NHS recommends winter D supplements
Vitamin D is important for health all year round, but especially in the winter when there is less sunlight and we don't go out as much. The NHS recommends it for all adults and children over 4 years old.
"During the autumn and winter, you need to get vitamin D from your diet because the sun is not strong enough for the body to make vitamin D.
"But since it's difficult for people to get enough vitamin D from food alone, everyone (including pregnant and breastfeeding women) should consider taking a daily supplement of vitamin D during the autumn and winter."
Here’s the latest research that explains why you should – far beyond its beneficial effect on absorbing calcium, bone health and reducing the risk of osteoporosis.
Colin Rose is a Senior Associate Member of the Royal Society of Medicine, and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
He is the Founder and Director of Research and Innovation of Uni-Vite Healthcare and author of a recent book: Delay Ageing: Healthy to 100, where he reveals how to slow ageing and, therefore, help prevent later-life illness.
Vitamin D significantly reduces risk of all respiratory illnesses
That’s because vitamin D3 enhances T-cell response. T-cells, along with neutrophils and Natural Killer Cells, are a critical part of your immune system.
While vaccinations against Covid and flu reduce your risk of getting the viruses and their probable severity, it is the T cells that actually kill the virus.
Low Vitamin D status is linked to higher risk of auto-immune disease
There’s another reason to supplement with vitamin D3 – albeit for a smaller proportion of the population.
Recent research shows that low levels of vitamin D are directly linked to a higher risk of auto-immune diseases – like multiple sclerosis (MS), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), diabetes mellitus (DM), inflammatory bowel disease and systemic lupus.
[Ref: Effect of vitamin D on gastrointestinal symptoms and health‐related quality of life in irritable bowel syndrome patients: a randomized double‐blind clinical trial - Abbasnezhad - 2016 - Neurogastroenterology & Motility - Wiley Online Library]
This might not apply to you – but if you know anyone at risk of these issues, do let them know.
Vitamin D helps defend against cancer
Finally, vitamin D3 reduces cancer risk.
An analysis of data on the medical and lifestyle records of around 500,000 Britons indicates that vitamin D deficiency is linked to an increased risk of death from cancer – particularly in relation to bowel, stomach, prostate and lung cancers.
The research, published in the European Journal of Cancer, concluded that:
“Higher vitamin D intake may reduce cancer mortality in the population by 15%”.
They went on to say that vitamin D supplements may induce anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and DNA damage repair mechanisms, which can thwart mutations that allow cancer cells to grow.
Older people and people from black and South Asian communities are more likely to have lower levels of vitamin D.
NutriShield Premium and Essentials include a good year-round level of vitamin D3 (20 mcg) and Uni-Vite’s High Strength Vitamin D3 (50 mcg) for the winter months is very inexpensive – as little as £4.45 for 120 days' supply.
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