Lorraine: Dr Amir says spine could shrink if deficient in vitamin D
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Older adults are at increased risk of a vitamin D deficiency, not only because of the position of the winter sun, but their body is less able to create vitamin D. Vital for calcium absorption and strong bones, the risk of fractures increases if a person doesn’t get a sufficient supply of vitamin D. Not only are painful fractures possibly on the horizon, research – stated by the Mayo Clinic – notes that a deficiency is linked to cognitive decline.
Could you be suffering from a vitamin D deficiency without knowing it?
Doctor Ann Louise Gittleman pointed out a “significant” but common warning sign of a vitamin D deficiency – fatigue.
If you are feeling fatigued and sluggish during the “daytime”, it could be an indication that you are lacking the sunshine vitamin.
Researchers from Louisiana State University Health Sciences Centre backed up the notion that there is a significant correlation between daytime sleepiness and low levels of vitamin D.
A vitamin D deficiency can be addressed by taking vitamin D supplements.
In fact, a clinical trial conducted by University Hospital Zurich and University of Zurich supported this notion.
There were 120 individuals involved in the trial presenting with fatigue and vitamin D deficiency.
Participants were then randomly placed into one of two groups:
- Those given vitamin D supplements
- Those given placebo.
Four weeks after treatment, participants were asked how fatigued they felt.
The results revealed that those given vitamin D supplementation reported feeling less fatigued than the placebo group.
Consequently, the researchers wrote: “Vitamin D treatment significantly improved fatigue in otherwise healthy persons with vitamin D deficiency.”
Other possible indications of a vitamin D deficiency might include:
- Broken bones
- Low immunity
- Muscle pain and aches
- Hair loss.
Dietician Shannon Henry said: “If you’re not getting enough vitamin D from sunlight, then your daily intake should be closer to 1,000 international units (IU) or 25mcg per day.”
Before taking any supplementation it is best to check with your doctor.
The NHS does, however, also recommend daily vitamin D supplementation during autumn and winter in the UK.
“Everyone (including pregnant and breastfeeding women) should consider taking a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D during the autumn and winter,” the health body stated.
The national health service assured that 10mcg daily should be enough for most people.
People are cautioned not to take more than 100mcg daily “as it could be harmful”.
As spring approaches, around 10 minutes of unprotected exposure to the sun is all that is needed to get an adequate supply of vitamin D.
Do remember that the sun’s rays can be harmful, so do wear SPF daily.
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