Focus on Vitamin D

An appropriate intake of Vitamin D could potentially cut your risk of many illnesses.

Here we give you the lowdown.

What is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is required for healthy bones, cell growth, nerve, muscle and immune system function. Most of our vitamin D comes from a reaction caused by UVB sunlight on our skin – with the sun in the UK sufficiently intense to enable our bodies to get enough vitamin D with 15 minutes of exposure on our bare arms, without sunscreen. We then store this in our bodies in winter.

You can also get vitamin D from food sources including oily fish and eggs, as well as from supplements.

How can Vitamin D help me?
There is evidence to suggest that sun exposure is linked to a lower risk of developing multiple sclerosis, as well as high doses actually being used to treat the illness. Another study from the US suggest those with low vitamin D levels were 40% more likely to suffer with respiratory infections, whereas it could also potentially double men’s risk of heart problems.

How much do I need?
There’s no official recommendation but those who are pregnant or breast-feeding, people over 65, and those who cover up their skin for religious or cultural reasons are advised to take daily supplements.

As ever, it’s wise to always pay attention to the specific guidelines supplied by the manufacturer.

How should I take it?
One of the most effective forms is to take it in multivitamin form.