Leading nutritionist and author, Dale Pinnock, known as “The Medicinal Chef”, is encouraging Britons to get more vitamin D through their diet. He warned of the “ramifications” of not getting enough of the sunshine vitamin.
Not getting enough vitamin D, which can be found naturally in mushrooms and organ meats, can cause bone issues long term.
Short term, it can affect mood and potentially cause more susceptibility to health problems like COVID-19.
Dale said: “There are short and long-term ramifications, we’ve learned.
“Probably the thing everyone knows the most about vitamin D is the impact it has on the health of the skeleton.”
Dale explained: “One of the big functions of Vitamin D is to maintain serum concentrations of calcium.
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“So, when we have a meal that’s calcium-rich, our blood levels will go up and vitamin D is involved in actually mobilising that calcium into the skeleton to keep blood levels within it within set parameters.
“If calcium levels get too low vitamin D can activate cells called osteoclasts, which start to break down bone material to liberate calcium so that it can send blood levels back up.
“I think that most people know long-term vitamin D deficiency in children will cause rickets, and in adults, it causes call something called osteomalacia.
“But, you have to be in that state for quite a long time for that to happen.
“In the short term, there are two particular things that can suffer.”
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One of the big indicators of a deficiency is low mood, Dale said.
“Seasonal affective disorder, for example, is is very much linked to low levels of vitamin D,” he said.
“That’s why the light therapy works because it helps people to actually synthesise vitamin D.
“But the big one, and certainly the one that’s been the talking point over the last couple of years is the fact that vitamin D regulates many aspects of immune function.
Every single cell within our immune system contains a vitamin D receptor. It regulates some of those key day-to-day functions.