This week is National Vitamin D Awareness Week- making it the perfect time to remind ourselves of the importance of this crucial vitamin and raise awareness of why we need to ensure we have adequate Vitamin D levels in our bodies.  As the clocks draw back an hour this weekend, there will be a reduction in the number of daylight hours. This can have a knock on effect on our vitamin D levels.

During late spring and throughout summer, our bodies create their own Vitamin D from the action of the sunlight on the skin. But as the days are getting shorter and winter approaches, the sun is lower so the correct wavelength of light doesn’t make its way through the atmosphere, so our ability to create this nutrient is paused. For seven months of the year in the UK, the sun’s rays are too weak to allow effective Vitamin D production.

vitamin d awareness


Why is Vitamin D important?


Vitamin D is needed to regulate calcium and phosphate in our bodies, which are needed for healthy bones, muscles and teeth. Being deficient in Vitamin D can result in fatigue, slow healing of wounds, low moods and frequent colds.

Even with regular sun exposure, the amount of Vitamin D your body absorbs depends on many factors including where you live, the time of day, the duration you spend outside and the colour of your skin.  Vitamin D can also be difficult to obtain through diet alone, although tiny amounts are present in fatty fish, cod liver oil and egg yolks. Some foods are fortified with Vitamin D, such as breakfast cereals, bars and butter, which can also be an option.


Should I take a supplement?


According to NHS guidelines, everyone in the UK is advised to take a supplement to ensure we remain actively healthy. The advice is to take a supplement between October and March as we get little or no exposure to the sun and it is difficult to get Vitamin D through food alone. However, those with darker skin are advised to take supplements all year round.

Others who have a higher risk of vitamin D deficiency and are advised to take a supplement all year round include:

•    Older individuals aged 65 or over
•    All pregnant and breastfeeding women
•    Infants and young children under 5
•    People with little or no exposure to the sun

For information on our Vitamin D supplements, click here.

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