Health: Why Vitamin D is a daily essential

A recent government report has offered some new guidelines about the amount of Vitamin D we should consume on a daily basis.

As a general rule, everyone, all adults and children over the age of one should consume 10 micrograms of this essential vitamin every day. But why? The experts at vitamin supplement retailer, Pharma Nord, explain what this essential vitamin does and why it’s so important.

What does vitamin D do?

This vital vitamin is important as it helps the body to absorb calcium and phosphate from our diet. Because calcium and phosphate are essential for maintaining healthy bones, teeth and muscles, it’s essential that we keep our vitamin levels at the optimum level.

Only 10% of our daily intake of this vitamin comes from our diet and the other 90% must come from sunlight. Because we predominantly rely on sunlight for Vitamin D, it’s often difficult to get the amount that we require during autumn and winter, no matter how many winter walks we go on. This is because sunlight doesn’t contain enough UVB radiation between October and early March in the UK. Instead, many people take supplements to try and up their vitamin intake and prevent a deficiency occurring.

vitamin d

What happens if you don’t get enough vitamin D?

If your vitamin levels drop too low, you will have a deficiency.

Vitamin D is crucial to the health of bones and teeth; without it calcium cannot be effectively absorbed by your body. A vitamin deficiency can result in bone and muscle pain, poor bone mineralisation and a greater risk of osteoporosis and fractures as we age.

Vitamin D can stimulate the body’s production of anti-viral and anti-bacterial proteins. This makes it an effective nutrient to boost immunity and protect against colds and flu. People with low levels of this vitamin are 40% more likely to visit their GP with respiratory infections. Deficiency is also associated with increased risk of auto-immune disorders such as multiple sclerosis.

Who is effected by vitamin D deficiencies?

Some people are more at risk of vitamin deficiencies than others. Those at greater risk include babies from birth to one year old; children aged between one and four and the elderly.

Vitamin D synthesis is also inhibited by lack of sunshine or covering up with clothes. Pregnant and breast-feeding mothers and people with darker skin pigmentation may also have inadequate UV exposure.

can Vitamin supplements help?

Public Health England recommends that everyone considers taking vitamin D supplements in autumn and winter to ensure they get enough of this essential vitamin.

Health: Why Vitamin D is a daily essential


= This is a collaborative post =

Putting Pharma Nord supplements to the test

With what’s being called the “Liverpool Lurgy” sweeping across the country in recent weeks, I’ve felt it prudent to step up my vitamin intake. The Liverpool Lurgy is a nasty lingering virus which is knocking people for six, and I can do without that right now. I’m a big believer in taking Zinc to ward off colds and when I was asked by Pharma Nord, Northern Europe’s largest manufacturer of pharmaceutical grade vitamins and supplements if I’d like to sample some of their supplements, top of my list were their Zinc lozenges. 

The lozenges are Pharma Nord’s Bio-InfluZinc + C supplement (the pink box below). They contain Zinc and a natural source of vitamin C taken from Acerola cherry extract. Zinc and Vitamin C contribute to the normal function of the immune system. The Zinc lozenges deliver the active ingredients to the mucous membranes in the mouth and throat, you dissolve them slowly in the mouth and you can take 3-6 of them a day. They suggest that a high intake of Zinc may be useful for brief periods of 7-10 days if you feel a cold coming on. Zinc can reduce the length and severity of your cold.

pharma nord

The Bio-InfluZinc + C supplement costs around £7.99 for a box of 90 tablets. You don’t have to take them every day, just when you feel you might be coming down with something and also whilst you have your cold. You can chew or suck these lozenges, whichever suits you. They have a mild and pleasant orange flavour and they’re not chalky in texture, so I quite enjoyed taking them. 

About 10 days ago I started to come down with a cold, whenever I get a cold it tends to fairly quickly turn into tonsillitis, something I’m understandably keen to avoid. As soon as I started to feel unwell I started to take the lozenges. I was pleasantly surprised when after three days my sore throat just disappeared and didn’t turn into something nasty. I can’t be absolutely sure that the zinc lozenges helped, but it’s the first time in a couple of years I’ve not ended up on antibiotics. I’ll definitely be keeping a box of the Pharma Nord Bio-InfluZinc + C supplements on hand in future.

Pharma Nord also let me try their Bio-MSM + Silica tablets. These came in a box of 120 tablets and retail for around £12.95. The Bio-MSM + Silica tablets contain MSM (methyl sulphonyl methane) and Silica. MSM is a naturally occurring organic sulphur-containing substance, which is found in grain products, legumes, eggs and red meat. Vegetable Silica, an extract of the herb horsetail grass, is a natural source of the essential trace mineral silicon.

The MSM +Silica tablets are taken to help the formation of bone and collagen in connective tissue and for healthy skin, hair and nails. MSM and silica help maintain the flexibility of joints and arteries. As someone with a bad back and the general aches and pains which come with age, I thought these would be a good supplement to take, plus I’d heard they could be helpful in reducing period pain, something I do suffer with. These tablets are suitable for vegans and vegetarians which is fantastic for me as a lot of supplements with these benefits are not vegetarian.

Pharma Nord

You take two  of the Bio-MSM + Silica tablets each day. They’re a good shape for swallowing and I had no problems taking them. I often find I gag on large tablets but these were not too big for me. You take these with water and I didn’t find they left an aftertaste or anything like that. 

I always find the effects of taking vitamins and supplements very difficult to quantify, they generally take a month or so to take effect. It’s hard for me to say for certain what has changed for me over the last month of taking the tablets. I have a vague feeling that skin and eczema are a little better and that my period pain was less than in the previous month. I suspect I’ll have to take the tablets for a little while to really notice a difference, but I’m feeling positive that small improvements are on the horizon.

Pharma Nord supplements are pharmaceutical grade and their effectiveness has been rigorously tested. I’m cautious about making any claims, but I will continue taking the Bio-MSM + Silica and I’ll see how I get on with them, and I’ll be keeping a box of the Pharma Nord Bio-InfluZinc + C supplements close at hand from now on.

You can see the full range of Pharma Nord supplements on their website.

I was sent these Pharma Nord supplements to try out for review purposes. All images and opinions are my own.