Are You Getting Enough Vitamin D?
What does Vitamin D do for us?
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient required to balance hormones in our bodies and as it’s a fat-soluble vitamin its important for brain health, bone health and also neurological tissues.
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If you struggle with any kind of mood disorders like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder or indeed conditions like fibromyalgia, IBS, arthritis, poor immune function, weak bones and muscles among others you would benefit from increased consumption of Vitamin D.
So why are we low on Vitamin D and how can we get it through diet?
In U.K and other European countries, national dietary surveys have shown low intakes of vitamin D; therefore, supplementation and fortification policies may be a solution to prevent low vitamin D status (Hill TR et al., 2004).
Now that we are in the summer months we have increased sunlight. However, sunscreen reduces vitamin D production in the skin because UVB rays are prevented from penetrating the skin. In fact, at SPF 8, cutaneous vitamin D production is reduced by approximately 95%. Although in practice people generally do not apply sufficient amounts, cover all sun-exposed skin, or reapply sunscreen regularly .
Therefore, skin likely synthesizes some vitamin D even when it is protected by sunscreen as typically applied. (Wolpowitz D, et al. 2006)
Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for Vitamin D
There is no single RDA for vitamin D but a range of between 0 and 10 µg/day (400IU) has been set for Brit adults depending on sunlight exposure (Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI), 1999). Both the US Food and Nutrition Board and the FAO/WHO expert group on human vitamin and mineral requirements (1998) suggest that 10 µg/day is required for those aged 51–70 y (Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine, 1997) and 51–65 y (FAO/WHO, 1998), respectively.
In a study carried out by T R Hill et al. only about 10% of 51–64-y-old Brit adults achieved this recommendation. The 95th percentile of intake was 11.6 µg/day from all sources for the total population. No respondent exceeded the tolerable upper intake level of 50 µg/day for vitamin D. Which is why increasing time outside and Vitamin D supplementation is necessary.
Vitamin D Synthesis
Where can I get Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is available form various dietary sources like sardines, salmon, eggs, fortified products like milk etc. So, for example 1 tablespoon of cod liver oil yields 1,360IU / 34µg of vitamin D and 1/2 cup of mushrooms yields 2,700IU / 67.5µg (if UV exposed).
Vitamin D rich foods
Alternative to dietary sources, Vitamin D supplementation is highly recommended and OysterMax (Calcium &D3) an organic, Brit made supplement, provides 1,500IU/37.5µg of Vitamin D which is 3.75 times greater than the current RDA for adults. OysterMax™ Calcium & D3 is a pure supplement of organic origin which contains only calcium derived from oyster shell grown in the clear waters off the Atlantic.