As your probably know Vitamin D plays an important role in calcium absorption and with insufficient Vitamin D bones can become weak, brittle or even misshapen. Vitamin D can also protect against osteoporosis in older adults. Vitamin D performs lots of other functions including reducing inflammation and strengthening the immune system.
Despite its importance there are many lies spun about Vitamin D, we look at some of the most common below.
I Have a Great Diet I So I Get Plenty of Vitamin D
We hear this a lot.
“I don’t need supplements I have a great balanced diet.”
Their great balanced diet is often not as nutritious as they believe but that is a story for another post.
Let’s assume they do have a great diet. Does that mean they are getting enough Vitamin D?
Nope. Almost certainly not.
The best sources of Vitamin D in food comes from the flesh of fatty fish such as salmon and tuna. To get 5,000 IU from Tuna you would have to eat over 19 ounces of it per day. Compare that to one Nu U Nutrition Vitamin D softgel providing 10,000IU’s.
Food is so lacking in Vitamin D in the US they fortify almost all milk with Vitamin D, and that is a country with significantly more sunshine than the UK!
So it is highly unlikely anybody is getting enough vitamin D through their food.
My Body Produces Vitamin D On Its Own
This is true… almost.
If your bare skin is exposed to the sun and UVB rays specifically it does produce Vitamin D.
How much vitamin D your body produces depends on how much skin was exposed, the duration, your skin type, cloud cover, air pollution, sunscreen (always use sunscreen people!) and where in the world you live. If, like me, you live in the UK just from that list you can see it’s not looking too good for us!
And remember too much sun exposure, especially if you are not protected with sunscreen, can cause skin cancer. Unfortunately my wife has succumbed to skin cancer as has her Mother who sadly died from it, so I’m particularly evangelical about sunscreen. The irony is Vitamin D protects you from skin cancer, but to get vitamin d (other than from supplements) you need to expose yourself to the sun… which causes skin cancer.
A classic catch 22.
More bad news if you are over 40 like me, the older you get the more difficulty your body has in producing Vitamin D.
If you don’t work outside it’s a pretty good bet that you will be vitamin D deficient for at least some of the year, if not all of the year.
I Drive for Work So Get Sunlight Through The Car Window
Due to my obsessed with nutrition I was preaching the importance of Vitamin D to my auntie. She promptly told me she was fine because she drove a lot as a care worker so she got plenty of sun through the car window.
Unfortunately, it’s not the first time I’ve heard this.
Glass does let through some sun rays, the wrong one’s!
Glass filters out the UVB rays which help your body produce Vitamin D. But, and it’s a huge but, glass does not filter out UVA rays, these are the rays that cause skin cancer (my hobby horse again). And guess what counteracts (to a certain extent) cancer causing UVA rays, yes you guessed it UVB rays.
So sun through your car window doesn’t help you produce more Vitamin D and without protection can leave you more susceptible to deadly melanomas.
So What’s the Solution?
As always the Nu U Nutrition team advocates a healthy balanced but realistic diet. That should include oily fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel, the benefits of these foods go way beyond Vitamin D.
However if you work indoors you probably need Vitamin D supplementation at some point in the year, if not all year around.
What we always suggest is going to see your doctor regularly, and we would suggest every 3 months you get your Vitamin D levels checked. This is important as it will show if you are deficient like an estimated 10 million people in the UK, or just as importantly you have too much Vitamin D.
The Nu U Nutrition Vitamin D is 10,000IU in strength and has 365 softgels so you have a minimum of 1 years supply. Personally I take one every week day in the winter and one every other day in the summer.
But whatever you do, take action after reading this editorial and go and get your Vitamin D levels checked.