Spring has arrived, bringing with it long-forgotten sunshine and warmer weather. As well as brightening our moods, these longer days usually offer the perfect opportunity to maintain our Vitamin D status, which the body produces on the exposure of skin to sunlight. However, the current stay at home advice in the UK means that many of us are spending most of our days inside, which could lead to a lack of Vitamin D. Public Health England are now recommending that, during this period, everyone should consider taking a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of Vitamin D*.
Why is Vitamin D Important?
Vitamin D is involved in a wide array of functions in the body, more so than any other vitamin. Originally understood for its importance in supporting bone health, there is now extensive global research showing that Vitamin D extends well beyond this. Vitamin D has also been shown to support normal muscle function, normal blood Calcium levels and the absorption and utilisation of Calcium and Phosphorus, as well as the process of cell division. Whilst Vitamin C and Zinc are commonly understood to support the normal functioning of the immune system, fewer people know of the important role Vitamin D plays in this.
How To Maintain Levels?
There are three ways you can get Vitamin D: exposure of the skin to sunlight, food (it being present in small amounts in foods such as mushrooms, eggs and fatty fish) and Vitamin D supplements.
Vitamin D From Sun Exposure
The body naturally produces Vitamin D when directly exposed to sunlight containing UVB radiation, which is how most people keep their Vitamin D status topped up in the spring and summer months. Since UVB radiation does not penetrate through glass, it is important for everyone to have exposure to sunlight outdoors.
For most people the current stay at home advice will mean being indoors for much of the day, which could result in not getting enough Vitamin D from exposure to sunlight. Where possible, it’s important to take advantage of sunny days by getting out in the garden and for regular exercise when we can. The best way to do this is by exposing the forearms, hands or lower legs to the sun, without sunscreen, for a short time between 11am and 3pm. This will help keep Vitamin D status topped up. If you don’t have access to your own outside space, going out once a day for a walk or run, or some other form of regular exercise is particularly important.
Vitamin D From Food
Vitamin D can be found in many different food and drink groups, albeit in relatively modest amounts. These include fish, such as salmon and sardines, fish liver oils, egg yolks, butter and mushrooms. Certain foods and drinks have been fortified with added Vitamin D, such as milk (cow’s milk, almond milk and soy milk), fortified fruit juices and some fortified cereals. That said, it’s unlikely you will be able to get enough Vitamin D from diet alone, as the levels found in food are generally quite small and many people are not consuming large amounts of such foods.
Vitamin D Supplements
Vitamin D supplements come in a variety of different forms including tablets, liquids and drops so they are suitable for all age groups. During these times, where the majority of people are spending most of their time indoors, taking a Vitamin D supplement can be a convenient way to safeguard your intake. Public Health England, whose aim is to "to protect and improve the nation’s health", have recently updated their advice to recommend everyone should consider taking a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of Vitamin D during this period*.
Ultra Vitamin D, the UK’s number one Vitamin D brand, is a premium-quality supplement, produced to GMP quality control. It contains Vitamin D3, the preferred form of Vitamin D, naturally produced by the body on exposure to sunlight.
As Vitamin D is such a key nutrient for the body, it is important to ensure you are getting a sufficient intake. Exposure to sunlight is typically the best way to top up your Vitamin D levels during the spring and summer months but, in the current circumstances, this is not always possible. Where you can, try to get outside and expose your skin to the sun for around 15 minutes a day. A Vitamin D supplement can give you a convenient way to safeguard your Vitamin D intake, if you feel you are not getting enough direct exposure to sunlight. Browse our range of Vitamin D supplements to find the right ones for you and your family.