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  • Writer's pictureHelen

Should we supplement with Vitamin D?

Updated: Jan 4, 2020

I was speaking with a good friend recently about Vitamin D and decided to look into this further.

On my nutrition course I was taught that by being out in the sunshine during the Spring and Summer we get enough Vitamin D to last through the Winter months.

However there seems to be mixed reports about this so I started to look at the research in more detail.

Vitamin D promotes absorption of calcium from the gastrointestinal tract and helps with bone mineralisation. It is a fat-soluble vitamin.

Currently I don’t take any supplements as I am relatively healthy and try and get most of my vitamins and minerals from mainly food sources. We require most of them in such small quantities that we can end up spending a lot on multivitamins that we don’t really need.

However with Vitamin D it is a slightly different story, although we can get some of the vitamin through foods, it is difficult to get enough through diet alone. We get most of our Vitamin D through sunlight.

Public Health England (PHE) has advised that nearly everyone in the UK should take a 10 mcg (400 IU) supplement of vitamin D in the Autumn and Winter months, as there is not enough sunlight at this time of year for sufficient production of vitamin D. (Note there is a difference for babies and for people who have very little exposure to the sun).

Vitamin D is the most common nutritional deficiency worldwide. Around one-quarter of the UK population is deficient in vitamin D, rising to around one-third in the winter months.

There is also new research showing that taking Vitamin D by oral spray is just effective as in tablet form.

Looking at this data I have decided to start taking a Vitamin D supplement. I am going to take Vitamin D3 rather than D2 supplement (Most studies show that vitamin D3 is more effective than vitamin D2 at raising blood levels of calcifediol). Also it is important to check you are not taking too high a dose as this can also be detrimental as too much calcium can build up in the body. I am going to stick to the recommended 10mcg per day during the Winter months.


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