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Don't Get S.A.D
In the current western society, where we generally spend on average 90% of our time indoors, insufficient levels of vitamin D have been found to affect around 75% of the population worldwide. In addition to increased time spent indoors, wearing clothes that cover most of the skin surface and using sunscreen also contribute to low levels of vitamin D.
As the seasons change, our sun exposure is less and as we head into the darker winter months, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a type of depression can set in. If you're like most people with SAD, your energy runs low, you can start to feel moody and often can have trouble sleeping.
Don't brush off that yearly feeling as simply a case of the "winter blues" or a seasonal funk that you have to tough out on your own. You can take steps to keep your mood and motivation steady throughout the year. An easy way to do this is through supplementation of Vitamin D.
Vitamin D3 is the most effective form and is often called the “sunshine vitamin” because it’s produced in your skin in response to sunlight. Research shows good levels of vitamin D in the body can impact positively on your physical and mental wellbeing.
You can be vitamin D deficient at any time, with this percentage being higher:
- Among the elderly or obese
- Vegetarian diets
- Those with a milk allergy or lactose intolerance
- People with limited sun exposure – those who wear robes and head covering, homebound or office-bound individuals, people living in southern New Zealand
- Darker skinned individuals – a higher melanin pigment content can reduce the skin’s ability to produce vitamin D from sunlight
- Exclusively breast-fed infants – vitamin D requirements are not met by human (breast) milk alone
- Sunscreen inhibits the synthesis of vitamin D in the skin, even with extensive sun exposure
Ensuring your Vitamin D3 levels are topped up will not only give you a mood boost and help get a good nights sleep, but can provide some much needed support for your immune system so you can stride through the winter months feeling your very best.