What is Vitamin D
Vitamin D is important in the regulation of calcium and phosphate in your body making it key to keep bones, teeth, and muscles healthy. Lack of vitamin D can lead to bone deformities and bone pain in both children and adults which is why it is important you have the correct level.
Its believed that from late March to the end of September, you can get all you need from sunlight (in the UK.) Being out in the sunshine daily for short period with their forearms, hands or lower legs uncovered and without sunscreen will ensure this. This will be most beneficial between 11am to 3pm when the sun is at its highest. It’s not understood how time in the sun is required to make enough vitamin D to meet the body’s requirements. This is due to several human variances and factors which need considering. Other factors to consider is whether someone wears SPF and how much clothing they wear whilst in the sun. Another example, people with deeper skin tones such as those from South Asian, Afro-Caribbean, and African descent, require longer time in the sun to produce the same amount of vitamin D as someone with fair skin tones. As a result, it is recommended that people from these descents take supplements all year round.
In the UK between October and late March, we do not gain the vitamin D we need from sunlight. This is as sunlight does not contain enough UVB radiation in the Winter for our skin to make vitamin D. A small amount can also be found in a small number of food:
- egg yolk
- milk (fortified)
- cereal (fortified)
- yogurt (fortified)
- orange juice (fortified)
Department of Health recommendations who should take supplements and how much below.
Why you need supplements
Since we have all been in doors more than ever, it is worth considering supplements if you have not previously. This is as your body is unable to make vitamin D if you’re indoors by a window. UVB rays, the rays required to make vitamin D, can’t penetrate glass.
The great thing is that there are now a variety of supplement options. The classic is tablet form although not everyone enjoys taking tablets. There is also a liquid option which would avoid the need for water to swallow. The final option I’ve come across is
Finally, it is worth noting that the amount you need will vary person to person. Therefore it is important to check out the above like and recommendations to make your own choice. If you are going to take supplements then there are a couple to decide between D3 and D2. D3 is a natural form your body makes from sunlight. There is also a liquid form of this so which you go with is entirely up to you.
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