Vitamin D deficiency - What you NEED to know

Are YOU vitamin D deficient? 

Sunlight and vitamin D

Clue: if you live in the UK during the winter, the answer is probably 'Yes'..

During the summer months, if you have skin exposed to the sun and are not wearing sunscreen (we do not advise this for any more than 10-15 mins and not during the full height of the sun!), then your skin will make on average around 10,000 iu of vitamin D during this short period of time. 

This is in response to exposure to ultraviolet rays. 

HOWEVER, during Autumn and Winter and the first part of spring, in the UK the levels of ultrviolet rays in sunlight are too low for our skin to produce vitamin D AND most people cover up anyway and spend much more time in-doors. 

It used to be that the medical profession focussed only on bone and joint health with vitamin D (a difficiency causes "Rickets"), but now even the NHS realises that you should be supplementing your diet with enough Vit D. 

NHS Advises you to take Vit D in the winter months

"Everyone should consider taking supplements during the winter months" - NHS Choices. 

Reduce your risk of Colds, Flu and also possibly more serious health conditions.

According to Professor Pearce (Vit D expert at Newcastle University),  "A lack of vitamin D has been linked through research to increased risk of: 

“There is absolutely 100 per cent cast iron evidence that lack of vitamin D has adverse effects on musculoskeletal health. That is unequivocal.”

He says: “There is also pretty good evidence linking low vitamin D to:

  • Certain cancers in particular bowel cancer
  • Type one diabetes,
  • Some autoimmune diseases.”

Dr Holick believes there is also strong evidence of a link between low vitamin D and:

  • heart disease,
  • asthma and other allergies,
  • depression,
  • dementia,
  • pregnancy complications and even schizophrenia.

“Population studies have suggested that adequate vitamin D is also critical for the prevention of various solid tumours including prostate, breast, ovarian and colon cancers.” (Daily Express article, 2014). 

Also, there is evidence that a lack of vitamin D may lead to more colds and Flu's over winter. 

Although some evidence needs more research to be conclusive, the current advice is to supplement with Vitamin D during the autumn, winter and early spring.

Should you supplement with vitamin D? 

The short answer is that unless you travel widely to sunny parts of the world during the winter then "Yes" you should be supplementing with vitamin D! 

We recommend you try a supplement like the Solgar D3 supplement below from Amazon. This one provides a dosage recommended by the NHS Choices website.



How much Vitamin D and what kind? 

The NHS recommends at least 400iu, but many researchers recommend more than this. The "Vitamin D Council recommends "5000iu/day" for adults, however around 400-1000iu/day  seems to be the more accepted view.

Can you get it from food? 

Yes, but not enough. Food sources inlude oily fish, beef liver, cheese and egg yolk. 1 large yolk on average will contain around 50iu, so you would need to eat at least 8 eggs every day to get enough from eggs alone! 

Vitamin D3 is the most useful form of vitamin D to your body. 

Too Much Vitamin D? 

The Vitamin D Council recommends taking "no more than 10,000iu per day for adults". But the generally accepted view is 4000iu is the upper limit for adults. 

Too much vitamin D can be harmful, so stay within the limits.


The perfect time to BOOST!

The end of winter approaches and NOW is the time to boost your vitamin D. We are all likley to be deficient at this point in the year and if you find yourself fed up with repeat colds and flu's then a vitamin D top-up could be just what you need right now!

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