Vitamin D

The UK's relatively low levels of sunshine mean vitamin D deficiency is a widespread problem in the country. An estimated one in five adults are deficient.

BLOOD TESTS

Vitamin D

From £150

Overview

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in very few foods. It is also produced endogenously when ultraviolet rays from sunlight strike the skin and trigger vitamin D synthesis.

Our at-home service can take a blood test to ascertain your levels and supplement if required.

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From £150

What is Vitamin D good for?

Protects against illness

Rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, hypertension, multiple sclerosis, autism, asthma, osteoporosis – these are just some of the health problems that vitamin D can help prevent or alleviate the symptoms of.

Promotes healthy bones and teeth

Vitamin D plays an important role in the absorption and regulation of calcium and phosphorus, which are vital for healthy bones. It’s important for normal growth and development of bones and teeth.

Vitamin D deficiency in children can cause rickets, which leads to a severely bowlegged appearance due to the softening of the bones. In adults, vitamin D deficiency manifests as osteomalacia, or softening of the bones. Osteomalacia results in poor bone density and muscular weakness.

Support the immune system

Vitamin C is often credited with supporting the immune system, but vitamin D also plays an important role. Your immune system is there to help you combat infectious bacteria and it’s important to maintain your immune system to avoid viral infections.

One of the main functions of vitamin D is to help activate T cells, aka the “killer cells” in the body. T cells actually detect and destroy foreign pathogens — like viruses.

Vitamin D deficiency has also been associated with a higher susceptibility to infections like flu.

Improves muscle function

A new study suggests that vitamin D may also improve muscle strength. A study led by the University of Birmingham has found that increased levels of vitamin D may be vital for the performance of muscle tissues. This vitamin is essential for the bones to properly absorb calcium and to reduce the formation of body fat.

Effects of Vitamin D deficiency

Muscle aches or weakness

If you’re aching for longer after a workout or it hurts to get up off of the sofa then you could be lacking in vitamin D. The vitamin D receptor is found in nerve cells called nociceptors. These are the cells that sense pain in the body. Research indicates that the vitamin has a protective anti-inflammatory effect.

Some studies have shown that there is a link between muscle pain and low levels of the vitamin. A study published in Pain Medicine found that 71% of people with chronic pain were found to have a vitamin D deficiency.

Mood changes or depression

Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to depression in older adults. Researchers analysed the role vitamin D has on people in their older years and found that 65% of those who showed signs of depression also had low levels of the vitamin.

Having low energy levels can also make you feel down in the dumps and this is also caused by vitamin D deficiencies.

Hair loss

While stress is one of the main factors in hair loss, it has also been found that a lack of vitamin D could also be a contributing factor.

Low vitamin D levels have been linked to conditions such as alopecia and those with more severe hair loss have previously been found to have low levels of vitamin D.

Fatigue

Let’s face it, we’re all tired. But why we’re feeling tired and worn out might be for a range of reasons. Though you can feel tired and worn out for various reasons, low levels of vitamin D could be one of them. Vitamin D is vital to bone health and an insufficient amount can cause bone and muscle weakness, which can lead to fatigue.

A large observational study looked at the relationship between vitamin D and fatigue in young women. The study found women with blood levels lower than 20 ng/ml or 21-29 ng/ml were more likely to complain of fatigue than those with blood levels over 30 ng/ml.

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