Vitamin D is essential for Mood

A Hormone or a Vitamin?

Vitamin D acts like a hormone because it interacts with kidneys, bones, brain, intestines, skin, pancreas and reproductive organs.

How you get Vitamin D?

It is found in salmon, herring, mackerel, trout, sardines, anchovy (oily fish), butter and egg yolks. Food manufacturers put it into breakfast cereals and margarine.

The best source of Vitamin D is sunshine (UVB) on the skin which converts internal dehydrocholesterol to cholecalciferol (D3). However we do not get strong enough sunshine in Ireland from October to May and therefore I advise clients to supplement Vitamin D for this Winter period, especially if you are over 50 years. However….

If you have had good sunshine over the Summer or taken a Summer holiday abroad where you allowed the sun to kiss your skin without sunblock for 10 to 15 minutes per week then you should have good levels in your body. It stores in fat throughout the body. Get tested at your GP before you supplement.

Note that dark-skinned and especially black-skinned people need the equivalent of 3 hours to a white-skinned 30 minutes to reach the same level of vitamin D synthesis.

What does Vitamin D do?

Vitamin D helps to take calcium from our food in our intestines and put it into our bones with phosphorus to create strong bones.

Additionally it keeps enough calcium in the plasma around the body so that it can be used for other things like heart beat and blood clotting. However it is the role of Vitamin D in our nervous system that makes it critical for weight-loss.

Vitamin D makes Calcium available to our brain and calcium is needed to release; Serotonin which controls our mood, appetite and sleep; Dopamine which gives us motivation, drive and energy.

This makes Vitamin D absolutely essential for weight-loss because we need motivation, drive and energy to lose weight.

Supplements

The pharmacy and health shops sell a D-Lux spray in 1000iu and 3000iu dosage sizes. One bottle tends to last me the Winter months. One spray as you rise in the morning becomes a healthy habit


Deficiency (Ireland) and Excess

In Ireland in 2013, 40% of 1132 adults aged 18+, tested in a trial were deficient in Vitamin D.

An excess of Vitamin D can result in too much calcium being deposited on tissues and blood vessels around our body. Get tested before supplementing but test in the Winter months, such as October or November.

<25 nmol/l Severe deficiency
25-50 nmol/l Deficiency
50-75 nmol/l “Insufficiency” (US Endo Soc) vs replete (US IOM)

>75 nmol/l you have enough

AgeMaleFemalePregnancyLactation
0-12 months*10 mcg
(400 IU)
10 mcg
(400 IU)
  
1–13 years15 mcg
(600 IU)
15 mcg
(600 IU)
  
14–18 years15 mcg
(600 IU)
15 mcg
(600 IU)
15 mcg
(600 IU)
15 mcg
(600 IU)
19–50 years15 mcg
(600 IU)
15 mcg
(600 IU)
15 mcg
(600 IU)
15 mcg
(600 IU)
51–70 years15 mcg
(600 IU)
15 mcg
(600 IU)
  
>70 years20 mcg
(800 IU)
20 mcg
(800 IU)
  
National Institutes of Health USA

*Adequate Intake (AI)

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