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vitamin D

With the sun out and it being around a year since I arrived back home from Australia, I thought I'd share some evidence-based facts on Vitamin D.

Alternative names for Vitamin D

Calcitriol (1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D)

Ergocalciferol (vitamin D2)

Cholecalciferol (vitamin D3)

Calcidiol (25-hydroxyvitamin D)

What is Vitamin D?

Contrary to its name, Vitamin D is a pro-hormone synthesised by our skin on exposure to sunlight or we can consume it in our diet. It is essential for health.

(Feldman et al., 2014)

Vitamin D and Bone Health

Vitamin D is essential for muscle and bone health.

(Hossein-nezhad and Holick., 2013)

Vitamin D supports the absorption of dietary calcium, and both play an important role in increasing bone mineral density, reducing fracture risk, improving overall bone health and supporting muscle functioning.

(Peters and Martini., 2010)

Vitamin D and Prevention of Disease

A growing body of research suggests Vitamin D is also involved in the prevention of several diseases including cardiovascular and autoimmune disease and certain cancers.

(Souberbielle et al., 2010)

Vitamin D Deficiency

It is generally accepted that vitamin d deficiency is a worldwide problem.

(Hossein-nezhad and Holick, 2013)

recent reports estimate that 1 in 5 people in the UK have low vitamin D levels.

(British Nutrition Foundation., 2018a)

The presence of a vitamin D deficiency increases the risk of poor bone health including rickets in children and Osteomalacia in adults.

(Hossein-nezhad and Holick, 2013)

Vitamin D Recommendations

The RNI for people aged 4 years old and above is 10microgram/ day. In the UK, we can achieve this relatively easily during Spring and Summer from normal midday (11am-3pm) sun exposure.

However, the lack of exposure during winter puts the majority of the population at risk of vitamin D deficiency therefore a

10microgram/ day supplement is recommended for all children over the age of 1 and all adults during autumn and winter.

More detailed advice can be found on the BNF's website.

(British Nutrition Foundation., 2018a)

(British Nutrition Foundation., 2018b)

Sources of Vitamin D

- Sunlight

- Fish (salmon. tuna, sardines)

- Meat (pork, beef, chicken)

- Egg (yolks)

- Fortified cereals and cereal products

(British Nutrition Foundation., 2019)

I hope this helps with some facts about Vitamin D. Let me know what else you would like to read about!

Emilia x


Hossein-nezhad.a., and Holick.m. 2013. Vitamin D for Health: A Global Perspective. Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 88(7), pp.720-755

Souberbielle et al. 2013. Vitamin D and musculoskeletal health, cardiovascular disease, autoimmunity and cancer: Recommendations for clinical practice. autoimmunity reviews, 9(11), pp.709-715.

British Nutrition Foundation. 2019. Vital Vitamin D.


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