Vitamin D is important for strong bones and overall wellbeing but what most people don’t realise is that it is essential for healthy skin. We produce Vitamin D when we are exposed to sunlight but sadly the lack of sunshine in the UK coupled with the use of sunscreens means that around 85% of woman don’t get enough.
Vitamin D benefits the skin in many ways:
- The first is the ability to help skin rejuvenate itself. We lose around 30,ooo cells every minute and they are replaced by a renewal process dependent on Vitamin D. Clients deficient in Vitamin D means that their cells won’t proliferate as well as they should, the result is thin sagging skin.
- Vitamin D boosts the skins immunity, it speeds up healing and helps protect wounds against infection by promoting antimicrobial agents. In fact ultra violet light therapy is often prescribed for psoriasis.
- Vitamin D is a powerful antioxidant which fights free radicals that can cause premature ageing.
- Vitamin D2 and Vitamin D3 are most beneficial for skin health.
- One of the most well-known uses for Vitamin D in terms of skin is its treatment of psoriasis. Psoriasis symptoms include itchy and flaky skin, which can heal by the topical application of Vitamin D cream or by having prescribed Vitamin D supplements.
- Vitamin D3 contains strong anti-inflammatory properties which make it effective for treating burns, skin injuries, skin damage and stretch marks. Thus vitamin D is mostly added in creams and lotions for its anti-inflammatory properties.
- The anti-oxidant present in Vitamin D prevents skin damage and premature ageing of skin when taken via supplements or included in diet. Adequate skin exposure can also provide relief from these symptoms
There are 3 ways to get Vitamin D Sunlight, supplements and food.
Some foods high in Vitamin D:
Cod Liver Oil,
Various types of fish (particularly raw fish). Fish canned in oil will have more vitamin D than those canned in water.
Fortified cereals, although be sure to pick cereals which have little to no refined sugars and hydrogenated oils !
Tofu and soy milk.
Salami, ham and sausages (although also high in cholesterol and sodium)
Fortified dairy products.
Although natural sunlight is the most efficient way for the body to manufacture Vitamin D (also known as the sunshine vitamin) supplements are available from suppliers such as Holland and Barrett and Boots. That said, usually between the months of April to September we can get enough Vitamin D from sunlight so it may not be necessary to take a Vitamin D supplement.
Some of the many benefits of Vitamin D?
- It helps the intestine to absorb nutrients, calcium and phosphorus. This ensures strong bones and a healthy immune system.
- Vitamin D prevents osteomalacia, which causes weakness in the muscular system and brittle bones. It is mostly prevalent in adults with Vitamin D deficiency.
- Vitamin D provides calcium balance in the body and prevents arthritis.
- Vitamin D regulates blood pressure and reduces stress and tension. It also relieves body aches and pains by reducing muscle spasms.
- Vitamin D also helps to differentiate between cells, aids in insulin secretion and helps to fight depression.
- It arms the immune system against disorders like cold and flu.
- Vitamin D also improves eye sight of children. A couple of hours daily outdoors will help their growing eyeballs to develop properly and will prevent nearsightedness.
- It also reduces the risk of developing sclerosis. Multiple sclerosis is much less common near the tropics where there is ample sunlight.
- It reduces the severity and frequency of asthma symptoms
- A form of Vitamin D provides protection against damage from low levels of radiation..
- Vitamin D helps to improve mental sharpness.
Plenty of food for thought, Vitamin D can be added into your lifestyle pretty easily and the benefits are definitely worth thinking about.