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  • Writer's pictureTom Ellis

Vit D? What’s the big iDea!

Vitamin D has been in the media a lot over the last year and a half with it being widely used as part of treatment plans for Covid-19, but was does it do? Should I being taking it? And at what dose?




Past studies have shown that around 40% of Europeans are vitamin D deficient and 13% are severely deficient (1), so why does this matter? Well vitamin D has a number of important roles in the body; one of these is the regulation of the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body, these nutrients play a vital role in the health of your bones, muscles & teeth, so vitamin D can help prevent bone diseases such as Osteoporosis.

Vitamin D has also been shown to help mood especially during those dark winter months, people who suffer from seasonal affective disorder appear to produce less vitamin D which may affect the activity of serotonin (the feel good hormone). It also plays a role in the maintenance of normal immune function, hence its use against Covid19, a 2010 study suggested that it helped reduce the incidence of Influenza A in schoolchildren(2).


So should you be taking it? Well that depends on a number of factors including age, health & lifestyle. I usually recommend taking it during winter as during this time us sun starved Brits will be absorbing less, during the summer months I tend to take it sporadically depending upon how much time I’m able to spend outdoors soaking up the rays. If you are unsure always speak to a healthcare professional prior to taking any new supplements.

And yes you can obtain vitamin D from some foods such as oily fish and egg yolks but sunshine is our greatest way of absorbing this vitamin. Although sunscreen does reduce your ability to absorb some vitamin D you will still be absorbing so remember to protect yourself out in the sun.


Lets talk dosage, it‘s not only the dose but matters but also the form. There are two forms available to take, D2 and D3, D2 is the cheaper option to make and that’s what you tend to find on the supermarket shelves. In the research Vitamin D3 has been shown to be the superior type, being up to twice as effective as D2, so always try to check that it is indeed vitamin D3 you are taking.

Your dose should really depend on your vitamin D levels in the body, if you are deficient you need a higher dose to bump up the numbers, I tend to recommend between 1,000-4,000iu. But always get some advice from either your GP or healthcare professional, as with anything there can be side effects if you take too much.


Stay healthy,

Tom







  1. Cashman KD et al; Vitamin D deficiency in Europe: pandemic?

  2. Urashima et al. Randomized trial of vitamin D supplementation to prevent seasonal influenza A in schoolchildren.



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