What is vitamin D?
Vitamin D is a supplement that has numerous benefits which are becoming more well known. The involvement in many of the body’s vital processes is now being recognised.
What is Vitamin D3 & What Does it Do?
Vitamin D3, sometimes known as the ‘sunshine vitamin’ is produced naturally in the skin when it is exposed to sunlight. You can also get it through certain foods. Although classified as a vitamin, D3 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 D3 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.
Take a look at our video below to learn more about Vitamin D!
Where does Vitamin D3 Come From?
Vitamin D comes from three major sources: The Sun, “Certain foods such as oily fish, egg yolks and cheese, supplements are also a great alternative”
Why is Vitamin D3 Better Than Vitamin D2?
Vitamin D comes in two forms, Vitamin D2 – ergocalciferol, and Vitamin D3 – cholecalciferol. Some controversy has arisen whether Vitamin D2 is as active as Vitamin D3 when it’s ingested.
What’s the bottom line?
The consensus is that D3 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 D3 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 also 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 D3 is considered as a higher quality source of vitamin D and more important to our wellbeing.
Is Vitamin D3 Vegan?
So, because Vitamin D3 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. Almost all Vitamin D3 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 SunVit-D3 has developed a range of vegan 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 D3?
The recommended daily maintenance dosage is 400IU daily (or 10mcg) as outlined in the NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) guidance. For children: the NHS 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 D3. Learn how you can top up Vitamin D3 levels if you work indoors.
How Much Vitamin D3 Should I Take in a Day?
Dosage guidelines and advice from Public Health England (PHE), says that adults and children over the age of one should have 10 micrograms (µg) of Vitamin D every day. This is particularly the case during autumn and winter.
The government says it has issued new Vitamin D recommendations “to ensure that the majority of the UK population has satisfactory Vitamin D blood levels throughout the year, in order to protect musculoskeletal health”.
Those people 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 D3 that are 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/early May to late September, most people should be able to get Vitamin D from sunlight. That’s of course if you are able to spend 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’s convenient supplements? It’s a cost-effective way to give you the peace of mind to ensure you’re staying healthy throughout the year.
Am I Getting Enough Vitamin D?
Everybody is different and individual vitamin D levels can vary depending on the time of year, your job (i.e. how much daytime you spend indoors), your clothing and even your skin type.
If you’re unsure about your levels of vitamin D, there’s a simple blood test you can take at home. Simply follow the instructions included in the blood test kit, and the level of vitamin D in your sample will be analysed by an independent EU labs.