This image above sums up pretty clearly why vitamin D is so important for the body. It has been linked to a number of different serious health problems. Get the right vitamin D and you could help protect your body from illnesses ranging from heart problems to diabetes and even some cancers.
Do you get sick/bugs often, or feel tired, or have bone/back pain, depression/low mood, impaired wound healing, bone loss, hair loss or muscle pain? If so, you may be lacking in Vitamin D and consider having a blood test to your level checked.
So what does Vitamin D do? It helps regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body. These nutrients are needed to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy. It's been known for some time that a lack of vitamin D can lead to bone deformities such as rickets in children, and bone pain caused by a condition called osteomalacia in adults. But more recently it has been linked to a whole host of other health issues too, including various very serious autoimmune diseases such type 1 diabetes, MS, inflammatory bowel disease, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. It's role is so important in the body its now considered to act more like a hormone that a vitamin.
From about late March/early April to the end of September, most people should be able to get all the vitamin D they need from sunlight. The body creates vitamin D from direct sunlight on the skin when outdoors. But between October and early March we don't get enough vitamin D from sunlight. And now because of the worry of skin cancer, most of us apply so much sun cream that our bodies can't create vitamin D even in the summer when there is lots of sunshine. It can also found in a small number of foods such as oily fish, red meat, liver, egg yolks, fortified cereals, but it is hard to get the amount we need from diet alone.
Vitamin D deficiency is really common. It's estimated that about 1 billion people worldwide have low levels of the vitamin in their blood. According to a 2011 study, 41.6% of adults in the US are deficient, and a similar percentage in the UK.
On a personal level, I think vitamin D may have a lot to answer for! I have a couple of autoimmune diseases - I got type 1 diabetes when I was 12 and also have coeliacs disease - and I found out earlier in the year that I have a very low level of vitamin D, and probably always have done. My children also have a low level and we are all now taking supplements.
It can be dangerous to over dose on vitamin D so I would recommend you having your levels checked first, and then take the right amount of vitamin D accordingly. I take these drops which you can buy from Amazon, and I give the children a multivitamin such as this one, also from Amazon.
For more advice I suggest you go and see your GP.