This week it's Vitamin D Awareness week (no, we didn’t know it was a thing either) so we wanted to share some information with you all on this super important vitamin that sadly most of us are deficent in and we don’t even know it.

What does Vitamin D do for us exactly?
Well, it helps regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in our body.  We need these nutrients to keep our bones, teeth and muscles healthy.  Vitamin D also plays a big role in making sure our immune system is functioning well and it’s thought that it can also affect our cardiovascular and cognitive health too.  New research on this vitamin is appearing all the time, just a few days ago THIS study reported that taking a vitamin d supplement can help asthma suffers reduce the risk of attacks by 50%.

A lack of vitamin D results in a deficiency and that can lead to a lot of health concerns so it’s important that we become aware of the signs and symptoms of this and get our levels back up to where they should be.

To find out more about Vitamin D and how to tell if we are deficient in it we spoke with nutritionist Kim Person...
“Low levels of vitamin D can affect us in many ways, from making us feel unusually tired and weak, to increasing our risk of certain types of diseases including cancer. Therefore, it’s important we do all we can to get enough of this vital nutrient. 
Unlike other vitamins, the majority of our vitamin D is not provided by food, but is made when our skin is exposed to the sun.
Deficiency is becoming increasingly common and those with reduced sun exposure and darker skin are particularly at risk.”

It is thought that around one billion people worldwide are deficient in vitamin D and in the UK alone around 1 in 5 people including children have very low levels of the vitamin in their blood.

Kim says “Vitamin D deficiency can present itself in a variety of symptoms, varying from ‘surface’ symptoms like muscle weakness, fatigue and frequent coughs and colds to ‘concealed’ symptoms such as osteoporosis and bone deformities.
Individuals who work night shifts might find themselves increasingly tired potentially because of the disturbed sleeping routine with working nights, but could also be due to low vitamin D levels acting to worsen these symptoms. “

The NHS in the UK reported that between the months of October and early march they believe we don’t get enough vitamin D from sunlight in this country so we should all, especially those in vulnerable conditions, consider taking a supplement.

We recommend going to your doctor and asking for a simple vitamin D blood test, this will give your  exact levels and your doctor will recommend a supplement dosage if you need one.
You can also order one of these testing kits HERE which are really useful; they are in conjunction with  NHS Birmingham.  You prick your finger, dot the blood on the card and send it off to get tested.  Super quick, painless and simple.  You will then receive your results through the mail with your vitamin D levels and a free Vitamin D spray to take at your correct dosage.

You can get supplements in tablet form from most health food shops, we love these from Holland & Barrett or a spray like this one from Planet Organic which goes straight onto your tongue (this is also the one you get free with the testing kit).  After taking your Vitamin D for a few weeks, you should start to notice an improvement in your overall wellbeing.

It’s important to not take too much Vitamin D as this could be extremely dangerous.  Taking the low recommended dose should be fine for most people but that’s why it’s important to get your levels tested before taking your supplements or have a conversation with your doctor about it.
We are starting to take our Vitamin D supplements this week and hope that we feel a little bit of a skip in our step thoughout winter with our newly boosted levels.