Winter is upon us and our risk of having low levels of Vitamin D or in some cases, being deficient, is increased. Latest National Dietary survey data showed that around 17% of adults in the UK and 26% of 11-18 year old children had low levels of Vit D.
What is it?!
Vitamin D is an important fat-soluble vitamin, it’s essential in the absorption of Calcium. They work in combination to allow our bodies to maintain healthy bones and teeth. Without either of one of these we increase our risk of Ricketts (in children), Osteoporosis (in adulthood) and could become more prone to fractures. Vit D also plays a role in the normal function of our immune system and overall health so it’s really important that you get the optimal amount.
The Imporance of Sunshine
Our bodies produce Vit D thanks to the UVB rays from the sun, however, it depends on various factors, the time of year being one of them. April through to September is the most optimal time for our bodies to produce Vit D from sunlight, in the winter months, it’s much more difficult due to the suns’ low angle. Other factors affecting our potential to produce Vit D include the colour of your skin, liver and kidney function, age, gut health and weight.
Foods and other sources
During the winter months, we rely on stores, supplements and food sources for Vit D and the best food sources include oily fish (salmon and tuna), liver, mushrooms and eggs. Some foods are also fortified with it; including cereals & fat spreads (check the label first). It’s important to note that you cannot get enough from diet alone.
Taking a Vit D supplement is a smart move through the winter periods to keep yourselves topped up. The latest guidance is to take 10µg daily and you can buy it in the form of drops or capsules, whichever works best for you. If you’ve been told by your GP that you’re low, go by their recommended dosage.
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