Vitamins & Minerals

Vitamin D – For Every Body!

Have you been taking your vitamin D during lockdown?  Maybe you always have, or maybe you’ve been advised to by a healthcare practitioner. Maybe, like many over the past three months, you’ve started taking Vitamin D for the first time.  Here are a few things about vitamin D that you might find fascinating…

  1. It’s stored in the liver.  Being a fat soluble nutrient, vitamin D is stored in the liver for times when the body needs it. Levels can go up, or down and stored can be replenished or diminished. It’s constantly changing. Cod’s store it in their livers too – which is why cod liver oil is a source of vitamin D.
  2. The amount of vitamin D that you have in your body is largely determined in two ways;
    • From production in your skin, from the action of sunlight starting a brilliant vitamin D-making biochemical process
    • From release of vitamin D from foods that we get in our diets (which requires good digestion and absorption).
  3. There are different forms of vitamin D, including vegetarian and vegan. Make sure you ask in store if you’re unsure about which to choose.
  4. Check what level is right for you. The government health advice to supplement with 10 micrograms daily is well within the level that’s regarded as safe for supplementation, but it would be wise for you to check with a practitioner to see what level is most appropriate for you; for your diet, your lifestyle and any medications that you are taking.
  5. Researchers are looking at how vitamin D deficiency influences immune function, as studies have shown that elimination of severe vitamin D deficiency has been found to reduce the levels of an inflammatory marker called CPR.
  6. Many parents still don’t know about how to supplement their children aged 0-2years, so says research reported in BMC public Health (2019). Researchers found that “One in four toddlers are not achieving the recommended intake for their healthy development” and that “Parents were generally not aware of the importance of vitamin D, dietary requirements including supplementation and the availability of vitamin D fortified foods”. The Department of Health and Social Care recommends that:
    • Breastfed and babies from birth to 1: supplement with 8.5 to 10microgrammes daily
    • Formula-fed babies: Supplement when they are having less than 500m; vitamin D fortified formula daily.
    • Children aged 1 to 4: Supplement with 10micrograms daily.
  7. Know anyone who is elderly?  They should take special care to keep their vitamin D levels up. Not only do many older people spend longer indoors, they are often at a higher risk of fracture too – and vitamin D is essential to maintain healthy, strong bones and muscles.

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