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All you need to know about Vitamin D

Vitamin D is such an important nutrient for bones, muscles, emotional health and perhaps most importantly now, boosting your immunity. Read on to find out more!

What is vitamin D and why is it so important?

Vitamin D is a key nutrient that our bodies need. It is most known for its role in protecting bones, teeth and muscles. Research studies also suggest it may help to reduce the risk of multiple sclerosis, decrease the chances of developing heart disease and ward off depression and anxiety. More recently however, this fat-soluble vitamin has hit the headlines due to the important role it plays in strengthening immunity. There have now been an increasing number of studies showing a link between low vitamin D and people worst affected by Covid.

Where do we get vitamin D from?

Whilst it is possible to get vitamin D from food sources, such as oily fish, egg yolks and mushrooms, it is definitely not enough to fill the body’s requirements. Our main source of vitamin D is from direct exposure to sunlight, hence often known as the ‘sunshine vitamin’.

How much do we need?

This is a tricky question to answer as everyone is unique and will have different requirements. However, one thing is for sure; the majority of people living in the northern hemisphere are deficient in this vital nutrient, so much so, that Government advice is to supplement during the autumn and winter at a minimum of 400iu but this may not be adequate for everybody. It is therefore worth getting your levels tested and consulting with a nutritional therapist to optimise your dose.

Did you know?

The elderly and those people with darker skin require an even greater amount of vitamin D than the rest of the population.

Light skinned people need approximately 15-20 minutes in midday sun to obtain between 10,000 -20,000iu of vitamin D whereas someone with a darker skin could need up to a couple of hours for the same amount of vitamin D absorption.

Whilst sunlight is the best way to absorb vitamin D, to do this you need to expose 80% of your bare skin in full sun when it’s high in the sky. Just going for a walk on a sunny day I’m afraid doesn’t count!

Vitamin D supplements

Vitamin D supplements come in different forms. For example, tablet, capsule, and liquid drops. If you have difficulty swallowing tablets or if you have digestive issues then liquid drops taken under the tongue (sublingual) would work best for you.

When choosing a vitamin D supplement make sure you opt for D3 rather than the D2 form as it is better absorbed by the body and more effective at raising your levels.

Lots to think about!

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