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The Crucial Relationship Between Vitamin D and Your Health

Hack Your Hormones

The Crucial Relationship Between Vitamin D and Your Health

Britain has plenty of pockets of joy to offer its residents, but the weather isn’t one of them - it’s more like a grey and dismal abyss of misery.  I don’t need to tell you that the weather is crap because you’ve likely had that very British conversation more than once a day, with anyone who will listen, every day of your adult life.  Talking about the weather is quite literally the most British way of starting a conversation or filling an awkward silence when you don’t know what to say, and it always ends up the same way: both you and the recipient agreeing that living in Spain would be much nicer. 

Every year, us Brits flock to the Med or further afield, chasing the sun, waiting for the heat to hit us when the plane doors open, praying for a brief interlude in the saga of getting soaked every time we set foot out the door.  We then proceed to smother every inch of our bodies in sun cream, lying on sunbeds with our fingers and toes spread, resenting having to get up for a wee or worrying that our legs aren’t exposed when we take a momentary dip in the pool to cool off. If we’re lucky, we commit two weeks of the year to getting a tan, knowing it will quickly fade the minute we touch back down in Blighty, but we do it anyway! 

Oh the Irony...

However, us Brits are the first to complain when we are blessed with a brief moment of sun during our elusive heat waves! Oh the irony.  It’s so funny how ill equipped we are to deal with any weather extreme; battening down the hatches at the first sight of a snowflake, or sweating profusely and turning into hot messes when it’s cracking the flags, but we will quite happily throw thousands of pounds trying to escape our natural habitat. Why? Because the rest of the world has got pools and beaches that we dare to take a dip in. The only weather front we seem to find our comfort in is the dreary grey drizzle, but my God do we love to complain about it. 

The Sun's Magic

Have you ever wondered why you feel so much better with a tan or after being exposed to the sun?  In December, my hubby and I were fortunate enough to take a Christmas trip to Thailand.  We stayed on an island, an island we renamed ‘The Island of no Hangovers!’  We couldn’t understand that after drinking copious amounts of booze that we were waking up feeling as fresh as daisies.  Nor could I understand why my usual period hell (which annoyingly arrived at the end of the first week) didn’t strike.  We were both full of energy, in excellent moods, eager to make the most of our holiday and for two whole weeks, we really liked each other.  Granted, we were in Thailand, we weren’t working, cooking, cleaning, or really adulting…but our sense of well-being far surpassed how we felt at weekends or during holidays in the UK, or even holidays abroad in the past to be truthful.  It could have been the great UPF free Thai cuisine, and whilst I know that helped, we both felt completely reborn overnight. 

In the hustle and bustle of modern life, especially living in Britain, it's easy to overlook the small but mighty nutrients that play crucial roles in our overall health and well-being. One such nutrient that deserves our attention is Vitamin D3.

Vitamin D Differences

Vitamin D3, also known as cholecalciferol, is considered more potent and bioavailable than vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) because it is the form naturally produced in the skin in response to sunlight exposure. Vitamin D3 is also more efficiently absorbed and utilised by the body. Whilst both D2 and D3 can raise blood levels of vitamin D, studies have shown that vitamin D3 raises these levels more effectively and sustains them for a longer duration.  As per NHS guidance, ensuring an adequate intake of this vitamin is essential for maintaining optimal health, but how when all it does is rain or shroud us in fog?  

Vitamin D3 sourced from fish oil or meat is indeed more bioavailable than vitamin D2 which is sourced from plants. This is because vitamin D3 closely resembles the form produced naturally in the human body, making it easier for the body to absorb and utilise. 

More Covid Chaos

During the Covid years, Vitamin D had a starring role and guidance advised that people who were deficient in this hormone (yes, it’s a hormone) should be extra cautious and address their lack of this essential life source.  Lucky for us, the sun shone its arse off during the first lockdown - it was almost like someone was looking down on us, but we weren’t so lucky during our second imprisonment.  If you’re still reeling from the effects of the pandemic, our Long Covid blog might just be of interest. 

Failure to maintain adequate Vitamin D levels can have serious consequences on health, particularly for menopausal women, men, and children. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to weakened bones, increased risk of fractures, compromised immune function, mood disorders like depression, and even cardiovascular problems. Therefore, prioritising sufficient Vitamin D intake is crucial for overall health and well-being.

The Menopause and Ageing

Growing old is a privilege and shouldn’t be something we dread, but we know that as we age or go through menopause, our bodies become less efficient.  From aching joints to having to brace ourselves when we find something funny (you know what I mean - padded pants anyone?).  If this wasn’t bad enough, the menopause and growing older can impact the body's ability to absorb Vitamin D effectively. The skin loses its ability to produce Vitamin D from sunlight as well as it did in our youth due to changes in our skin composition.  In addition, ageing can also affect the efficiency of intestinal absorption of Vitamin D. The gut may become less effective at absorbing nutrients due to changes in gut health, decreased production of digestive enzymes, or alterations in the gut microbiome composition. 

Menopause Mayhem

Vitamin D undergoes activation in the kidneys to its active form, which is essential for various physiological functions in the body. However, renal function tends to decline with age, leading to reduced conversion of,  yes, you’ve guessed it, Vitamin D, as it struggles to convert into its active form, potentially lower levels of bioavailable Vitamin D.

