Megan Rogerson, Doctor of Osteopathy, likes nothing more than doing a cross fit workout, possibly fitting in another workout if bored each day. She loves horse riding, and has recently got into a good habit of regularly stretching. This blog is about Vitamin D, a hot topic especially in the news wrt Covid-19.
Due to the fact we live in England and the sun, even in the summer is limited, it makes it somewhat hard for the average Brit to get enough vitamin D. I spoke in my last blog about the benefits of supplements, but I thought I would go a little deeper into vitamin D. The reason being, if you are deficient in vitamin D it can lead to the misdiagnosis of things such as fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome and depression. How severe the symptoms are will depend on how severe the deficiency is, a blood test will be needed in to diagnose a deficiency (you can get this from your doctor) however research has found that at the end of winter 90% of the British population will be vitamin D deficient.
So how can we get vitamin D? Well, you can get it from food sources such as oily fish, dairy products and eggs. Vegan sources are mushrooms, soy milk and almond milk, orange juice and tofu. Your best source of this vitamin is of course sunlight during the summer months, but between October and April the sun is not strong enough for us to get the vitamin so we will need to supplement, which we will talk about that later.
Between the months of April and September it is advised to go outside between 11am-3pm with no sunscreen with at least 25% of your skin on show. Now you’re probably thinking I don’t want to burn! Yes, you’re right it is important you don’t burn. To do this safely, if you know that it takes roughly 30 mins for your skin to turn pink then you only need to be outside unprotected for 15 minutes to get the vitamin D your body needs. This will be different for everyone, if you know it would take a lot less time for your skin to turn pink for example 10 minutes, then only stay out there for 5 minutes before putting some sunscreen on or going in the shade. Sunscreen completely blocks your ability to get vitamin D, so it is important to get some sun exposure without it in a safe way. Your body can make up to 20,000IU of vitamin D a day from the sun.
Due to the fact that 90% of British people will be vitamin D deficient at the end of winter, supplementing is important. People of an ethnicity should actually supplement the whole year round because of the fact their skin has more melanin in, which protects them against the sun, but coversely affects their ability to produce vitamin D. So, it is recommended that the average adult should supplement min 5,000IU a day during the winter months. If you are 3 stone overweight then you should supplement 7,000IU a day and if you are 5 stone overweight then you should supplement 10,000IU a day.
Where do you buy vitamin D from? Well, we sell it in the clinic in liquid form (as it’s easier to digest), you take half a pipet once a day in water. You can also buy from other trusted retail outlets but do be sure to look at the units that the product gives you per day and make sure it is enough. It should also take the form of D3 and ideally have K2 to help absorption.
Vitamin D can be toxic, but research has found that problems have only occurred when people have been supplementing 40,000IU a day for an extended amount of time, so our above recommended doses are completely safe.
On a final note, vitamin D deficiency is linked to pain modulation issues, so anyone who has pain, chronic pain, inflammation, could well do with supplementing with vitamin D.
If you have any questions please post below. We love helping people work towards optimum health.