Vitamin D - The Sunshine Vitamin That Can Melt Fat
If, like me, you’re in London, or anywhere in the UK, I bet you’re feeling somewhat sun deprived. Summer in England is particularly precious because it’s so short. And too often, although we get blasts of hot sunshine, we seem to get more than our share of grey skies. Looking out of my window last week, at the thick grey clouds, reminded me how important our daily dose of vitamin D really is and I really wanted to tell you about it now so that you can build up your reserves to protect you over the winter.
Let the sun shine!
Unless you supplement, whether you’re on the beach or somewhere less sunny, chances are you’re short of vitamin D. We tend to believe that if we’re on the beach or anywhere sunny and scantily clad that we’re making more than enough of it to cover our needs. But the fact is, if we use sunscreen we’re blocking our skin’s ability to make the sunshine vitamin. And even after a beach holiday our vitamin D can still be too low.
Although some foods contain small amounts of it, there are only two ways to ensure we get enough:
1. Sunshine with no sun screen (before 11am and after 3pm)
2. Supplements – you can safely take 2000iu per day without testing
Vitamin D, a Cure for Cravings?
Most of us already know how important D is for immunity, strong bones, muscle function and a sunny outlook on life, but recent research suggests that it might help with cravings too. Sugar, just like cocaine and heroin, stimulates dopamine and endorphins, leading to reward deficiency. In other words, it is just possible that optimising our vitamin D levels can lessen our cravings.
Supplement with vitamin D
So unless you spend most of your life outdoors in the sunshine, take a vitamin D3 (not D2) supplement every day with your breakfast.
And get yourself checked! The general consensus is that a good level in the blood is around 50 ng/ml which equates to 125 nmol/L. Personally I love the sun and run out into it whenever I can. And I never wear sunscreen (do I hear a sharp intake of breath?!) I take 2000iu vitamin D, along with the other fat-soluble vitamins, A, E and K, daily, and when I last checked, midsummer, my levels were 174mnol/l (high normal).
Rather than relying on the lab’s healthy reference range look at your own results to decide whether or not you need more. There are several labs online that offer finger prick blood tests to do at home, including this one.