to a lesser extent can obtained through food and is otherwise made from the sun. When cholesterol in our skin reacts with ultra violet light we make an inactive form of vitamin D which is then carried to the liver to be activated.

Sun protection with an SPF 30 reduces the ability to make vitamin D by about 95% to 98%. Our concerns with keeping our skin protected from the harmful effects of the sun can have a down side. Prolonged periods of time working indoors at our desks and exercising in gyms rather than outside, is also reducing our chances of boosting levels.

If you suffer from muscle or joint pain, aching bones, tiredness, fatigue, low immunity, anxiety, weight gain or depression you may be deficient in vitamin D. Deficiency is also linked to type 1 and type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and osteoarthritis. It is not so easy to keep Vitamin D at healthy levels in the winter months, particularly in polluted cities.

How to boost levels:

Getting some good sun exposure at least 2 to 3 times week is recommended and where possible exposing arms and legs. Peak sun exposure is around 1pm, so this can be a great time to pop out even if it’s cloudy. Dr. Michael Holick, author of ‘The Vitamin D solution’ warns of sunlight through glass. UVA doesn’t make vitamin D, though it does cause wrinkling, skin damage and sometimes cancer. Glass filters out the beneficial UVB that stimulates vitamin D production so not good news for conservatory lovers and drivers. UVA is harsher in the morning and in the late afternoon. According to Dr.Holick you cannot make vitamin D until about 10am in the morning and production slows down progressively after about 3pm.

Some Vitamin D Solutions: 

  • Sun protection is always a good idea on your face but some exposure elsewhere is important.
  •  Try to get outside everyday between 10am and 3pm, even if it’s cloudy.
  • When sun is in short supply try to include some of these food sources: oily fish, eggs, mushrooms.
  • Consider a supplement, especially in winter and make sure it is D3 (cholecalciferol). For muscle weakness in the elderly combine it with calcium and magnesium.

Combine a healthy fat or oil with Vitamin D to enhance absorption. Hifas Da Terra Bio-Ganoderma is a superb supplement for your daily life, made of Ganoderma lucidum and vitamin D. NHP Vitamin D drops and Terranova Vitamin D3 all offer an easy way to boost levels.