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Vitamin D – The Sunshine Vitamin

on November 2, 2011

Vitamin D has been at the forefront of all vitamin supplement research of late due to its ever-growing interest in the ‘Sunshine Vitamin’.

Vitamin  D3 is made in the body from sun exposure, hence the name the sunshine vitamin. Vitamin D has a multitude of health benefits to the body including:

  • Calcium Absorption
  • Preventing Rickets
  • Strong Bones & Teeth
  • Muscle Strength
  • Immunity
  • Heart Health
  • Neurophysiological functioning
  • Cancer protective properties
… to name a few!
New Research, revealed almost daily, is constantly adding to the list of benefits associated with Vitamin D hence the overwhelming increase in the number of Vitamin D supplements purchased and also Kelloggs now deciding to fortify their cereals with Vitamin D. Kelloggs’ cereals already contain a complex of B Vitamins and are set to expand on this in light of all the new research.
Within the EU the RDA for Vitamin D is 5ug (or 200 IU) however many choose to take a supplement with 25ug (1000IU). Supplementing with 25ug of Vitamin D or less per day is not thought to cause any harm.
The UK Department of Health recommends that the following people take daily Vitamin D supplements:
  • Those who are not exposed to sun due to people who cover up their skin for cultural reasons or those who are housebound or confined indoors for long periods
  • people who are dark skinned such as those of South Asians, African,Caribbean origin,
  • Over 65’s
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women
  • Children aged six months to five years old
When choosing a multivitamin ensure it contains at least 5ug or more of Vitamin D per daily dose, if choosing a stand alone Vitamin D supplement take maximum 25ug (1000 IU) per daily dose.
When obtaining Vitamin D from the sun, this is often hindered with the use of sunscreen or through a window or on a cloudy day. Therefore we may not be getting as much Vitamin D as we intend do. However we do strongly recommend that you use sunscreen when out in the sun.

Escott-Stump S, ed. Nutrition and Diagnosis-Related Care. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins; 2008.

Sarubin Fragaakis A, Thomson C. The Health Professional’s Guide to Popular Dietary Supplements. 3rd ed. Chicago, IL: American Dietetic Association; 2007.

Institute of Medicine, Food and Nutrition Board. Dietary Reference Intakes: Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Vitamin D, and Fluoride. National Academy Press, Washington, DC, 2010.