Lorraine: Dr Amir says spine could shrink if deficient in vitamin D
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Vitamin D is an essential mineral that helps protect the body from muscle or bone damage. But it’s absolutely crucial that you avoid becoming deficient in the so-called “sunshine” vitamin as when this does occur it can negatively affect both your health and your day-to-day life.
Constant fatigue and tiredness, no matter how much shut-eye you get, could be a warning sign of a vitamin D deficiency.
The tiredness could be accompanied with muscle weakness and chronic pain.
Case studies have shown that very low blood levels can cause fatigue that has a severe negative effect on quality of life.
Because vitamin D is key to bone health, an insufficient amount can cause bone and muscle weakness, which can lead to fatigue.
Researchers behind a study which included 174 participants with fatigue found that taking supplementary vitamin D for five weeks significantly improved fatigue symptoms.
“Examining this small group of patients with vitamin D deficiency who experienced symptoms of muscle fatigue, we found supplementation drastically improved these symptoms,” wrote the authors.
The most common vitamin D deficiency symptoms include getting sick more often, having aches and pains and bone or back pain.
Vitamin D deficiency is incredibly common, and most people are unaware of it.
If a person thinks they may have a deficiency, it’s important to speak with your GP and get your blood levels checked.
Eating more vitamin-D-rich foods, such as fatty fish or fortified dairy products will improve your levels.
You can also find a variety of vitamin D supplements in leading health stores.
A deficit of vitamin D can sap bone and muscle strength, said Health Harvard.
The health site added: “This vitamin is unique in that your body can produce it when your skin is exposed to sunlight, but there also aren’t many natural food sources of it.
“You can find it in some types of fish (such as tuna and salmon) and in fortified products such as milk, orange juice, and breakfast cereals.
“Supplements are another way to ensure you’re getting enough vitamin D.”
What is the recommended daily dose of vitamin D?
Most people need around 10mcg of vitamin D a day, including pregnant and breastfeeding women.
Any babies younger than one year old need between 8.5 and 10mcg daily.
During the late spring to early autumn, most people should get enough vitamin D by going about their daily lives.
But it can be difficult to top up on vitamin D between the end of September and the start of March.
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