In The News: The importance of Vitamin D
Vitamin D is well known as our ‘sunshine vitamin’ and is actually a hormone produced by our skin in response to sunlight.
As many of us continue to spend an increasing amount of time indoors due to the corona virus lockdown, Public Health England are recommending we extend supplementing with 10 micrograms of vitamin D throughout spring and summer (we are already advised to supplement between October and March due to reduced daylight hours).
Every cell in our body has receptors for vitamin D making it a key ingredient for overall health, and in terms of the immune system it can have a powerful anti-inflammatory effect. There is also evidence that it may be particularly protective against respiratory infections like coughs, colds and flu.
Prof Jon Rhodes, emeritus professor of medicine in the UK, says the anti-inflammatory effect of vitamin D may dampen down the body’s immune response to viruses, helping to protect very ill coronavirus patients from severe lung damage caused by inflammation.
There is no evidence that vitamin D will prevent us from catching the corona virus, but last week clinical trials began in Spain and France to see if vitamin D helps to improve health outcomes for coronavirus patients.
Vitamin D dosage:
- Adults – 10 micrograms a day (including pregnant and breastfeeding women)
- Children aged 1 to 4 – 10 micrograms
- Breastfed babies birth to 1 year – 8.5-10 micrograms
- Formula-fed babies should not supplement until they are having less than 500ml per day (as formula contains vit D)
*Higher doses may be recommended for patients with proven deficiency, however some people with certain medical conditions, such as kidney problems, cannot safely take vitamin D and should always consult a GP.
Which foods contain Vit D:
Oily fish, meat, eggs, dairy and fortified foods such as breakfast cereals contain some vitamin D but it’s impossible to get enough from diet alone.
What to buy:
Look for products containing D3 which is vitamin D in its active form as produced by our skin (as opposed to D2 produced by plants). D3 is usually extracted from sheeps’ wool (lanolin). For vegan friendly sources, look for lichen (algae) based supplements.
Due to the impact of the corona virus lockdown, Public Health England are now advising all of us to supplement with 10micrograms of vitamin D every day.
Each bottle of Get More Vitamin D Mango & Passionfruit 500ml contains the government recommend 10 micrograms and right now you can get l litre bottles on Roll Back for £1.50 at Asda and 500ml 4-packs are on offer for £3 at Sainsbury’s. You’ll also find Get More Vit D at Tesco, Ocado & Amazon.