As the mercury drops you may be more inclined to snuggle up on the couch and prepare for a Netflix session, than go outside for a brisk walk in the limited sun. However, winter is a time when many people forget to maintain their vitamin D intake, and it can be detrimental to your health.
“Many younger Australian's are not aware of the links between vitamin D and immune health, mental health, reducing risk of cancers and for optimal pregnancy outcomes and healthy newborns,” says Dr Denise Furness, Molecular Geneticist and Medical Researcher.
Research conducted on behalf of Ostelin found that 53.5% of Australian women have never had their vitamin D levels tested and 72% of young females are unaware of the role vitamin D plays in their bodies. Furthermore, research indicates that more than one in three Australians are deficient in vitamin D, so it’s important that you know how to identify a vitamin D deficiency.
1. You always feel under the weather
“One of the key roles vitamin D plays is keeping your immune system fighting fit so that you can fight off viruses or bacteria that can cause illness. If you are frequently feeling under the weather or have recurrent infections and immune disorders, low vitamin D levels could be the cause.”
2. Experiencing aches, pains and brittle bones
“Vitamin D not only plays a vital role in your body’s absorption of calcium, but also helps to reduce brittle bones and bone pain. Weak bones, lower back pain or bone pain that is limiting your daily activity can be an indicator that your vitamin D levels may be low. If the pain continues, head to your GP to get your vitamin D levels checked.”
3. Low moods
“If your mood has been low or you are experiencing mental health disorders such as depression, vitamin D supplementation has been found to boost your mood and overall mental wellbeing. Heading outdoors and enjoying some sunshine is also a great way to improve your mental wellbeing, as well as soak up the sun to increase your vitamin D intake.”
4. Thinning hair
“If you have noticed your hair is thinning, recent studies have found that hair loss in women has been linked to vitamin D deficiency. Disease or severe nutrients deficiency may to blame for the increase in hair loss, making your luscious locks look limp and prevent hair growth. Diet could be the trick to keeping your hair healthy, load up on vitamin D-rich foods like oily fish, milk, eggs, cereals and cheese.”
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