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  • Writer's picturejulietgoodwin

Vitamin D

I know we’re officially a few days into autumn but it’s thankfully still feeling very summery right now, so get outside in the sun and make that vitamin D!⁣

Vitamin D is actually a hormone rather than a vitamin; it is required to absorb calcium and phosphate from the gut into the bloodstream. It is mostly produced in the skin in response to sunlight & approx 10% from food; dairy, soy, mushrooms, oily fish and fortified foods.

It is not always possible to make enough vitamin D in summer months in the northern hemisphere due to cloud coverage, sunscreen use, high pollution, tall buildings, working/being indoors.⁣

If you get outside between 10am-3pm in the warmer months (and now), you should be able to make a reasonable amount of vitamin D. Have 20 minutes of sun exposure without sunscreen, build up slowly if you are fairer skinned, earlier rather than midday.⁣

A good guide as to whether you will be making vitamin D is if when you stand outside in sunshine, your shadow is shorter than you. Look at the ‘D minder’ website/app to guide you as to how much sun exposure you need calculated from your location.⁣

Cholesterol is needed to convert sunshine to vitamin D3 in our bodies, one of the many benefits of cholesterol, which often gets a bad press.⁣

Taking vitamin D alongside K2 ensures that calcium absorbed is deposited where it needs to be, in bones, as opposed to elsewhere such as arteries.⁣

As mentioned, it is best to test rather than guess, the NHS supplementation recommendation of 10mcg/400IU (from 4yrs up) daily between Oct-March is not always enough from my experience, hence why testing is important to help guide what therapeutic dose is required. ⁣

There are many inexpensive private home kit testing options as well as the NHS, e.g. Thriva, Medichecks, BetterYou (who will also send out the recommended dose of vitamin D) or⁣

Vitamin D supports immunity, reduces respiratory infections, autoimmunity, bones, heart health, mood, depression, hormones, fertility and is anti-inflammatory. In view of this, I always support clients around testing, interpretation and supplementation if indicated.

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