Are you gettin your daily-D?
Without question, the sun is our best natural source of vitamin D.
We have some rather nifty skin chemistry that triggers the production of vitamin D when UVB rays from the sun hit it.
Following a blast of sun exposure, even for a short time, the body can generate all of the vitamin D it needs for the day. However, this effect can be blocked if the UVB is blocked by a window since glass will block the UVB part of the suns rays; you have to actually get out into the sun and expose more than just your face and hands!
For a person with fair / light skin just 15 mins is all that is needed. Double this exposure time if your skin is darker.
Remember, sun exposure is healthy... sun burn is dangerous!
Sadly, very few foods contain significant amounts of vitamin D so unless you eat a regular and fair amount of the below a case for supplementation is easily made;
(note: vitamin D amounts can be presented in International Units (IU's) or micrograms (mcg) so, for ease I will list the food amounts in mcg but if you are interested, 1 microgram of vitamin D is equal to 40 IU, so 10 micrograms of vitamin D is equal to 400 IU)
Here are some key vitamin D foods;
Exactly how much vitamin D we all need has been the focus of great controversy over the past few years as the true extent of vitamin D deficiency has become apparent.
Research has also shown that vitamin D is FAR MORE IMPORTANT than we ever knew for overall health. Any health professional trained in the 80's and early 90's will have a very different basic knowledge of the importance of vitamin D than more recent graduates or those that have updated their knowledge and followed the latest trends of knowledge surrounding vitamin D.
We now know that vitamin D is not just 'the bone vitamin' but it plays a key role in immune health which is why you see it in the press at the moment.
As it stands, the UK has opted for a rather conservative range of suggested intake levels;
But remember, these are DAILY intake levels and despite their conservative values can you say you are getting enough sun exposure or eating enough of the foods on a daily basis to even meet these levels.
For a modest £29 you can get your vitamin D levels tested via NHS Birmingham via a finger prick sample (click here for details) sent in the post. Its worth testing your level before hitting higher daily supplement levels than 1000iu / 25mcg.
Vitamin D supplement link