Why Vitamin D?

What is vitamin D? What is vitamin D good for? Vitamin D has long been known for supporting normal bone development and muscle strength, and for helping to promote overall bone health. The most conclusive information about the benefits of vitamin D  and normal vitamin D levels comes from evidence in bone and teeth development. Vitamin D helps the body use calcium and phosphorus to build and maintain strong bones and teeth. It helps our bodies absorb calcium and phosphorus from the food that we eat. So vitamin D works hand in hand with other nutrients to help promote bone health, and is essential for calcium uptake.

Vitamin D is important in supporting a healthy skeletal system by allowing the absorption of calcium and phosphorous, and therefore:

  • Helping children to develop strong bones.
  • Helping to contribute to bone health in adulthood.
  • Helping to build strong teeth, especially the enamel, which is actually the hardest substance in the body.
  • Muscles contain vitamin D receptors. Muscle strength and function have been linked to vitamin D. [i] 

What about vitamin D in other areas?

Research suggests that there could be an association of vitamin D with other functions in the body. There are many different types of tissues in the body that contain vitamin D receptors (VDRs) and would therefore have the ability to respond to circulating vitamin D in the body[ii]. There are different opinions about the importance of vitamin D as research continues to look at the extra-skeletal functions of vitamin D. More evidence is needed to say definitively what role vitamin D plays throughout the body and what other vitamin D benefits are. Studies continue to look at relationships with vitamin D and immune regulation, promotion of cell differentiation, and regulating cell growth. Areas of active vitamin D research include pregnancy, cardiovascular and brain function..

We bet you didn’t know…

It would take 40 eggs or 10 glasses of milk a day to receive 1000 IU of vitamins.. SPF 8 has been reported to reduce production of vitamin D by 95%..

Why take a vitamin D supplement?

Supplemental vitamin D is a nutrient needed by those who do not get enough vitamin D either through exposure to ultraviolet light, or in their daily food intake.

In nature, there are very few dietary sources of vitamin D. Many of the common dietary sources of vitamin D contain very small amounts of vitamin D.

During summer, may people are advised to to avoid direct sun exposure because of the risk of skin cancer. Using sunscreen blocks skin from producing vitamin D.

In the UK during winter months (November to March), human skin is not able to make vitamin D from winter sunlight as the sunlight hasn't got enough ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation. During the winter, people living in northern latitudes, need to get vitamin D from the body's own vitamin stores and other sources such as food or supplements. Vitamin D supplements are safe to use and equally as effective as the sun in maintaining healthy levels of vitamin D.

Ddrops® are a great option for those looking to take a vitamin D supplement in just one drop.

A food supplement is not a substitute for a varied and healthy diet. Do not exceed the stated dose. 

Do you need a vitamin D supplement?

Are you wondering if you and your family are getting enough vitamin D? The best advice always comes from your healthcare practitioner. This quiz is a good step to shed some light on the need for vitamin D.

Do you live north of the line connecting Lisbon to Athens?

Do you rarely get outside daily between 10 am -2 pm for a 15-minute (or more) walk in the sun?

Do you usually use sunscreen to protect your skin when you are outside on a sunny day?

Do you have dark or pigmented skin?

Do you spend over 4 hours daily inside in front of a computer, and/or watching TV?

Do you rarely eat oily fish (swordfish, salmon, tuna, sardines)?

Do you drink less than 2 glasses of vitamin D fortified milk daily or dairy products (yogurt)?

If you answered YES to many of these questions, you might consider speaking with your healthcare professional about your need for vitamin D.

[i] Muir, S., Montero-Odassa, M. Effect of Vitamin D Supplementation on Muscle Strength, Gait and Balance in Older Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. J Am Geriatr Soc 2011.

[ii] Boullion R., Okamura, WH, Norman AW. Structure-function relationship in the vitamin D endocrine system. Endocr rev 1995;16:200-57.

[iii] Matsouka LY, Ide L, Wortsman, J, MacLaughlin JA, Holick MF. Sunscreens suppress cutaneous vitamin D3 synthesis. J Clin Endicrinol Metab 1987;64:1165-8

[iv] American Academy of Dermatology, Position Statement on Vitamin D. 2010.