Vitamin D: a (sun) shining example of how important vitamins are for your body!
From supporting strong and healthy bones to maintaining your immune system, vitamin D is very important for a huge number of functions in the body. When the darker nights arrive, it becomes all the more important as we usually make our vitamin D using sunshine.
Make sure you keep your vitamin D levels topped up with Holland & Barrett Vitamin D Supplements. Whether you prefer to take Vitamin D Tablets, Vitamin D Chewy Gummies, or use a Vitamin D Spray– we have you covered!
What is vitamin D?
You might already know that vitamin D is needed for bone health, and that it’s called ‘the sunshine vitamin’ because your skin makes it in response to sunlight. But you might still be wondering, ‘What does vitamin D do?’ Don’t worry, though, we’re here to give you the low-down on vitamin D!
Why is vitamin D important?
Vitamin D helps your gut absorb calcium, which is essential for strong bones and teeth. In your blood, vitamin D is needed for the absorption and utilisation of calcium and phosphorus, which work together to maintain bone health. But vitamin D isn’t just about bones – it’s also important for muscle function and immune health.
Am I at risk of vitamin D deficiency?
Yes, if you don’t spend enough time outside with uncovered skin during the summer months you may develop a vitamin D deficiency. From October to early March, the sunshine in the UK doesn’t contain enough UVB radiation for our skin to create vitamin D. This could leave you with low vitamin D levels.
How much vitamin D do I need?
All adults and children over the age of one need 10mcg of vitamin D a day. This includes pregnant and breast-feeding women, too. Babies under one need 8.5mcg of vitamin D a day.
Where can I get vitamin D from?
As well as sunlight, vitamin D is found in some foods such as oily fish, eggs, mushrooms, and fortified foods. The government recommends that everyone should consider taking a vitamin D supplement, particularly between October and March. If your body doesn’t absorb enough sunshine – if you have darker skin, don’t get outside much, or cover up your skin, for example – it is advised that you take a vitamin D supplement year-round.
What happens when your vitamin D is low?
Vitamin D helps the body to absorb calcium which is needed to maintain healthy and strong bones and muscles. If you are not getting enough vitamin D in your diet, you may end up experiencing symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency.
Vitamin D for babies and children
It’s not just us grown-ups that need vitamin D, our little ones could do with some of the sunshine vitamin too! The government recommends of a supplement of at least 10µg of vitamin D for children over the age of 1 and 8.5-10µg for babies under 1 year old. This helps them with everything from growing and maintaining healthy bones, teeth and muscles, to keeping their natural immune system functioning. But how? Choose child-friendly chewy gummies or odour- and flavour-less drops for babies and children to make supplementing their vitamin D a little easier.
How can I increase my Vitamin D levels?
There are a few ways that you can increase Vitamin D levels such as making sure you spend time outside (especially in the summer months), eating foods that are rich in vitamin D or taking supplements.
What are the side effects of taking vitamin D?
If you stick to the recommended daily allowance of vitamin D, most people don’t experience side effects. If you take more vitamin D than is recommended you may experience side effects such as weakness, fatigue, headache, decreased appetite, nausea and vomiting.
Should I take vitamin D in the morning or night?
There is no optimum time to take vitamin D, however, taking it with a meal may help enhance absorption into the body and blood stream.
Saying this, it may be best to take vitamin D in the morning, as taking it at night may interfere with sleep. This is because Vitamin D can hinder the production of melatonin in the body, which is a hormone that controls our sleep cycle. However more research is needed into this.
How many types of vitamin D are there?
There are two main forms of vitamin D. Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) is made by plants and vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is made by our skin when exposed to sunlight. Animal products as well as lichen (which is a vegan-friendly fungus) naturally contain vitamin D3.
What vitamin D supplements do Holland & Barrett sell?
Here at Holland & Barrett, we offer a wide range of vitamin D products so everybody can find a method that suits them. Choose from:
Articles about vitamin D
If you want to read more about vitamin D, we have a wealth of articles on our health hub such as what the difference is between vitamin D2 and vitamin D3, why vitamin D is important, which type of vitamin D is best for you, how much vitamin D you need, if you're getting enough vitamin D and how to identify vitamin D deficiency.
Alternatively, search ‘vitamin D’ in our health hub.