As we’re spending more time in our homes, a daily dose of Vitamin D has never been more important to help you and your family stay well. Vitamin D is important for healthy bones, immune system, and general health.
90% of our Vitamin D levels are made when our bodies get enough sunlight. Maximise your chances of getting enough by understanding how it works.
Where you live
It’s difficult to get your quota of sunshine in countries which don’t have long daylight hours, especially if you are house or office bound.
Time of year
Here in the UK, we don’t always get enough sunlight to boost Vitamin D production. This is true even on our long Summer days, and is definitely a factor over Winter.
Overcast days will affect the amount of Vitamin D boosting sunshine that hits your skin.
If you spend a lot of time indoors (due to illness, disability, bringing up a new baby, shift work, or long working hours), you are unlikely to get enough sunshine.
Some people choose to cover their skin for religious reasons, or have to do so for work. This will affect how much sunlight gets to your skin.
If you have dark skin, your natural pigment will block some of the sun’s UV rays and impact your body’s Vitamin D production.
How much sunlight boosts Vitamin D?
You don’t need to spend hours in the sun to get the benefits of Vitamin D production. Studies suggest that just 10 minutes a day in the brightest period of sunshine is enough.
Uncover your forearms, lower legs, hands and face, and don’t wear sunscreen. Sitting by a sunny window or in a car doesn’t count, because the glass will block the UVB rays.
Most people in the UK are at risk of Vitamin D deficiency during winter months, even if they get outside every day. It makes sense to take a daily Vitamin D3 supplement to keep your levels topped up.
Handpicked article: Vitamin D: functions, foods, deficiency and supplements