Vitamin D: the sunshine vitamin

Hello October!… Time to consider vitamin D supplements for everyone over the age of 1 from now until the end of March. Although it’s sunny in this October picture, the sun zenith angles are now too low in UK for us to synthesise vitamin D through skin exposure to the sun.  Vitamin D is important, as it helps our bodies to absorb calcium, which is vital for strong healthy bones. Unfortunately it’s very difficult to meet vitamin D requirements with diet… you’d need to eat a salmon fillet every day (now I like salmon but I’d soon get bored of it if I was eating it every day!) or you may choose to eat 6 egg yolks a day (again I wouldn’t advise this).

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Have a look at supermarket or high street chemist own brands (looking for vitamin D3 with a daily dose of 10mcg) as these are loads cheaper than the big brand names…your body will absorb the supermarket/chemist own brand just as effectively as the big brand name, and more vitamin D will be absorbed if you have your supplement with your main meal rather than your breakfast. This is because our main meals tend to contain more fat than our breakfast meals.

If you are of Black African, African Caribbean or South Asian descent with dark skin, you may wish to consider supplementing with vitamin D (10mcg/day) all year round, as your skin requires longer sun exposure to synthesis vitamin D.

If you know someone who is elderly, frail and housebound… and therefore not getting much sun exposure, you could suggest that they consider vitamin D supplementation all year round.

Contact me via my website http://www.elaineallertondietitian.com if you’d like your current diet analysed. You’d keep a 3-day food & drink diary, which I’d analyse with the latest computer software. I’d send you a written report, advising you of any possible nutrient deficiencies with suggestions of how to prevent them, or be able to give you piece of mind that you’ve got a balanced diet that’s likely to be meeting all your nutritional requirements.

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