Have you started to supplement your Vitamin D?

by Anne Myers-Wright RD/APD

Posted on Sep 26, 09:13 AM in and . No comments.


This is your reminder to start

Why do we need Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, essential for health. It has a role in building and maintaining strong bones, promoting calcium absorption and regulating amounts of calcium and phosphorous.

Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to so many conditions. It’s long been known that vitamin D is essential for healthy bones but some research is now also showing links between vitamin D and other conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity, autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and some cancers including colorectal, breast and pancreatic. Of course, none of this is conclusive, as yet, but it is an exciting and active area of research.

Where can you find Vitamin D?

Our body creates vitamin D from direct sunlight on our skin when we’re outdoors. From about late March/early April to the end of September, most people should be able to get all the vitamin D we need from sunlight.

You can find some Vitamin D in food such as:

  • oily fish
  • eggs
  • meat
  • milk and soy milk
  • fat-based spreads
  • some fortified foods (breakfast cereals, soy products, yoghurts).

It is unlikely, however, that you will get enough just from your diet

Why do I need to supplement?

After a massive review on Vitamin D in the United Kingdom. the SACN (scientific advisory committee on nutrition) report on Vitamin D for the UK (July 2016) recommended:

10 micrograms vitamin D supplement each day for everyone over 4 years old between late September and April (end March)

Not just “at-risk” groups but everyone!

So you should be starting right about now.

How much and for how long?

The amount is 10 micrograms or 400IU per day. You should be starting about now, (late September) and take a supplement until the end of March. Then you can rely a little more on the sun.

For when the sun returns – just a few little facts about Vitamin D and sunshine.

  • The most natural way to get vitamin D is by exposing your bare skin to sunlight (ultraviolet B rays).
  • Fair skin makes vitamin D faster than darker skin.
  • You don’t need to tan or burn your skin to get vitamin D. You only need to expose your skin for around half the time it takes for your skin to turn pink and begin to burn.
  • You can’t make Vitamin D if you are behind glass.
  • Best time for getting your skin converting those rays to vitamin D is in the middle of the day.
  • It’s all about your shadow – if your shadow is longer than you are tall…you’re not making much vitamin D. You need your shadow to be shorter for best effect. (the sun high in the sky)

(picture pixabay)

Tags: Bone Health, Calcium, Oily Fish, Osteoporosis, Rickets, Vitamin D

About the author

Anne Myers-Wright

Anne Myers-Wright RD/APD

Anne is a Health Professions Council (HPC) registered dietitian (RD), an Accredited Practicing Dietitian (APD- Australia), a fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA), a member of the British Dietetic Association, The Nutrition Society and of The Dietetics Association of Australia.


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