Sunshine Vitamin: 65% of Brits lack vitamin D

Vitamin D on chalkboard surrounded by food
© iStock/yulka3ice

The British weather is known for being cold, rainy and lacking sunshine which means brits are missing out on essential health benefits that the sun provides.

New research from vitamin D specialists, SunVit-D3 has revealed that even when people spend time outside during the winter (and even the summer months), they are not receiving enough vitamin D exposure.

Vitamin D can have a huge impact on mental and physical health. The vitamin helps to regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body, which help to keep bones, muscles and teeth healthy.

The research was conducted by Atomik Research between the months of 13 January and 15 December 2019. Over 2000 individuals from the UK filled out an online survey regarding their vitamin D intake.

Not having enough Vitamin D in the body can lead to issues such as rickets in children and osteomalacia or, softening of the bones, in adults. Children from the age of one and adults need at least ten micrograms of vitamin D a day to avoid deficiency. However, taking too much vitamin D can cause hypercalcaemia, whereby too much calcium to builds up in the body impacting the bones, heart and kidneys.

Dr Nicky Keay, a world-renowned Sports and Dance Endocrinologist, explains: “The main source of vitamin D is through the action of sunlight on the skin. Vitamin D supports healthy bones, muscles and immune function. Vitamin D is found in some foods, but we can’t get our full requirement from food alone. As sunlight is sadly lacking during winter months in the UK, the NHS recommends we all take daily vitamin D supplementation during winter”

Certain foods can help support healthy vitamin D levels such as egg yolks, oily fish, fortified dairy products, red meat and grain products. However, only a third of brits actually know what vitamin D does for the body which is why taking supplements is key to boosting the immune system and strengthening bones.

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