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.
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.
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