- Not feeling quite yourself? It could be this hidden problem…
- Why your bones are under threat this winter
- One in five people who read this have a deficiency in this crucial nutrient
I have to admit, she looked pale…
We were visited recently by one of Lara’s friends.
She complained that for a while now she’d been feeling what she described as ‘flat’, mentally speaking.
Not totally depressed… not upset at the state of the world… just not quite herself… and it was getting her down.
She was getting tired easily, feeling achy and old before her time.
Occasionally, she had moments of weepiness that came out of the blue, which made her think this might be premenopausal hormone trouble, as she is 50 years old.
So she went for tests, thinking that it might well be that, bracing herself for the change.
But it wasn’t her hormones…
It was something that causes problems for British people, yet many don’t realise it.
You see, it turns out that Lara’s friend was massively deficient in vitamin D.
What was even more problematic, said the GP, was that her family had a history of osteoporosis, and vitamin D is crucial for good bone health as it helps regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body.
Therefore, it was essential that she kept up her vitamin D levels if she was to help minimise the threat of this problem in the future.
She’s now on vitamin D supplements (these ones that I recommended her, in fact) and within a few weeks she started noticing an improvement.
Not feeling yourself lately? This could be the cause…
A vitamin D top-up is worth considering, no matter how old or young you are.
The months between October and March are when the problem is worst, for obvious reasons, as there is not much sunlight and its strength is weak even when it’s out.
It’s from the sun we get most vitamin D. It’s in food but it’s hard for us to get the right amount just from our diet.
I know that I keep banging the drum every winter on this subject, but too many people STILL don’t suspect that they are vitamin D deficient.
In fact, the official estimate is that one in five people reading this email right now are deficient – and in a way that has serious effects on how they feel, even if they don’t realise it.
The symptoms aren’t so sudden and traumatic that they are easily recognised. People usually put them down to other things, like hormonal changes, seasonal affective disorder, stress, ‘old age’.
But often it’s simply down to serious lack of this vitamin.
Why your bones are under threat this winter
Last month saw the annual lecture by the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF).
It was delivered by Professor Susan Lanham-New, head of the Nutritional Sciences Department at the University of Surrey.
She discussed the work of her colleague, Dr Saskia Wilson-Barnes, who has been studying the effect of vitamin D levels on athletic performance in younger people.
Professor Lanham-New said: “It is established that vitamin D is beneficial for bone health…
Good bone health ensures the consolidation of bone mass during adulthood and helps to prevent osteoporosis in later life – more attention needs to be placed on the importance of this.”
While this study looked at University age athletes, the advice goes for older people too.
You see, by the time we reach 65, our skins make only a quarter as much vitamin D from sunlight as they would have done in our 20s.
So a deficiency is even more pronounced in we more ‘mature’ folk – and it really does have quite an effect.
A study published in the Journal of Gerontology in 2012 showed that low levels of vitamin D caused a 30% increase in mobility problems for the elderly.
Another study in the Journal of Autoimmunity showed that vitamin D can prevent rheumatoid arthritis. This is because vitamin D helps stop your body from attacking its own cells – which is what happens with autoimmune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. On top of all that, it’s a natural anti-inflammatory.
Then there’s the well-documented effect of low vitamin D on your mood, causing anxiety and depression.
This is why a supplement at this time of year, for most people, is essential.
But you need to get the right kind of vitamin D.
In the old days, little was made of the difference between vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) and vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol).
But recent research at the University of Surrey has experimented with adding vitamin D2 and or vitamin D3 to food, then comparing the results.
Both of them increased vitamin D levels in the body, but vitamin D3 was far more effective.
I’d also suggest that if you’re to take vitamin D3, you seek out high quality ‘whole food’ supplements, which are more bio available.
Hand on heart, I believe the natural vitamin D3 you’ll get in our online shop here is better than anything else you’ll find. As always, we continually search for the best quality supplements, but at the moment this is top of the vitamin D3 pops, so to speak.
You can stock up for winter here: Vitamin D3
I’d also recommend that you add vitamin K2 into the mix. This vitamin ensures that the calcium ends up in your bones – where it does you good – and not your arteries, joints and organs, where calcification can be bad for you.
If you want a boost of vitamin K, try Sanct Bernhard Krill Oil helping to incorporate calcium into your bones – click here for details