We have all heard about the importance of vitamin rich diet for healthy skin however there is one vitamin which is often overlooked when it comes to skincare. I’m explaining all about why Vitamin D is important for your bones, your skin and your mood, as well as the best supplements to support your diet.
What are the Benefits of Vitamin D?
Vitamin D plays an important role in maintaining our health. Vitamin D is famous for its role in bone structure and prevention of conditions such as Rickets, Osteoporosis and Hypoparathyriodism.
It helps our body to absorb essential minerals such as Calcium and Phosphate which are required for strong bones, cardiac function and thyroid health among many other uses.
However, Vitamin D also helps to improve your immune system and reduce inflammation, which makes it vital in skin conditions such as acne.
Symptoms of a Vitamin D Deficiency
Although there are no specific symptoms, if you are suffering from any of the below for longer than a few months then it is worth getting a blood test through your GP.
- Muscle and joint pain
- Tiredness or fatigue
- Depression or feeling low
Certain people are at a higher risk of Vitamin D deficiency. These include:
- the elderly
- people with darker skin tones
- people working indoors
- people with digestive disorders like Crohn’s or Coeliac disease, which reduces absorption
- people who wear heavy sunblock and avoid the sun
- people who live in low sunlight areas
How do you get Vitamin D?
Most of your vitamin D intake is actually related to exposure to sunlight. Sunlight stimulates production of Vitamin D3 by reacting with certain chemicals in your skin. This is then transferred to your liver, where it is turned in to activated form of Vitamin D which can now be used by your body.
Like most vitamins and minerals, a great source of Vitamin D is through your diet.
In colder countries such as the UK and Canada where sunlight is limited, Vitamin D is added as a substitute in certain food groups such as milk, orange juice and cheese.
It is also found in naturally in oily fish such as salmon, trout, mackerel, tuna, and eel.
Many people are diagnosed with having low levels of Vitamin D and getting more sun isn’t always applicable. In these patients, supplements are often prescribed to give your body a boost or to maintain the adequate levels.
Look out for supplements that contain Cholcalciferol (Colecalciferol) or Vitamin D3/D2 as these are what is converted into vitamin D which can be used by your body.