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Vitamin D’s billing as a Vitamin is factually incorrect as it is a hormone and it's also why so many health professionals are concerned that we are not getting enough.
The following are indicators that you could do with upping your vitamin D intake:
Day-to-day tiredness and fatigue are extremely common. Furthermore, the potential causes – including, but not restricted to, stress, sedentary living and not getting sufficient high-quality sleep – are so wide-ranging that you might initially overlook vitamin D deficiency as a possible culprit.
There have been a fair few studies down the years suggesting a link between inadequate vitamin D and fatigue, though. An observational study of Iranian nurses, for instance, found a “significant relationship” between the two, while one case study in 2010 involving a 28-year-old woman with chronic daytime fatigue, found that her symptoms resolved when she took a vitamin D supplement.
If you’ve had surgery or injured yourself lately, it’s worth considering whether low vitamin D levels could be at fault. Indeed, the results of a test-tube study published in 2016 indicated that “supplementation of vitamin D may be an important step to improve wound healing and regeneration in patients with a vitamin D deficiency.”
That was due to the researchers discovering that upping vitamin D intake seemed to also heighten the production of compounds that are key to the formation of new skin as wounds heal.
Several links have been made in studies between vitamin D and hair loss, most specifically with regard to female hair loss and the autoimmune condition alopecia areata.
There are a lot of factors that can lead to hair loss, of course, including stress. However, in more severe cases, nutrient deficiency is certainly a possibility well worth investigating.
While there is some ambiguity with regard to the link between vitamin D and depression – observational studies often showing more of a connection than controlled trials, which carry greater scientific weight – it seems some links do exist that we shouldn’t dismiss out of hand.
A 2019 review summed this up, stating that while “the data regarding the relationship between vitamin D and depression are conflicting... depressive symptoms could be eased in people with very low levels of vitamin D through vitamin D supplementation.”
Vitamin D’s association with bone health is rather better known than its link with tiredness. So, it shouldn’t surprise you to learn that research has also uncovered a “positive association of vitamin D deficiency with a variety of nonspecific bone pain, particularly in women.”
That particular study indicated that vitamin D deficiency almost doubled the likelihood of bone pain in the legs, ribs or joints. Multiple studies – such as this one that looked at postmenopausal women – have also pointed to back pain occurring more often among those deficient in vitamin D.
As we touched on above, vitamin D has a reputation for being good for the muscles, as is supported by various studies. This one in 2015, for example, found that more than 86% of the participating children with growing pains had insufficient vitamin D, but that a single dose of the vitamin greatly helped to reduce their pain scores.
Other research, in 2014, looked at 174 patients with a mean age of 48, all of whom suffered from chronic pain, with 71% of them discovered to be deficient.
We’ve written previously on the Tonic Health UK blog about how vitamin D supports the immune system. Indeed, it has been noted previously by researchers that it can play an important role in anti-inflammatory response and the regulation of immune function; by contrast, being deficient in vitamin D has been linked to chronic disease.
Other studies have suggested that vitamin D deficiency may worsen the severity of respiratory tract infections, including pneumonia.
So, if you’ve not exactly been feeling on top form lately, it’s well worth considering upping your vitamin D levels and in winter the only place you'll find it in food is either in livers, egg yolks, and salmon. Mushrooms can sometimes be billed as high in Vitamin D but you'd need to be eating them all day to really get enough. So, it might be time for a high dose Tonic
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