With winter approaching, the weather turning colder and the evenings drawing in (and the clocks going back at the end of the month!), it’s going to be harder for us all to get the vitamin D our bodies need.
That’s why we’ve put together all you need to know about vitamin D, including the benefits of it, where you can get it and if you need to consider taking a supplement.
What is Vitamin D?
It helps the body regulate calcium and phosphate, which are the nutrients needed to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy. There are also some findings that also show that taking supplements can help prevent colds and flu.*
What are the benefits of Vitamin D?
It is important for normal growth and development of bones and teeth as well as improved resistance to certain diseases. If your body doesn’t get enough, you are at risk of developing bone abnormalities such as osteomalacia (soft bones) or osteoporosis (fragile bones) or rickets in children.
Where do I get vitamin D from?
Your body will create vitamin D from direct sunlight on your skin. From late March/early April to the end of September you should be able to get all you need from the sunlight. For the other times of year, you might need to consider other sources such as supplements.
Remember to take care when you’re in the sun without sun protection. It’s best to cover up or protect your skin before the time it takes you to start turning red or burn. Stay covered up for most of the time you spend outside and use sun cream with a minimum SPF of 15.
What foods contain vitamin D?
Most of our body’s vitamin D will come from the sun, but it is also found in a small number of foods. According to the NHS these include:
- Oily fish such as salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel
- Red meat
- Egg yolks
Who is at risk of Vitamin D deficiency?
Vitamin D deficiency is caused when you don’t get enough of it in your diet or lifestyle and you may be at risk of having softer or more fragile bones.
The following groups are more at risk of deficiency and may need to take supplements:
• All pregnant and breastfeeding women
• All babies and young children from six months to five years old
• People aged 65 or over
• People who aren’t exposed to much sun e.g. those who cover their skin or those that are housebound or confined indoors for long periods (night shift workers)
Why not try…
Did you know that the Department of Health recommends that everyone should consider taking a daily supplement of vitamin D during the autumn and winter? Why not stock up with a year’s supply with the Nu U capsules. They are formulated with soft gels to be fast absorbing and easy to swallow.
Ask our Pharmacist for advice about strength and daily dosage.