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Should I supplement Vitamin D during the winter?

The short answer is yes, probably. Many people know we get less Vitamin D in winter and therefore may need to supplement. But who needs to supplement? How much? When should you take the supplement and how long for? Keep reading on and I will aim to answer these questions and clear up any confusion about Vitamin D

What is Vitamin D and why do we need it?

Vitamin D or calciferol is a vitamin that is naturally present in some food, but we mostly produce it ourselves when UV rays from the sun hit the surface of our skin and trigger Vitamin D production. Vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption, we need it to help build and maintain our bones. Studies have also shown that vitamin D may help control infections, reduce inflammation and maintain healthy heart function.

How do I know if I need to supplement?

Some people will have a higher need for vitamin D supplementation as they will be more susceptible to deficiency. Examples include those suffering with inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease as these disrupt the normal digestion of fat and vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin.

However it is estimated that 1 in 6 adults in the UK are Vitamin D deficient regardless. Almost everyone in less sunny climates like the UK can benefit from supplementation over the winter months.

When should I start supplementing and how much?

From around October to early March is when there is not enough sunlight to produce our own vitamin D. This is the window in which we should supplement. The NHS recommends the general public should consider taking a daily supplement of vitamin D during the autumn and winter. Everyone's vitamin D requirements will be unique to them. The National Institute of Health states that a daily Vitamin D intake of 600 international units (IU), or 15 micrograms (mcg) should be enough to prevent deficiency in adults aged 19 and over. Some nutritionists may recommend higher doses than this so it is best to speak to a professional and they will recommend a dose specific to your needs. You should never take more than 4000 IU (100mcg) a day as this is the tolerable upper limit for Vitamin D intake.

What brands should I take?

Knowing which Vitamin D to take can be a bit of minefield so here are some reliable brands that are a good option for your supplementation this winter:

  • Epigenar Vitamin D3 & K2

  • BioCare Vitamin D3 1000iu

  • Lamberts Vitamin D3 100iu

**please consult a healthcare professional before taking any supplements**


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