The number 1 reason you should be taking Vitamin d if you live in the UK and Northern Hemisphere.
Tell me why I should take ANOTHER vitamin and how will this actually benefit me?
If you live in the Northern Hemisphere then you should really think about taking vitamin D especially here in the UK.
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It’s important to check your own countries health policy when it comes to vitamin D. Some countries allow individual choice when it comes to vitamin D supplementation whereas other countries will fortify food to ensure their population ingests the recommended daily requirement.
For instance in US and Canada they food to ensure adequate vitamin D intake.
Today I am going to talk about:
- Why Vitamin D is important
- Where you can get Vitamin D from
- Recommendations for supplementation in the UK
- Where to purchase vitamin D
Why is Vitamin D so important
Vitamin D is important for our Bone health throughout our life and any deficiency in vitamin D can impair the absorption of our dietary calcium and phosphorous.
Low dietary Calcium and phosphorus can lead to infants having muscle weakness and bone softening leading to rickets
Adults can also have muscle weakness and osteomalacia which can lead to bone pain and tenderness.
The most recent National Diet and Nutrition Survey shows that a proportion of the UK population has low vitamin D levels, which may put them at risk of the clinical consequences of vitamin D deficiency.
Where do you get Vitamin D from?
The Scottish government is recommending anyone aged 5 and over to consider taking 10mcg (400 IU ) of vitamin D particularly from October to March when it would be difficult to get it from sunlight and food sources.
Basically during the winter months in the UK the sun is not strong enough for our bodies to use it to produce vitamin D so we have to rely on obtaining it from food sources which means we don’t always get enough during October to March.
Sources from food include
- Oily fish
- Red meat
- Egg yolks
- Fortified foods fat spreads and some breakfast cereals
Uk milk is not fortified so would not be a good source of vitamin D
Recommendations for supplementation in the UK
Some groups of people should consider taking vitamin D all year round and include
- Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers available via Health start scheme healthy start vitamin information and health start vitamin vouchers
- Children under 5 available via Health start scheme health start voucher for kiddies
- People restricted to indoors including frail elderly and housebound or those due to cultural reasons cover their skin.
- People from minority ethnic groups with dark skin such as those of African, African-Caribbean and South Asian origin, because they require more sun exposure to make as much vitamin D.
Where can I purchase these from and how much should I be taking?
You should consider taking 10 micrograms of vitamin D daily –
Or equivalent to 400 UI daily.
There are schemes in place to provide vitamin D to under 5 via health start vitamins at your local chemist.
I recommend going to a recognised retailer either a chemist or health food shop I purchase mine from Holland and Barrett.
Good quality brands to go for include Lamberts and Solgar.
I tend to buy on Amazon as its easier here is an one I purchase
Vitamins can be purchased online via Holland and Barrett or other online retailers and other supermarkets.
Supplements which can include vitamins either subject to being licensed as a medicine or a food supplement depending on the claims which are made by the manufacturer.
Food supplements don’t have as strict regulations as medicines.
If a supplement becomes a medicine then it has much stricter controls placed on it in terms of having to be backed up by scientific research.
If supplements claim to treat or cure then it is classed as a medicine and has to pass strict guidelines of the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Authority MHRA (for instances all prescription medicines come under this umbrella)
NHS choices guide gives an excellent breakdown on all sorts of information on supplements for more information Click Here
If you live in the UK especially Scotland I advise all over 5 years old to consider taking a vitamin D supplement.
Adults and children over 5 years should be taking 1o micrograms or 400 units IU daily during October to March.
How do you feel about this advice?