Vitamin D: a (sun) shining example of how important vitamins are for your body!
From supporting strong and healthy bones to maintaining your immune system, vitamin D is very important for a huge number of functions in the body. When the darker nights arrive, it becomes all the more important as we usually make our vitamin D using sunshine.
As we get older, our need for Vitamin D increases. This is partly because of health risks associated with ageing. It is also due to our body’s changing ability to produce and absorb vitamins and minerals.
It’s not just us grown-ups that need vitamin D, our little ones could do with some of the sunshine vitamin too! The government recommends of a supplement of at least 10µg of vitamin D for children over the age of 1 and 8.5-10µg for babies under 1 year old. This helps them with everything from growing and maintaining healthy bones, teeth and muscles, to keeping their natural immune system functioning. But how? Choose child-friendly chewy gummies or odour- and flavour-less drops for babies and children to make supplementing their vitamin D a little easier.
Alternatively, search ‘vitamin D’ in our health hub.
You might already know that vitamin D is needed for bone health, and that it’s called ‘the sunshine vitamin’ because your skin makes it in response to sunlight. But you might still be wondering, ‘What does vitamin D do?’ Don’t worry, though, we’re here to give you the low-down on vitamin D!
Vitamin D helps your gut absorb calcium, which is essential for strong bones and teeth. In your blood, vitamin D is needed for the absorption and utilisation of calcium and phosphorus, which work together to maintain bone health. But vitamin D isn’t just about bones – it’s also important for muscle function and immune health.
Yes, if you don’t spend enough time outside with uncovered skin during the summer months you may develop a vitamin D deficiency. From October to early March, the sunshine in the UK doesn’t contain enough UVB radiation for our skin to create vitamin D. This could leave you with low vitamin D levels.
All adults and children over the age of one need 10mcg of vitamin D a day. This includes pregnant and breast-feeding women, too. Babies under one need 8.5mcg of vitamin D a day.
As well as sunlight, vitamin D is found in some foods such as oily fish, eggs, mushrooms, and fortified foods. The government recommends that everyone should consider taking a vitamin D supplement, particularly between October and March. If your body doesn’t absorb enough sunshine – if you have darker skin, don’t get outside much, or cover up your skin, for example – it is advised that you take a vitamin D supplement year-round.
Vitamin D helps the body to absorb calcium which is needed to maintain healthy and strong bones and muscles. If you are not getting enough vitamin D in your diet, you may end up experiencing symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency.
There is no optimum time to take vitamin D, however, taking it with a meal may help enhance absorption into the body and blood stream.
Saying this, it may be best to take vitamin D in the morning, as taking it at night may interfere with sleep. This is because Vitamin D can hinder the production of melatonin in the body, which is a hormone that controls our sleep cycle. However more research is needed into this.
- Vegan Vitamin D Daily Oral Spray: quick, convenient and rapidly absorbed, vitamin D sprays could be the method for you. Vitamin D sprays get absorbed straight into your digestive system for some seriously fast vitamin D action!
- Vitamin D tablets: perhaps the most affordable way to take vitamin D, vitamin D tablets are easy to take and incorporate into your daily routine.
- Vitamin D Drops for kids: it’s very important for children to get enough vitamin D as they are constantly growing and developing. But we know that kids usually struggle to take tablets – so why not try some vitamin D drops for kids? It’s easy to use and specially formulated for children.
- Nature’s Garden Fast Acting Liquid Vitamin D3: orange flavoured liquid vitamin D3 is ideal for those who can’t swallow tablets. Liquid is quickly absorbed by the body and you can alter the amount taken daily to provide you with the specific level of vitamin D you require.
- Holland & Barrett Cod Liver Oil with Evening Primrose 60 Capsules 500mg: pure cod liver oil containing omega-3 & primrose oil is one of the richest natural sources of vitamin A & D.
There are a few ways that you can increase Vitamin D levels such as making sure you spend time outside (especially in the summer months), eating foods that are rich in vitamin D or taking supplements.
If you stick to the recommended daily allowance of vitamin D, most people don’t experience side effects. If you take more vitamin D than is recommended you may experience side effects such as weakness, fatigue, headache, decreased appetite, nausea and vomiting.
There are two main forms of vitamin D. Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) is made by plants and vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is made by our skin when exposed to sunlight. Animal products as well as lichen (which is a vegan-friendly fungus) naturally contain vitamin D3.
We sell a range of supplements including vitamin D3 capsules and vitamin D3 gummies for adults, and vitamin D3 chewy softies and vitamin D3 drops for kids.