Darkened days and dampened moods: understanding the role of Vitamin D supplementation during the winter months

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As the seasons shift, the days grow colder and shorter, and the landscape changes, some people may experience drops in mood and energy levels. While there are many possible explanations for such symptoms, one simple, sometimes neglected element is vitamin D, a vital nutrient that plays a key role in maintaining overall health. In this blog post, we’ll explore the significance of vitamin D, the impact of seasonal changes on its levels, and how a multi-disciplinary health clinic can support individuals through targeted supplementation.  

Living in southern England often means milder winters, but the decrease in daylight hours is still significant. Reduced exposure to sunlight has been linked to various mood-related issues, including seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and a general sense of low energy. Vitamin D, often referred to as the “sunshine vitamin,” is synthesized by the body when exposed to sunlight. The skin absorbs sunlight and uses it to trigger a series of processes that result in the formation of Vitamin D3. Vitamin D3 is then transported to the liver and kidneys where it is converted into its active form that can be used by the body. Vitamin D has been shown to influence 1) Fatigue, 2) Bone Health, 3) Immune Function and 4) Mood, therefore as our exposure to sunlight is reduced, the body’s production of vitamin D is at risk of becoming insufficient and both physical and mental health can in turn be affected.  

While sunlight is sufficient as its primary source in most people, vitamin D can also be obtained through certain foods and supplements to ensure adequate levels, hence the value of supplementation. Given the potential impact of reduced sunlight on Vitamin D production, supplementation becomes an especially worthwhile consideration during the winter months.  

The recommended dose of vitamin D can vary based on factors such as age, sex, individual health status, and geographic location. However, as a general guideline, many health organizations recommend a daily intake of 400 to 800 international units (IU) of vitamin D for adults, including during the winter months, though it is always advised to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized recommendations.

At Core Clinics we recognise the value of taking a multi-disciplinary approach to health care and thus while we are known for delivering tremendous hands on care, our providers are happy to discuss the possible need for supplementation with you and we even have a range of supplements available for sale at our front desk. By considering the multiple factors that can influence health and wellbeing we hope to empower you to live a healthier, more resilient lifestyle throughout these colder months!

If you have any questions about the topics raised above you can contact us for advice at patientcare@coreclinics.co.uk.   

Disclaimer: The information provided above is intended as general guidance and does not constitute medical advice. Always consult a suitably qualified healthcare practitioner if you have any of the symptoms or conditions described above.

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