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About 25 percent of Brits are Vitamin D deficient normally, and the lockdown puts us more at risk of being deficient in Vitamin D. Sunlight is the main source of Vitamin D, and it is only found in a small number of foods. An easy way to get enough Vitamin D is by taking supplements. What strength Vitamin D should I take?
Vitamin D deficiency is extremely common in the UK at the moment.
The clocks have gone back and the days are getting darker, so it’s important to get enough sunlight and take our vitamins.
Vitamin D is essential in our fight against coronavirus, with experts claiming that the vitamin is one of the best defences we have.
A third of Brits don’t associate Vitamin D with immunity and don’t think that increasing their intake would help their immune system to function properly, but that isn’t the case.
READ MORE- Vitamin D deficiency may be causing your back pain – how to top it up
Why is Vitamin D important?
Vitamin D is produced by the body when you receive direct sunlight on your skin.
A lack of vitamin D means you are deficient in calcium and phosphate.
These nutrients are needed to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy.
A lack of vitamin D can lead to bone deformities such as rickets in children, and bone pain caused by a condition called osteomalacia in adults.
Vitamin D is also thought to boost your immune system.
While there isn’t enough evidence to support taking Vitamin D to prevent coronavirus, it’s worth a shot.
Dr Zoe Williams, who is working with functional food company MOJU said: “Vitamin D is important for the regulation of the immune system, and, more specifically, studies have found that vitamin D deficiency is associated with an increased risk of both respiratory viral infections and inflammatory conditions.
“With a quarter of the UK deficient in the vitamin, it’s vital that people are aware of this link in order to best equip themselves to fight these illnesses”.
Vitamin D deficiency: Three foods to help prevent the condition [INFORMER]
Coronavirus: Researchers discover COVID-19 patients lack vitamin D [INSIGHT]
Covid and vitamin D: What is vitamin D and how does it impact covid? [EXPLAINER]
If you don’t go outside for exercise during lockdown or you are frail or housebound, you could be Vitamin D deficient.
If you are in an institution like a care home or wear clothes that cover most of your skin, you could also be deficient.
Those with darker skin tones are also more at risk of being Vitamin D deficient.
This is because the melanin in dark skin blocks the absorption of the sun’s UVB rays.
How to get enough Vitamin D
Between October and early March, we don’t get enough Vitamin D from the sunlight.
This is even more of a problem during the pandemic, because most of us are avoiding stepping outside.
You can top up on Vitamin D by eating specific foods, including oily fish such as salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel, as well as red meat.
Liver, egg yolks, and fortified foods such as some fat spreads and breakfast cereals are also good sources of Vitamin D.
What strength Vitamin D should I take?
You could take Vitamin D dietary supplements to make sure you get enough of the vitamin.
Adults are advised to take a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of Vitamin D all year round.
This will be enough for most people, and taking any more could be dangerous.
If you take too many Vitamin D supplements over a long period of time, calcium could build up in the body and cause hypercalcaemia.
This can weaken the bones and damage the kidneys and the heart.
Never take more than 100 micrograms of vitamin D a day if you are 11 or older.
Children between one to 10 shouldn’t have more than 50 micrograms a day, and infants under 12 months should not have more than 24 micrograms a day.
Chat to your GP if in doubt, because some people may need to take more or less.
You can’t overdose on Vitamin D through sunlight, but remember to protect your skin.
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