Rachel Page

The Sunshine Vitamin

July 30, 2021

Vitamin D is a super important vitamin that is crucial for bone health as it works alongside calcium to strengthen bones. Without an adequate intake of vitamin D there is an increased risk of osteoporosis as we get older leading to possible fractures.  Vitamin D is also used within the immune system so during these uncertain times it makes sense to keep up your intake.  

Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin which means that having some fat in your diet makes it easier to absorb - a good reason to avoid ‘low-fat’ versions of food which often have lots of sugar instead.  Main food sources of vitamin D include oily fish, such as salmon and mackerel, and eggs.  Many people struggle to meet their vitamin D needs from food, especially anyone who excludes these foods including vegans and vegetarians.

We also get vitamin D from the sun reacting with our exposed skin so during the summer in the UK this is an important source.  However, if you are spending more time indoors during the pandemic, cover your skin, use a high factor sunscreen or have darker skin you might not get enough vitamin D from this source either.  Which is where supplementation can come in.  The UK guidelines are that all people should take 10mcg of vitamin D in the winter but also in the summer if you don’t have enough skin exposure.

Do be careful not to burn in the sun: any sun exposure without protection should be short enough to avoid your skin reddening at all.

Vitamin D is stored in your body so beware of taking large doses as this can cause problems. Vitamin D levels can be tested by your GP or by a nutritional therapist. Contact me to find your level and to receive a programme designed specifically for you to optimise your nutrient intake.

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