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The Low Down On Vitamin D

The Low Down On Vitamin D

December 12, 2018 - By Lola Ross

With the lack of sunshine at the moment you my be feeling a little under par which may be down to a lack of Vitamin D.

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble steroid pre-hormone that is activated in skin cells from UVB radiation, sun rays. Once activated it can store in your skin for around 2 months and thereafter if the sun does not further stimulate the vitamin D in your skin, stores will decline. Vitamin D deficiency is prevalent across the UK due to lack of sun exposure and the increasing usage of sunscreen over SPF 8 during the sunny months. Research suggests that long-term deficiency may be linked to cancers, seasonal affective disorder, cognitive disorders, cardiovascular disease, psoriasis, type ii diabetes and immune disorders. Deficiency in children, has shown delayed growth and development, rickets, reduced immunity and poorly formed tooth enamel.

Can we get vitamin D from food?

While the small amounts of vitamin D found in foods such as eggs, butter, cod and salmon, is helpful to our bodies, taking a good quality supplement for 2-3 months in the winter months (until the hopefully sun comes out in spring!) may be the best way to achieve healthy levels for many people. Choose the natural form of the vitamin - vitamin D3 – alongside eating a balanced diet in order to obtain all the other minerals required for better vitamin D absorption.

What about taking supplements?

There is no established RNI for vitamin D supplementation but if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, darker skinned or a child aged 6 months - 5 years old, you may be more susceptible and be able to get a free blood test from your GP to assess your vitamin D serum levels and if required, obtain a specific supplement prescription. For others just looking for a top up, the following guide may be a good, basic place to start. Speak to a Nutritionist or an in-store health care practitioner for more information on dosages and toxity.

Vitamin D3 Daily Intake Guide

Adults –  400iu

Children  1year +  400iu (oil drops)

Infants –  50iu (oil drops)


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