Vitamin D (the sunshine vitamin) is produced by the body as a response to sun exposure; it can also be consumed in food or supplements.
Vitamin D has multiple roles in the body including:
Despite the name, vitamin D is considered a pro-hormone and not actually a vitamin. Vitamins are nutrients that cannot be created by the body and therefore must be taken in through our diet. However, vitamin D is synthesized by our body when sunlight hits our skin.
It is estimated that sensible sun exposure on bare skin for 5-10 minutes 2-3 times per week allows most people to produce sufficient vitamin D. However, the sun in the UK is not actually strong enough to have this effect between the months of September and April and even in the summertime it is only strong enough in the middle of the day, that is, if it’s even shining. Also, vitamin D is fat soluble and breaks down quite quickly.
There are dietary sources of vitamin D such as oily fish (salmon, herring, sardines, tuna), mushrooms, cod liver oil and egg yokes. Some foods, such as breakfast cereals, are fortified with vitamin D.
Did you know that by the end of winter, 87% of people have below optimum vitamin D levels in their systems and nearly half of people are severely deficient (a level of less than 40 mol/L)? Factors such as obesity, older age and having darker skin tones can boost that number to 100%.
Appart from the fact that Vitamin D is essential for normal immune function - ever notice how everyone get more colds and take longer to recover in winter? Deficiency in this vitamin will also have a negative effect on mood - seasonal affective disorder/depression (SAD) anyone?
Being vitamin D deficient can result in persistent pain, loss of bone density, early morning stiffness, low mood and depression, behavioural issues, reduced immune function and fatigue.
Most GPs don’t test for vitamin D deficiency as it’s so common. However if you suspect that some of your health problems may be due to vitamin D deficiency it is a good idea to get tested, this way you can retest following treatment and measure the results. You may wish to do this through your GP but it is affordable to do it privately at about £30 a postage test. If you have been on the NHS route and identified as needing supplementation (we suggest that a level of anything lower than 75 nmol/L is insufficient and needs supplementing) then you may have been prescribed Calichew D forte. This is just vitamin D3 infused chalk.
Calichew D forte is very poorly absorbed and, therefore, pretty useless. Even if it could get absorbed properly, there are only 400 iu per 10 mcg of vitamin D per chew. To give that perspective, full-body sun exposure with no lotion – which we don’t advise – can produce 20,000 iu (500mcg) vitamin D in just 20 minutes. There’s no way Calichew can compete. It lacks the dosage a person needs to get the therapeutic benefit and won’t restore a person's usual vitamin D level if they’re depleted.
We at C3 Cathedral Chiropractic still want to help as, if you are low or defficient in vitamin D, manual therapy every single day won't solve all your aches and pains. Replenishing your bodies reserves with high quality vitamin plus vitamin K2 for extra help with metabolism, will help to reduce your sensitivity to pain and enable your immune system to do its job and heal you.
We do sell a very good vitamin D3 4000iu (100mcg) plus K2 supplement in clinic, it is £13.50 for 90 tablets (15p a day!).
The current upper recommended limit is 4000 IU per day. However current studies suggest that toxicity is unlikely to occur at daily intakes below 10,000 IU.
For a great You Tube review of a recent published article on the benefits of vitamin D supplementation on Covid 19 infection click here.