Should I Take Vitamin D Supplements?

It’s finally vitamin D season, but should we still supplement?

Vitamin D is often referred to as the sunshine vitamin as its the only vitamin which can be synthesised in the body in the presence of sun light. It essential for many functions in the body including immune functioning, reduced risk of depression and helps regulate insulin levels.
Adequate amounts are essential for the absorption of calcium and therefore the development of bones and teeth from childhood through to adulthood.

In the UK, due to our location in relation to the equator we can only synthesise vitamin D from the sun during April - October even if the sun is shining. Therefore its’ very important to supplement during these months to maintain adequate levels.

Types and sources of Vitamin D

Vitamin D comes in two forms, D2 & D3 but they are both synthesised in the body in very similar ways.
Vitamin D3 is the type we make from sunlight and can obtain small amounts from oily fish and some meat products. D2 comes from plant based sources such as mushrooms (grown under UV light) or fortified products such as breakfast cereals and milk products.

During the months April - October we should be able to produce enough vitamin D from the sun however this depends highly on lifestyle factors many people still don’t reach recommended levels. It is through the 70 - 75% of the adult population are deficient.

Who should supplement (even through summer)

- Those who work inside or chose not to go outside on a daily basis

- Elderly people especially in care homes or who do not go outside often

- If you work night shifts and tend to sleep through the day

- Anyone who is overweight or Obese (by definition of BMI)

- Those taking statins or serious which can impair metabolism

- People with dark skin such as those who have African or south asian backgrounds

Are you deficient?

Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency do cross over with symptoms of other conditions or are often experiences during busy daily life however if you suffer from any of these its worth considering whether you believe you get enough and perhaps considering a supplement

- Fatigue

- Poor sleep quality

- Back pain

- Depression or frequent low mood

- Lowered immune functioning

- Poor wound healing

- Hair loss

- Muscle pain

The good news is that it is very difficult to take too much Vitamin D and it would require long period of over consumption to cause health problems. So if you are unsure whether you get enough or have a lifestyle that doesn’t allow for much sun exposure then its worth considering a supplement.

If you want to know more about your specific needs or if your diet covers all nutritional bases then why not considering 1:1 coaching? Its not just about weight loss!

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