We know more and more about the importance of vitamin D now and it’s role within the body. It has so many important functions, we are learning more all the time. Most critically it modulates our immune system by regulating cells called T-helper cells (stopping the immune system going into overdrive).
Vitamin D is also essential for calcium absorption leading to stronger bones and teeth, and also benefits gut health by supporting the small intestine cells. Did you know 70% of Europeans are low in Vitamin D as we don’t get much sun this far north of the equator?
The Sunshine vitamin – Vitamin D
We can make Vitamin D in our skin although our stores rapidly decline through the winter. Even a lovely sunny day in October which might feel warm allow you to make any vitamin D.
We need 15-20 minutes a day between 12-2 when the sun is directly overhead. So even if you spend lots of time outside during October-March your body won’t be making any Vitamin D.
Vitamin D from your diet
You can add salmon and oily fish to your diet, but it’s hard to get enough from food. Only around 10% of our daily intake can come from food, which means the rest is required from consistent sunlight or via supplementation.
Do we need to supplement vitamin D?
You may want to consider taking a vitamin D supplement over the winter. vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin so taking it with food will help absorption. There are two types of Vitamin D in supplements, D2 (ergocalciferol) and D3 (cholecalciferol).
There is more evidence that D3 can raise your vitamin D levels, and seems to work better in supplements in people.
Most food fortified with Vitamin D is in the form of D2 because it’s cheaper to produce, so look for D3 when choosing a supplement.
If you’d like support with knowing which specific foods or supplements might help you please get in touch to see how I can support you staying healthy and well.