It is important that we take care of our bodies both internally and externally throughout the year. This can be done by eating the right type of food and supplements, to provide the body with all the vitamins it needs to function properly, one of these key vitamins is Vitamin D.
This is even of more importance in the colder months of the year during winter when there is little or no sun, therefore the UK Government advice is that everyone should consider taking a daily vitamin D supplement during the autumn and winter.
Research has also shown that “darker skin requires more sun exposure than the general recommendations for fair skin. If you have fair (white) skin, then sunbathing for 20 minutes or so is adequate. However, at the opposite end of the spectrum very dark African skin can take approximately 3 hours to absorb a similar amount of Vitamin D” (The Living Pharmacy, n.d.)
The NHS advice that “between late March/early April to the end of September, most people can make all the vitamin D they need through sunlight on their skin and from a balanced diet and as such you may choose not to take a vitamin D supplement during these months” NHS.
- Our bodies need Vitamin D for reasons including:
- Good bone development
- Prevention of rickets
- Vitamin D helps regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body.
- They are needed to keep bones, teeth, and muscles healthy
We can get vitamin D from the sun, though this becomes more difficult during the winter months, and in fact, the darker your skin tone is harder this is in the months. However, thankfully we can get some of the dosage from food sources such as:
- oily fish – such as salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel, red meat liver, egg yolks and
- fortified foods – such as some fat spreads and breakfast cereals.
- red meat
- egg yolks
The NHS recommend that “babies from birth to 1 year of age should have a daily supplement containing 8.5 to 10 micrograms of vitamin D throughout the year if they are breastfed or formula-fed and are having less than 500ml (about a pint) of infant formula a day, as infant formula is already fortified with vitamin D.
Children from the age of 1 year and adults should be given a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D throughout the year.
For more information, please contact your GP