Muscle Health & Vitamin D

Why it’s important and where to get it.

As the days shorten it’s important to make sure we’re getting enough of the sunshine vitamin. It plays a key role in muscle and bone health – important for injury repair and prevention.

Here’s what we know.

It definitely:

 Has a positive impact on muscle health. Low levels of vitamin D may reduce muscle strength, function and impair recovery. Research has shown that vitamin D supplementation has had positive effects on upper and lower limb strength and function, this is especially effective in older people.

 Helps us to absorb calcium and regulates bone metabolism

 Has a positive impact on bone strength. Over 50’s with adequate vitamin D levels have decreased fracture risk.

Other health benefits

It’s highly likely that:

 Low levels are linked to seasonal affective disorder (SAD). There is a good possibility that adequate vitamin D levels are positively linked with mental health

It looks very probable that:

 It plays a part in protecting against Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some cancers as well as other health benefits – the evidence here isn’t as conclusive as the muscular skeletal thing though.

Vitamin D isn’t called the sunshine vitamin for nothing. We need sunlight to help our bodies make vitamin D and in the summer months most of us get all our requirements from the sun. The problem is in this county it’s a bit cold and grey for half of the year and that doesn’t cut it. There are some dietary sources eggs, oily fish, margarine, liver and wild mushrooms, but they are in small quantities or less biologically active. Most of us will not get enough from our diet.

So how do we make sure we get enough??

I’m not a fan of taking lots of supplements – a balanced diet should give us most of what we need.

In this case however go ahead and pop a pill. The Science Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) advise that during winter months (so let’s be realistic, October to March) to take 10ug daily.

You don’t need to go crazy with super doses as it actually has a negative affect on bone mineralisation. So as long as you stick to under 100ug a day you’ll be helping to keep your bones and muscles healthy.

If you would like more ideas of how to eat well, get fit and be healthy I can help you through a personalised nutrition plan, combined with coaching and motivation to help form healthy habits. Please call me on 07852143804 or email