During menopause, hormonal fluctuations can affect Vitamin D metabolism and absorption. Changes in hormone levels, particularly oestrogen, can impact calcium and Vitamin D metabolism, leading to alterations in bone health and potentially affecting Vitamin D absorption. This is further exacerbated when we alter our dietary habits, finding comfort in ultra processed food or maybe enjoying the fruits of retirement a little too much. 

Whilst Vitamin D3, often referred to as the "sunshine vitamin," plays a pivotal role in various bodily functions, including calcium absorption, immune system regulation, and mood regulation, its benefits are optimised when paired with Vitamin K2. Vitamin K2 is vital for directing calcium to the bones and teeth, where it belongs, and away from arteries and soft tissues, thus preventing the risk of calcification and cardiovascular issues. However, you need both for optimum health harmony. 

Milk Chocolate Protein Powder

It’s not all Vitamin D Doom and Gloom

Now this is all well and good, but if our bodies are not in a position to absorb these magic “no hangover Thailand” nutrients, we may as well just throw them down the loo, which is exactly what your body will do if they’ve nothing to cling onto.  Which begs the question, why did my hubby and I feel so great and why were we able to synthesise so much Vitamin D on our Christmas getaway?  Well, it’s simple! It's because we are avid WillPowderers and we supplement with Bovine Collagen and WillPowders’ Protein Powder (along with the rest of it…).  Being able to take our WillPowders’ travel sachets (thank God for those) ensured that we could continue on our WillPowders Way (apart from the frozen Margs) at the other side of the world and really reap the benefits of that glorious Vitamin D. 

Supplementing with collagen derived from grass-fed bovine and protein powder formulated with grass-fed bone broth protein can significantly support the absorption of Vitamin D3.

Collagen and bone broth protein contain essential amino acids and minerals that aid in the absorption and utilisation of Vitamin D3, ensuring that your body reaps maximum benefits from supplementation.

Bone Broth is ancient nutrition and a remarkable elixir that has been cherished across cultures for centuries.  WillPowders Protein Powders and and Bovine Collagen Peptides are the best and most natural sources of protein,  working their biological wizardry in every inch of our makeups. Rich in glycine, which supports the body’s natural synthesis of collagen as well helping you to maintain your skin’s glow, joint health and gut integrity, and glutamine which supports the gut in repairing the intestinal linings. Supplementing with WillPowders’ Protein and Collagen ensures your gut remains a fortress, allowing it to do its good work and supporting your body in all its biological functions. This includes nutrient absorption and in this case, the elusive Vitamin D that does its best to evade us Brits. For further reading on the power of amino acids, proteins, specifically collagen and protein powder, check out our dedicated blog series: Protein and Collagen.

A Natural Boost

Supplementing with Vitamin D is definitely one way to ensure adequate consumption and the NHS guidance strongly suggests that us Brits should be doing just that from December to March; however,  there are some natural ways to enhance Vitamin D production. Spending time outdoors, especially during peak sunlight hours, is a great way to give your levels a boost.  Not only will this trigger your cortisol, providing you with the boost you need first thing in the morning, it will also help support your natural synthesis of Vitamin D.  Eating food such as fatty fish, eggs and dairy will also help you to keep your vitamin D stores stocked up.  

Oestrogen Boost Supplement

Banish Brain Fog

Whilst we appreciate and agree with this advice from the NHS, the important thing is that your body can absorb the Vitamin D goodness easily and protecting your gut with WillPowders’ Collagen and Protein Powders is one sure fire way to do this. 

For menopausal women, you can support your depleting oestrogen levels which can impact your Vitamin D metabolism with WillPowders’ Oestrogen Boost. The ingredients in Oestrogen Boost have been specially selected to maximise your body’s capability to produce oestrogen, but we would always suggest you get your levels checked first. To learn more about this supplement powerhouse, check out our Hacking Your Hormonal Health and Help! I’m in Perimenopause blogs.

Flushing out pesky toxins with ElectroTide can really support your renal function, helping your kidneys to activate Vitamin D.  ElectroTide is a powerful electrolyte which will hydrate your body but also help it to get shut of the stuff you don’t want floating around.  Chrissa, a gorgeous WillPowder customer and advocate, reported that supplementing with ElectroTide helped to support her kidney health after spending most of her life in doctor’s offices with compromised kidneys.  Her story is amazing.

The Supplements Minefield?

The best Vitamin D3 and K2 supplements are Liposomal and Sub-Lingual Spray due to their enhanced absorption in the digestive tract and blood stream.  However, these supplements come at a cost, so if you are on the hunt for the best D3 and K2 supplement, always opt for the cleanest ones. 

You can also opt for an IV boost if you have tested and found that you are highly deficient. In which case, it will take far too long to increase your Vitamin D health with regular supplementation.  

Ultimately, Vitamin D3 is paramount for maintaining good health, especially in the UK, where our exposure to the glorious goodness of sunlight is limited.  By incorporating supplements like WillPowders’ Collagen, Protein Powder, ElectroTide and Oestrogen Boost into your routine, you can promote your Vitamin D production, safeguarding your health and well-being for years to come. It’s time to embrace the sun and use it to its full advantage!  

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