Vitamin D and sunshine on blackboard

The sunshine vitamin…Vitamin D

As the summer months have come to an end and we enter the autumn months, our minds might turn to the change in daylight hours but have you considered what these changes might also mean in terms of our levels of Vitamin D?

What is Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is an important vitamin for the health of our bones and teeth. Vitamin D also helps regulate the amount of calcium and phopshate in our body.

What happens if we do not get enough Vitamin D?

If our bodies don’t get enough Vitamin D we are at risk of developing Osteomalacia. This condition results in weakening of our bones causing bone pain and muscle weakness.

What foods contain Vitamin D?

There are a few foods that contain a small amount of Vitamin D, such as:

  • egg yolks
  • oily fish
  • liver
  • fortified foods (most fat spreads, yogurts and some breakfast cereals)

However, our body creates vitamin D from direct sunlight on the skin when outdoors, therefore, during the summer months we should be able to get all our vitamin D from the sunshine and a balanced diet.

Do we need a Vitamin D supplement?

The NHS advice is that it is difficult for people to get enough vitamin D from food alone during the autumn and winter months, therefore everyone (including pregnant and breastfeeding women) should consider taking a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D.

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Caroline Hill is a specialist menopause dietitian supporting women making dietary change. Caroline uses her extensive knowledge, skills and expertise of food and nutrition to help women manage their symptoms and weight during menopause. Caroline believes in providing sustainable, individualised, evidence-based advice to women making dietary change.

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