Vitamin D….remember you learnt about it at school…the story of those who for long months not always having access to the sun rays or to fresh fruit & veg and what the results were….well in sunny South Africa we have no shortage of sunshine and don’t often thing about taking a Vitamin D supplement but here in the UK, the winter months have significantly less rays of sunshine so yeah is quite a vital part of taking a supplement. Ive included a more detailed explanation from the Holland & Barrett page as felt it was very easy read and explained for those who didn’t necessarily have a think about it…
You might know that vitamin D is needed for bone health, and that it’s called ‘the sunshine vitamin’ because your skin makes it in response to sunlight. But you might still be wondering, ‘What does vitamin D do?’
Why is vitamin D important?
Vitamin D helps your gut absorb calcium, which is essential for strong bones and teeth. In your blood, vitamin D is needed for the absorption and utilisation of calcium and phosphorus, which work together to maintain bone health. But vitamin D isn’t just about bones – it’s also important for muscle function and immune health.
Am I at risk of vitamin D deficiency?
Yes, if you don’t spend enough time outside with uncovered skin during the summer months. From October to early March, the sunshine in the UK doesn’t contain enough UVB radiation for our skin to create vitamin D. This could leave you with low vitamin D levels. Some of the symptoms of lacking vitamin D include bone pain and fractures, aching joints, and muscle weakness. A vitamin D deficiency can lead to bone conditions such as rickets in children and osteomalacia or osteoporosis in adults.
How much vitamin D do I need?
All adults and children over the age of one need 10mcg of vitamin D a day. This includes pregnant and breast-feeding women, too. Babies under one need 8.5mcg of vitamin D a day.
Where can I get vitamin D from?
As well as sunlight, vitamin D is found in some foods such as oily fish, eggs, mushrooms, and fortified foods. The government recommends that everyone should consider taking a vitamin D supplement, particularly between October and March. If you don’t get enough sunshine – if you have darker skin, don’t get outside much, or cover up your skin, for example – you’re advised to take a vitamin D supplement year-round.
So get out in the sunshine 😉