5 reasons why you should up your vitamin D levels this winter

5 reasons why you should up your vitamin D levels this winter

Vitamin D is often referred to as the sunshine vitamin because unlike other vitamins, our body makes 90% of our vitamin D when our skin is exposed to the ultraviolet B (UVB) rays from natural sunlight. The other 10% we get from our food. Food sources include cod liver oil, egg yolks, butter and sardines. There are numerous benefits our bodies can reap from vitamin D but our levels often drop over the winter months as we simply can’t get enough sun.

Vitamin D is essential for building and maintaining strong healthy bones, however research shows that vitamin D also helps with immunity, brain function, blood sugar regulation, muscle pain, mood, various cancers and many other health conditions.

What’s alarming is that many of us are deficient in this important vitamin. It seems that even if we spend a lot of time outdoors, it doesn’t make us immune to deficiency. 


Here’s a few interesting statistics:

  • Almost half of the New Zealand population is likely to have insufficient vitamin D.
  • Over 33% of New Zealand children aged 5-14 had vitamin D levels low enough to affect bone density.
  • The re-emergence of rickets in New Zealand highlights concerns about vitamin D deficiency.


Who is most at risk?

  • EVERYONE! It’s a common deficiency as a result of working long hours indoors and avoiding sun exposure (due to the high skin cancer risk in New Zealand).
  • Those struggling with excess weight – vitamin D gets hidden in extra fat and can’t be utilised.
  • Senior adults – unfortunately, the older we get the less vitamin D our bodies make.
  • People with darker complexions – higher levels of melanin block UVB rays and therefore diminish the ability to produce vitamin D.


Here are 5 reasons why you should take Vitamin D during winter:


1.    Vitamin D is a potent immunity booster

Vitamin D is an important part of the immune system and people who have low vitamin D levels have a higher chance of developing the flu.

Influenza (flu) epidemics are seasonal, occuring in winter when vitamin D levels are dramatically lower. Supplementing vitamin D could be the difference between you getting the flu and you making it through the season unscathed. 

2.    It can protect your lung function
Breathe easy; the sunshine vitamin is good for your lungs too. A study on smokers found that those with good vitamin D levels had better lung function than those with a vitamin D deficiency. While smoking negatively impacted the lungs in general, the smokers that had low vitamin D levels saw a faster decline in their lung function.

3.    It can help you shed your ‘winter coat’
Vitamin D has been proven to lower insulin, improve seratonin (the feel-good hormone) levels, control appetite and even improve fat-loss efforts.

If you have lower insulin levels you’re more likely to utilise the fat in your body and less likely to store it on your body.  

Having adequate amounts of serotonin allows you to feel better naturally, which can limit that ‘winter blues’ emotional eating.

4.    It can help curb your appetite
Beyond the clear impact on our mood, gloomy winter weather can make us supplement happiness with food. Rising vitamin D levels are known to activate the production of a hormone called leptin, which helps us slim down by signalling to our brain that our stomach is full.

5.    It improves muscle function and pain relief
If you have chronic or unexplained pain; or suffer from achiness or fatigue, you may want to get your vitamin D levels checked.

Research shows a link between vitamin D and muscle function — including recovery from exercise and daily activities. It also explains why lower levels can lead to physical fatigue. 

In 2003, a study was carried out on 150 people who came to a community health clinic complaining of chronic pain. Virtually all of them (93%) had extremely low vitamin D levels, some so low, they were undetectable. Most of them had been previously dismissed by doctors as having been depressed or being overly sensitive, but after replenishing their vitamin D levels, their symptoms drastically improved.

If you think you could be low in vitamin D, see your doctor for a simple blood test. Good Health Vitamin D3 is easy to take and is ideal for the whole family.


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Not all products recommended may be available in South Africa at this time