What is Vitamin D?
Interested in Vitamin D benefits and how they work?
Vitamin D is a mineral that has numerous benefits which are becoming more well known. The involvement in many of the body’s vital processes is now being recognised.
Vitamin D, sometimes known as ‘The Sunshine Vitamin’ is produced naturally in the skin when it is exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D is also found in small amounts of animal foods, such as egg yolks and fatty fish. Further to this, vitamin D encourages calcium absorption and maintains adequate serum calcium and phosphate concentrations to maintain healthy bones, teeth, muscle and support the immune system.
Vitamin D Benefits & Do They work?
Although classified as a vitamin, D cleverly transforms into a hormone in the body and circulates in the bloodstream to help in the absorption of calcium and phosphorous. This is perhaps one of the most vital functions that Vitamin D performs. We know that calcium builds and strengthens teeth and bone mass and is vital for bone development and growth.
In addition, Calcium plays a role in the production of hormones in the body by transmitting nerve impulses to the brain. Almost 99% of your Vitamin D supply is used for regulating the calcium in the body. The remaining part is utilised for strengthening the immune system and maintaining muscle strength.
Where does Vitamin D Come From?
Vitamin D comes from three major sources: the Sun, foods such as oily fish, egg yolks and cheese, and supplements.
Why is Vitamin D Better Than Vitamin D2?Vitamin D comes in two forms, Vitamin D2 – ergocalciferol, and Vitamin D3 – cholecalciferol. D3 is the preferred form of Vitamin D, as found in SunVit-D3 supplements. It is the specific form made in the human body, our skin produces Vitamin D3 naturally when exposed to sunlight. What’s the bottom line? The consensus is that D is two to three times as potent in raising the level of 25-hydroxycholecalciferol (that’s the chemical name for Vitamin D3). The main difference between them is where they come from and how they are made. Vitamin D2 is produced by plants, whereas Vitamin D is most commonly found in humans and animals. It’s the biologically active version of the vitamin, produced in our skin when exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D2 is cheaper to produce, so when you see certain foods fortified with vitamin D, such as cereals or orange juice. it’s almost always done so with vitamin D2. However, it’s considered a lower quality source of vitamin D. Although you need both types, Vitamin D is considered as a higher quality source of vitamin D and more important to our wellbeing.
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Is Vitamin D Vegan?
So, because Vitamin D is almost always found in animal products. It can be difficult for vegans to ensure they maintain adequate levels in their diets. It is important to be aware that some types of vitamin D are not vegan-friendly. As a result, almost all Vitamin D supplements are made from cholecalciferol derived from lanolin, which is extracted from sheep’s wool.
If you’re one of the half a million vegans in the UK, a figure which is growing, you’ll be pleased to know that we have developed a range of SunVit-D3 Vegan Vitamin D products that use plant-based cholecalciferol which has been approved Vegan by the Vegetarian Society UK. Learn more about Vitamin D & Vegan Health.
What is a Healthy Level of Vitamin D?
The UK Department of Health recommends a daily supplement containing 400IU (or 10 micrograms) for adults and children over the age of one. This is outlined in the NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) guidance. This is particularly the case during autumn and winter.
For children: the UK Department of Health advises that babies up to the age of one year need 8.5-10µg of vitamin D a day. From one year of age, this goes up to 10µg a day for children. If you work inside or are one of the many office workers in the UK, it can be tricky to maintain a healthy level of Vitamin D. Learn how you can top up Vitamin D3 levels if you work indoors.
The UK Department of Health says it has issued Vitamin D recommendations “to ensure that the majority of the UK population has satisfactory Vitamin D blood levels throughout the year. For example, to protect musculoskeletal health”.
Further to this, those who may have a higher risk of Vitamin D deficiency are being advised to take a supplement all year round. The advice is based on recommendations from the government’s Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN), following its review of the evidence on vitamin D and health.
The new recommended levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D can be achieved with the administration of daily doses of Vitamin D. Usually substantially higher than those found in common multivitamins and calcium supplements.
Do I Still Need to Take Vitamin D in Summer?From about late April to end of September, most people should be able to get Vitamin D from sunlight. That’s of course if you are able to spend enough time outdoors. Although it’s impossible to give advice on how long to be out or the amount Vitamin D you get. Learn how to help boost your Vitamin D intake in summer. Why not try SunVit-D3 Vitamin D3 convenient supplements? It’s a cost-effective way to give you the peace of mind to ensure you’re staying healthy throughout the year.