March 15, 2021
Studies have shown the vitamin D is an important factor in the immune system. Good levels of vitamin D help boost the immune system, regulate cell growth and help us fight infections and reduce inflammation.
Vitamin D is also vital in maintaining calcium and phosphate levels in the body for healthy bones and teeth and plays a big role in bone growth and repair.
How do you get vitamin D?
As it is only found in a small number of foods such as oily fish, fortified fat spreads and eggs, we get the majority of our vitamin D from the sun.
Your skin hosts a type of cholesterol that functions as a precursor to vitamin D. When this compound is exposed to UV-B radiation from the sun, it becomes vitamin D. In spring and summer try and go outside for 20minutes and enjoy the sunshine (be careful if it is too strong though).
Most people do get sufficient amounts through a healthy diet and regular sunshine, however, there are certain groups that may be susceptible to a vitamin D deficiency, such as pregnant and breastfeeding women, those over 65 years of age, children under 5 years of age and those who do not get enough sunlight or cover up their skin when outside.
Deficiency in vitamin D can result in thinner, brittle or deformed bones and can cause a condition called rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults.
Government guidelines state that adults should have a daily intake of 400iu to maintain Vitamin D levels but if people need more due to a deficiency or in the winter months, Birgitta our nutritionist recommends taking2000 IU a day to help increase the levels.
However, before taking over the RDA (recommended daily allowance) it is especially important that you test your current levels, as you can take too much. The main consequence of vitamin D toxicity is a build-up of calcium in the blood, called hypercalcemia - early symptoms of hypercalcemia include nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, constipation and weakness.