As the winter draws in and we all start to grumble about the short days and long nights, it is essential to make sure that you are getting enough Vitamin D. Limited access to sunlight and spending more time indoors puts us all at risk. Vitamin D is known as ‘The Sunshine Vitamin’ as your body creates it whenever it is exposed to sunlight and it is almost impossible to obtain enough from food alone. Numerous studies have linked low levels of this essential vitamin to heat disease, type 2 diabetes and other serious chronic diseases and it is not just your physical health that suffers, but your mental health too. SAD Syndrome (Seasonal Affective Disorder) has been well publicized and the cure is sunlight, but in the UK winter months our sunlight does not contain enough UVB radiation to create Vitamin D, and on the rare occasions, that we venture outdoors, we are normally too covered up for it to be of much benefit. Signs of deficiency are aching bones, tummy troubles, head sweating and depression. As one in five people are said to have low levels, supplementation is a good idea and the new Government recommendation is a year round dose of 10mcg daily. However, it is important speak to your health care practitioner to ascertain the correct levels for you.