Vitamin D, The Sunshine Vitamin
Author: Dr David Brown DC - Clinic Director & Chiropractor , ProBack Clinics Surbiton
Vital for Bones, Muscles and Immunity
Vitamin D holds a unique claim to fame in that it has its “VDR” receptors in virtually every cell of your body, no other compound can say this. Meaning it has a potential role in just about every function of our bodies.
So far scientists have mapped an eye watering list of functions for Vitamin D, but we have likely only scratched the surface of its importance. Some of these include:
Covid-19 protection: obviously the hot topic right now, research released in October 2020 showed 82% of patients hospitalised with Covid -19 were Vitamin D deficient.
Bone growth: Is a key player in metabolising Calcium and Phosphorus key to bone strength and preventing osteoporosis
Regulates Immune Function: Activates immune B cells, T cells and antigen presenting cells, helping the body to recognise an infection and help build the ability to maintain tolerance and to promote protective immunity.
Cancer inhibition: Vitamin D’s role in cancer prevention was first identified in 1942!!!
Normalises blood pressure: NHS collected 35 studies confirming positive effects on cardiovascular disease.
Historically, our forebearers for the most part will have gained and stored Vitamin D from exposure to sunlight. Long summers spent entirely outdoors, in light clothing, without suntan lotion would have provided ample amounts of Vitamin D to see people through the cold winters.
However, current research shows that in the UK the rate of deficiency sits at between 25-50% depending on ethnicity; the darker your skin, the greater the risk as darker skinned people would have evolutionary been exposed to longer periods of sunlight/summer, meaning the pace at which lighter skin produces Vitamin D is more urgent and therefore faster.
So how much sun do you need per day?
Well, just as much as 20-60 minutes per day depending on skin tone and age, can be enough. However, the NHS suggest this only applies between 11am -3pm, April – September in the UK, and is under the assumption that ¾ of your body is directly (not through glass) exposed without suntan lotion. So, now you can see how rarely this is likely to be achieved in the modern sedentary lifestyle.
Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin, meaning it can be stored. Research shows up to 40% is lost over the winter period in Nordic counties not too un-similar to ours so if we are struggling during the summer months to top up Vitamin D, its going to be essential for us to supplement Vitamin D in the autumn and winter months.
For once the medical and health community are in complete agreement on the benefits of Vitamin D, yet inevitably the NHS does not seem keen to fund it. Furthermore most commonly they recommend tablets which are hampered by bioavailability issues (how much is absorbed); oral tablets of Vitamin D are estimated to absorb only 20% across the gut.
As with all supplements, much of the bad press can be traced back to how good the quality of the substance is and therefore how bioavailable.
Here at ProBack Surbiton we have done our homework and stock sublingual sprays (peppermint flavoured) which absorb directly through your cheek cutting out any digestion issues associated with tablets. Research has suggested this could be 3xmore effective than even the high-end soft gel capsules.