Let the Sunshine In! What you need to know about Vitamin D

Posted in Health on 27th May 2020

Vitamin D is important for the development of healthy bone, muscles and teeth and low levels are linked to illnesses including rickets in children and osteoporosis in adults.

Evidence is also emerging that vitamin D may help reduce the risk of bowel cancer and other cancers and may be linked to a number of other diseases.

With this in mind it is important to make sure your vitamin D level is sufficient for good health.

The sun is our main source of Vitamin D.  To a lesser extent Vitamin D can also be found in certain foods, namely oily fish like sardines, herring, salmon and tuna.  However in Ireland, we do not get enough sunshine for our bodies to synthesise adequate amounts of Vitamin D, making it important to supplement if deficient.

Did you know? You would have to drink 10 tall glasses of Vitamin D fortified milk each day just to get the minimum levels of Vitamin D in the body!

 

Vitamin D is located in almost every tissue in the body, and has an array of important functions;

  • Normal function of the immune system
  • Maintenance of normal bones and teeth
  • Normal absorption and utilisation of calcium and phosphorus
  • Maintenance of normal muscle function
  • Normal blood calcium levels

Because of Irelands northerly latitude, we do not get enough sunlight to enable sufficient Vitamin D production in the body between November and March.  Vitamin D supplementation is especially recommended for certain groups of the population- namely the elderly, those that cover up for religious reasons and people with dark skin.  People who spend most of their day indoors and those who wear a high SPF daily are also at high risk of being deficient.  Chronic vitamin D deficiency takes months of Vitamin D supplementation to rebuild the bodys bones and nervous system.

We recommend everyone to wear a high SPF every day, but a sunscreen factor of 8 or higher can reduce Vitamin D synthesis by up to 95%!

According to the HSE, taking a daily vitamin D supplement is another way to meet your vitamin D needs. They suggest taking a supplement that provides 5 micrograms of vitamin D3 per day. However, it is always a good idea to talk to your doctor before taking a supplement.

We recommend the following groups to take Vitamin D supplementation;

  • Pregnant women
  • Children and adults with dark skin
  • Children and adults who wear fully covering clothes in the summer time
  • People who do not spend time outdoors in the daytime or generally avoid sunlight
  • Nursing home residents
  • People older than 70 years
  • Anyone – regardless of age – who is at increased risk of osteoporosis
  • People who wear an SPF of 8+ daily

Most recently, researchers from Trinity College Dublin published their findings in relation to Vitamin D supplementation and the Covid19 novel corona virus which is sweeping the globe.  It summarised it’s findings to conclude that ‘Vitamin D is a potent immune modifying micronutrient and if vitamin D status is sufficient, it could benefit vulnerable adults in particular those 70+ years and older who are ‘cocooning’ during the Covid-19 outbreak’

https://tilda.tcd.ie/publications/reports/pdf/Report_Covid19VitaminD.pdf

We have a wide range of Vitamin D supplements available.  Nuala, our pharmacist’s, favourite is the Better You D Lux spray.  This convenient, easy to take, mint flavoured spray is used once daily and specially formulated to deliver vitamin D through the soft tissue of the mouth for optimal absorption.

https://glengarriff-pharmacy-beauty-lounge.myshopify.com/products/better-you-dlux-3000-vitamin-d-daily-oral-spray

For those of you who may prefer to take a capsule, Mylan Vitamin D 2000IU is a one tablet per day dosage.  This supplement contributes for normal bones, normal function of the immune system  and maintenace of normal muscle function.

https://glengarriff-pharmacy-beauty-lounge.myshopify.com/products/mylan-vitamin-d-2000iu-60-caps

Thank you for reading!

Stay well and stay safe,

Nuala

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