Vitamin D is much more important than most people know.
Getting enough Vitamin D during the winter can be a challenge, especially in locations where the winter is long, cold and dark.
It’s not enough to expose the face and hands to the sun, according to Ken Peters, head of research and development for Nutristart, a Canadian company that has won awards for its products.
Peters says ideally someone needs to be ‘naked and dirty’ to absorb the full benefits of Vitamin D. So getting that kind of absorption in the winter isn’t possible unless people head south for the winter to get at least a few weeks of sun.
Known as the “sunshine vitamin“, Vitamin D can help improve bone health and was once known as the “antirachitic vitamin” due to its use as a treatment for rickets (a disease causing bones to become soft and bendable, leading to bowed legs, knock knees and other bone malformations).
Those experiencing the winter blahs during dark days have good evidence to support that.
Studies suggest that as many as 85% of Canadians may have dangerously low levels of vitamin D during long winters.
The supplement is now being used for such problems as low energy, immune health, depression and joint pain. Even celiac disease (gluten-sensitivity) is indirectly linked to a deficiency of Vitamin D.
This occurs because Vitamin D functions as both a vitamin and hormone, which increases calcium deposits in the bones yet active metabolites are also produced in the liver and kidney.
As Vitamin D becomes more well researched, it becomes known for having a wider range of uses for cardiovascular health, bone density, prostate cancer and more.