🔹Vitamin D has so many functions in the body, including regulating calcium & phosphate to your keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy 👍.
🔹Vitamin D deficiency can lead to bone deformities, rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults.
🔹Where can I get vitamin D from?
You can make vitamin D from sunlight (UVB) exposure. The duration of sunlight needed will depend on the strength of the sun’s rays, how much clothing you are wearing and the amount of melanin in your skin.
HOWEVER in the UK from October to early March the sun doesn’t have enough UVB for skin to generate vitamin D. During these months we need to reply on food sources and supplementation.
🔹Food sources of vitamin D include: oily fish, liver, egg (the yolk), fortified foods e.g. breakfast cereals & plant based milks.
🔹Should I take a supplement?
Current NHS advice is:
🔸In the summer months, most of us should get all the vitamin D we need from the sun.
🔸Breastfed infants should get a daily supplement of 8.5 – 10 micrograms of vitamin D.
🔸Formula-fed babies don’t need a supplement, until they’re consuming less than 500mls a day of formula. Formula is fortified with vitamin D.
🔸Children 1-4 years old should have a supplement with 10 micrograms every day.
NOTE: if you qualify for the Healthy Start Scheme you can get supplements with the recommended dose of vitamin D for free.
🔸Whilst there are food sources of vitamin D, it’s challenging to get your whole RDA from food alone. Therefore adults & children >5yrs should consider a supplement of 10 micrograms every day October to March.
🔸Those at risk of vitamin D deficiency should consider taking a vitamin D supplement throughout the year, e.g. if you’re housebound, frail or wear clothing which covers most of your body when outside.
🔹Can you take too much vitamin D?
In a word, yes! Too much vitamin D can lead to hypercalcaemia. Best advice is to take the recommended amounts and supplement more only with supervision from a physician to ensure blood levels are within safe limits. Excessive sun exposure won’t raise you levels of vitamin D dangerously, but remember to protect your skin 🙏.